Should I go back to being an engineer or play with my grandchildren?

Retirement is comfortable, but my old company is ready to welcome me back – which would help the economy

On Friday and Monday we publish the problems that will feature in a forthcoming Dear Jeremy advice column in the Guardian Money supplement, so readers can offer their own advice and suggestions. We then print the best of your comments alongside Jeremy’s own insights. Here is the latest dilemma – what are your thoughts?

I am a retired professional engineer, living very comfortably on my pension and voluntary redundancy payment accumulated after 42 years with one company. My former company, now very short of engineers, is unable to find younger engineers and is looking to take on retirees on what are very lucrative short-term contracts. I am struggling to decide whether to become re-employed.

I have no need for extra money as I own my own home, can take several holidays each year and be happy that my wife occasionally shops in Waitrose. I enjoy a very close involvement with my grandchildren, taking them to school, dance classes, seaside excursions and music festivals.

But I like being defined as an engineer working on a complex project rather than a taxi driver, nanny and unpaid maintenance man. Perhaps more significantly I strongly believe that the UK’s economy can only recover if we all contribute to the best of our ability – which will not be from my gardening. Can you advise me on this dilemma?

• For Jeremy’s and readers’ advice on a work issue, send a brief email to Please note that he is unable to answer questions of a legal nature or reply personally. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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