Nearly two decades ago, Roger Pugh unretired. He’s now 84. The Sydneysider had forged a long career in management at some of Australia’s top advertising agencies.
At one point, it was his job to hand out the obligatory gold watch to employees who had turned 65.
“I still remember the look on their faces,” he says.
“These people, who had been loyal to our company for years, suddenly felt like it was the end of the line for them. I swore I would never be in that position of being forced to retire before I was ready.”
However, Mr Pugh eventually succumbed to the lure of retirement, leaving the workforce early at 55 and looking forward to a break. He took a decade off and, newly refreshed, decided to re-invent himself and return to work as a writer.
“Doing nothing and vegetating into retirement was never my plan,” he says.
Finding a way to make writing pay the bills wasn’t easy, he admits. He started a blog but found it difficult to monetise.
“Initially, it cost me a lot of money to be a writer, to be honest,” he says.
In due course, he secured a role as a copywriter for a Sydney publisher. He is still active in the workforce and has no plan to stop any time soon. Roger is one of a growing number of Australians quitting retirement to return to work.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals that 177,500 Australians aged 45 years and over who had previously retired returned to work or were planning to in 2016-17, the latest stats available.
Nearly half (42 per cent) were doing so for financial reasons, while 32 per cent stated they were “bored and needed something to do”.