Illuminating Later Life

From Baby Boomer to Luminary* as later-life Americans navigate the uncharted territory of increasing longevity.

* A person who mentors, inspires or influences others.

Bonus Years Biographies

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Brenda Schoener

"We should not wait till the end to talk about life's lessons."

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Craig Sewell

"I'm not changing my game. I'm just changing my approach to the game."

Ted Levitt, who ran Chick and Ruth's Delly in Annapolis after his parents died, talks about retiring and selling the business to new owner Keith Jones late last year. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

Ted Levitt

He has a small placard in his living room which says, “I’m not retired. I’m just getting started.” 

Retirement is surely a dead-end idea…literally. Retirement is also a recent idea….and a pretty depressing idea, at that. Look it up in the dictionary. My Oxford says to “retire” is to withdraw, go away. retreat, give up, seek seclusion. Sounds like fun! The Oxford definitions include “retiring from the world” or “to retire unto oneself” or to become unsociable, uncommunicative, withdrawn from society. Who wouldn't want to do that?

But we have a different idea. We believe that successful aging is best achieved by active engagement with others.

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"It’s better to wear out than rust out.”  That is the message of Reboot!  For men and women navigating change and planning for life’s transitions – all the while striving to finish well – Reboot! provides a roadmap for living a life of meaning, challenging the reader to be a Luminary not a retiree.  Burgess boldly asserts that retirement is a deadly disease, and that work after a life of work is the best option for post-career years that are meaningful, productive, healthy, and satisfying.

The Length of Our Days

Days in the average American life span
Average life expectancy in days at age 65
Chances to leave a legacy

Bonus Years Columns

Unabridged articles from my weekly Bonus Years column in the
Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Maryland

Columbus Day celebrates “big idea” not just a person

Musical prodigy James Deacon once observed that “What you see depends not only on what you look at but also...

Shared stories make lasting memories among the generations

Are you familiar with the Paw Patrol? Perhaps not, especially if you’re in your bonus years. In that case, I’ll...

Engaging the next generation requires learning their language

Many of a certain age will remember the film, Grumpy Old Men.  That was back in 1993 when two curmudgeonly...

Grudging compromises are part and parcel of our bonus years

Nearly 100 years ago, Russian-born American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin coined the term “social mobility” to describe how an individual’s social...

July 4th gives voice to the ideas of America across generations

Today, we celebrate the Fourth of July, one of our nation’s favorite holidays. Measured by holiday air and automobile travel...

Plant a tree, water a flower, trim a perennial and change the world

Adm. William McRaven, a retired four-star and Navy SEAL – and retired Chancellor of the University of Texas System –...

The Annapolis Institute is a private, nonpartisan think tank. The Institute, established in 1993, has two purposes: (1) To help leadership at all levels to anticipate the forces shaping the lives of people, communities, and institutions in the 21st century -- including technology, demography, politics, the economy and culture; and (2) to advance principled leadership in the management of business enterprises, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

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Nice to meet you!

I’m a Bonus Years guy. My business is helping Luminaries navigate age-related transitions – and writing interesting stories about those who do it successfully.
My aim: To inspire others to do the same.

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