Older workers are finding out that a true work-life balance is available to those seeking it. Many recent studies have determined that the happiest workers in America are those nearing retirement age — and it's not the prospect of retirement that makes them happy.

A large component of their satisfaction is apparently their new-found freedom from overwork. As a result, more older workers are opting to stay employed, but work fewer hours, as the traditional retirement age of 65 approaches.

A University of Michigan study tells us that 20 percent of employees between the ages of 65 and 67 say they are "partially retired" — defined as "a job in which income doesn't exceed 50 percent of the maximum annual earnings a person made in his lifetime."

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.