Nearly 6 in 10 baby boomers in the Midwest plan to work beyond age 65. And most of them are happy to do so, according to a new study commissioned by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement.

The study, “New Expectations, New Rewards: Work in Retirement for Middle-Income Boomers,” surveyed 1,005 middle-income boomers (261 from Midwest) and 2,293 retired boomers (581 from Midwest) aged 51 to 69 with an annual household income between $25,000 and $100,000. 

Of the Midwest boomers currently employed, almost two-thirds (65 percent) are working because they want to, not because they must. That’s four percentage points higher than their counterparts across the country.

Those who are working voluntarily do so to stay mentally alert (16 percent), remain physically active (16 percent) or to have a sense of purpose (15 percent).

While more than half (53 percent) of the nation’s boomers make “much less” per hour in retirement, 78 percent are more satisfied with their jobs than non-retirees. In the Midwest, that number jumps to 88 percent, with 69 percent “more” or “slightly more satisfied” and 19 percent “as satisfied” as they were in their pre-retirement work.

“Boomers in the Midwest are re-entering the job market willingly,” says Scott Goldberg, president of Bankers Life. “With nearly nine in 10 ‘as satisfied’ or ‘more satisfied’ with their careers during retirement, boomers in the Midwest are poised to reap the financial and health benefits of working during their golden years.”

Among the survey’s additional findings:

  • Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) employed boomer retirees across America have work arrangements other than full-time. 

  • About two-thirds (67 percent) of boomers in the Midwest describe their job as part-time.

  • 59 percent of boomers nationwide work part-time.

  • Outside the Midwest, retirees are more likely to work freelance or own their own business.