Recent research has showed that ‘16 per cent of age pensioners have returned to paid work since retiring, while another 20 per cent are considering it.’ (National Seniors Australia). People are coming out of retirement.

Consider, also that in the post Covid environment there is a tendency for being able to work from home/work remotely – surely something that appeals to people who want to keep on working but without having to use transport to get to work.

When we were writing the first edition of Where To Retire In Australia, we came across many people who had come out of retirement.  We wrote 101 of these people in our book Retire Bizzi.

Why did people in the Retire Bizzi book come out of retirement?

They had retired and not liked it, or retired and wanted something else to do.  People we met, around Australia, had set up profitable hobbies and home-based businesses.  Extra income was certainly welcomed, but not everyone pursued a different activity entirely for an income. 

‘Something to do’, ‘being around different people’, ‘contributing’ and ‘having a schedule’ were also some of the other reasons people wanted some form of work in their ‘retirement’.

Older man in dark suit, v necked sweater, white shirt, red tie, black glasses, with thumbs up in the air, come out of retirement
Photo: Andrew Piacquadio

Other people had found employment on a full or part time basis via formal and casual means. The casual way usually meant via a friends or a ‘friend of a friend’ wanted to employ someone who may not have wanted to work long hours each week.

It’s important to keep up your networks and also to let people know that you would like to be working – and this could be in an entirely different field to their previous work.


For example, I’ve seen a person with a background in Information Technology work installing garden watering systems (a ‘joy to work outside’), a maintenance worker repairing and selling antique fountain pens over the internet and ‘grey nomads’ looking after caravan parks – from a background in working at a water board and a bank.

white motor home with red stripe down side parked in a clifftop car park overlooking grey blue ocean and other cliffs, come out of retirement
Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich

Keeping up to date with technology is also an asset for many areas of work.

Run Your Own Race

A few people commented that their ‘friends’ had scoffed at the idea of working in ‘retirement’.

‘Poor George*’, commented one man. ‘He should be enjoying his retirement years, not back working’. What his friend didn’t recognise was how much George* enjoyed work and the camararderie he experienced at work. He was not working ridiculous hours each week, but felt that he was contributing, had a reason to get up and out and about, felt that his brain was being challenged and he loved his work.

His friend had a different mindset to George about work..and life. He had a firmly entrenched view of what ‘everyone’ should be doing at a certain age.

George’s friend had an entirely different work background, and all he could see in retirement was ‘relief’.

Remember it’s your ‘retirement’/ encore career.  If you like to work, why not?

If you want to come out of retirement, why not?

Run your own race.

Of course, it’s always wise to discuss a return to some form of paid work with your financial advisor, in case there are any impacts on your financial situation.

*name has been changed

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