A good study from Merrill Lynch on working in retirement is nicely covered in the Fast Company article The Real Reasons More People are Working in Retirement.
The study covers in detail what they call the 4 Myths of working in retirement. According to the study summary, these are:
Myth 1: Retirement means the end of work. Reality: Over seven in 10 pre-retirees say they want to work in retirement. In the near future, it will be increasingly unusual for retirees not to work.
Myth 2: Retirement is a time of decline. Reality: A new generation of working retirees is pioneering a more engaged and active retirement—the New Retirement Workscape—which is comprised of four different phases: (1) Pre-Retirement, (2) Career Intermission, (3) Reengagement and (4) Leisure.
Myth 3: People primarily work in retirement because they need the money. Reality: This research reveals four types of working retirees: Driven Achievers, Caring Contributors, Life Balancers and Earnest Earners. While some work primarily for the money, many others are motivated by important nonfinancial reasons.
Myth 4: New career ambitions are for young people. Reality: Nearly three out of five retirees launch into a new line of work, and working retirees are three times more likely than pre-retirees to be entrepreneurs.
These findings are very consistent with our work looking at Baby Boomer and Mature (aged 68+) independent workers.
We cover this topic in more detail in various articles in our Baby Boomer category.