Age is just a number. Time was, when you hit 65 you said goodbye to the 9-to-5. While many people today are working longer for financial reasons, the bigger question is, should you ever retire?

In a recent Merrill Lynch survey, 47 percent of retirees polled said they either have worked or plan to work during their retirement.

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“With the possibility of scaling back and working part-time or even seasonally, why would you want to leave the workforce altogether?” asks Stephanie Genkin, a certified financial planner in Brooklyn.

  • Stay or play? If you have more money than you know what to do with and a game plan for spending your days in ways that fulfill you, maybe you’re ready to call it quits.

But from a financial standpoint, there are plenty of reasons to keep working. “First, there’s the cash flow. Consider too, that you may be able to continue receiving 401(k) or pension benefits. Plus, delaying receipt of Social Security increases your ultimate benefit,” says Richard Rausser of Pentegra Retirement Services in White Plains.

  • Emotional rewards: Working keeps you involved and connected. Some studies show that retirement lowers health and longevity. “Not everyone is mentally ready to retire. They may not have hobbies, or their children may not live nearby,” says Tom Scanlon, a certified financial adviser with Borgida & Co. in Manchester, Connecticut.
  • Bottom line: Says Ric Edelman, CEO of Edelman Financial Services in Fairfax, Virginia, “It’s a personal choice. Focus on being able to completely retire from a financial perspective. This way, you’ll have the luxury of choice. Working is not the same as having to work.”