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Reboot! cover

Book Details:
  • 256 pages
  • Black & White
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
Available Formats:
  • Paperback
  • eBook
  • 978-1-77067-299-4 Paperback
  • 978-1-77067-300-7 eBook

retirement, retire, retiree, work, career change, booter, reboot, aging, senior citizen, elderly, post career, later life

What to do when your career is over but your life isn't by Phil Burgess

About Reboot!

“Reboot to work; retirement is a disease.”

“It’s better to wear out than rust out.” That is the message of Reboot! While American culture glamorizes the “Golden Years” of endless leisure and amusement, Phil Burgess rejects retirement, as he makes the case for returning to work in the post-career years, a time he calls later life. Based on solid research from the social and medical sciences, the author says, “It is better to die with your boots on, fully engaged in helping others and repairing the world.”

Reboot! is partly autobiographical. Indeed, the author is working well into his own post-career years, following two failed retirements. He is also convincing in his eye-opening, historically rooted, and hope-filled arguments for engaging in life-long work that is productive and satisfying.

Reboot! identifies five different types of work: in-kind, volunteer, Samaritan, enrichment, and paid work. Booters who incorporate one or more of these types of work into their post-career lifestyle will, according to Burgess, live longer, live better, and die faster – avoiding boredom, aimless busy-ness, diminished self-worth and the anguish (and cost) of lingering death.

With America’s 78 million boomers turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day for the next 18 years, Reboot! provides a timely and provocative alternative to the conventional idea of retirement. With the promises of Social Security and Medicare about to be broken, Reboot! provides an upbeat and constructive way to deal with new financial realities.

For men and women navigating life’s transitions, striving to finish well, Reboot! provides a roadmap for living a life of meaning, challenging the reader to be a booter, 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. See


On retirement: “Not all ideas are good ideas. Some are bad ideas. Retirement is one of those bad ideas – it makes no sense…Retirement is not natural. It is not historic. It is not healthy. It is not, for most people, fulfilling. For many, retirement is a widow maker.”

On the value of work: “The social engagement and satisfaction that come from working in later life are keys to successful aging…There is much work to do in this world where we are but temporary inhabitants. We should find it and do it…at least for as long as we’re able. In many ways, our life depends on it.”

On work and money: “Work is not only about money. Even if you don’t need the money and your financial situation is stable and comfortable, returning to work in your post-career life is the smart thing to do – at least until sidelined by frailty or disability. It’s smart because good health and satisfaction in later-life are most likely to come from working.”

On different types of work: “For most of us, post-career work will be tailored work, work customized to reflect our needs, our deepest desires, and the highest and best use of our gifts – especially time, talent, and treasure. Work tailored to our gifts will be productive and satisfying.”

For back cover:

America’s boomers have redefined every stage of life in America, and they are now changing the aging game. Reboot! lays out the new rules. Rule #1: Keep working!

– Kent Briggs, Executive Director, Council of State Governments-West -

Why is Reboot! so great? Because people see themselves aging and wonder, "Is that all there is?" or “What do I do now?” Phil Burgess provides a surprising and uplifting answer to those questions – and it is not retirement. Reboot! is a must-read and perfect gift for anyone who even has a thought about "retiring" someday.

– John Mariotti, CEO, The Enterprise Group, award-winning author of The Complexity Crisis, and former President of Huffy Bicycles -

As retirement approached, a life of leisure looked less and less attractive. My friend Phil Burgess answered my prayers with Reboot!. Intriguing, inspiring, and enjoyable to read, Reboot! gives real hope and shows why work in later life is good for the body and the spirit.

– Chaplain Norman F. Brown, U.S. Navy (ret.) -

Phil Burgess has it exactly right. The last chapters of a life well lived should not be about retirement and decay; they should be about the joy of sharing your gifts, insights, and love with the generation that follows.

– Jeff Sandefer, Co-founder & Master Teacher, Acton School of Business -

Phil Burgess rejects the idea of retirement into “golden years” of endless leisure and uses Reboot! to show why boomers will embrace work of some kind – such as paid work…or in-kind, volunteer, enrichment, or Samaritan work – to help others and make the world a better place.

– Barbara Nelson, Professor of Public Policy & Dean Emeritus, UCLA School of Public Affairs -

Reboot! has an important message for those thinking about their post-career years: What you want to be in your bonus years is much more important than what you want to do or what you want to have. Phil’s book gave me new and helpful ways to approach this transition in my own life.

– Martin L. “Chip” Doordan, CEO, Anne Arundel Health System -

Phil Burgess photo

Phil Burgess is an award-winning educator, businessman,and writer who has lectured world-wide – in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, including Japan, China, India, Korea, and Vietnam. He has appeared on PBS, NPR, CNN, and CNBC, and his views have been reported in regional, national and international media – including Sydney Morning Herald, The Financial Times (London), The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, and Vital Speeches. More than 350 weekly commentaries on America’s political culture appeared in the Denver-based Rocky Mountain News from 1990-2001 and were nationally distributed to more than 140 newspapers by Scripps Howard News Service.

Phil had three careers before becoming a booter – first as a professor at The Ohio State University, University of Colorado, and Colorado School of Mines; second, as chief executive of non-profits and think tanks focused on public policy and economic development; and third, as a senior executive at large-cap, multi-national media-communications companies: US West (now Qwest) and Telstra (Australia) where he was also a visiting professor at the business school of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). He is currently a senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center for the Digital Future. Phil and Mary Sue, his wife of 30 years, live in Annapolis, Maryland.


Phil Burgess

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