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Our bonus years: in other words, more time to be fully engaged

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Near the beginning of “Making the most of our bonus years” (Ideas, May 14), Judy Kugel writes, “Let’s set some realistic expectations. At our age, we probably can’t save the world, although we can support those who are working on it.” Certainly, those of us in our bonus years may not have the energy of younger people, but we do often have more free time, more money, and more experience. And we should have more wisdom, though we often don’t. There are too many “bonus years” adults who look at the many inspiring things younger people are doing to save the world and use that as an excuse to sit back and watch. We helped make this mess; we should be in the trenches with those younger people trying to clean it up.

Michael Biales



Since retiring, I have become busier than ever. I am determined to share the bonus of good health, experience, and ample resources to help others. From aiding refugees with resettlement to mentoring a young man to promoting bicycling as a solution to climate change, I am saying yes to almost any worthy cause that comes my way. Aside from the personal benefits I derive from gaining friendships and helping to generate happiness, I am also driven by a fear that the future of younger people will become more difficult as the planet heats up. I’d like my bonus years to represent a contribution to the world and its resources, not a drag on it.

Alan Wright