Retirees who work after retirement often remain more active and socially connected, which can translate to better overall health and fewer medical issues.
When Bill Birnbaum, 69, retired in 2007 after 25 years as a business strategy consultant, he and his wife moved to Peru to work as volunteers in an impoverished community in the Andes. Upon returning to the U.S. and settling in Sisters, Ore., Birnbaum grew bored and began taking on consulting work again. He says he'll continue to do this as long as he is able. "I realized that I was missing the intellectual challenge offered by my work," he says.
The 2009 study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology concluded those who work following retirement reported being generally healthier and happier than their fully retired peers, whether they worked full time or part time.
One caveat, though: Those who fared best remained in their main career field. Researchers say that's probably because those who take jobs outside their fields usually do so as a result of financial need, which adds stress.