The AP has a good article summarizing some of the findings from the 2010 Census. The focus is mostly on how hard the Great Recession has impacted young adults.
But it also covers the growing workforce participation rate by seniors (ages 65+). Key quote:
"People age 65 and older tended to return to or stay in their jobs, accounting for the few employment gains in recent months. About 1 in 6 older people is now in the labor force. That's the highest level since the 1960s, before more generous Social Security and Medicare benefits made it more attractive to retire."
The workforce participation rate by seniors bottomed out in the late 1980s/early 1990s and has been increasing since.
Many seniors are working longer for financial reasons. But most working seniors will tell you they work because they like it. It keeps them active and engaged.
The survey results from the MBO Partners State of Independence study reflect this. Over 90% of senior independents (freelancers, contractors, consultants, etc.) said they are highly satisfied with their work.
We're still crunching the data on senior independents and will have more on them in the coming months.