Retirement is a major change in people's lives but studies into its effect on people's quality of life have produced mixed results with some studies suggesting that it has a negative effect, others that it has a positive effect and others portraying its effect as neutral. Participating in clubs and organizations and pursuing hobbies and interests have been found to improve people's life satisfaction in retirement but little is known as to what motivates people to take up these activities. A French study of 150 active retired people found that they were characterized by high levels of intrinsic motivation for knowledge, stimulation and accomplishment rather than for external rewards. An intrinsic motivation for accomplishment and stimulation was linked to a higher level of satisfaction with one's retirement over and above the influences of time since retirement, anticipated satisfaction with retirement and subjective health.
Stephan, Yannick, Fouquerau, Evelyne and Fernandez, Anne - The relation between self-determination and retirement satisfaction among active retired individuals International Journal of Aging and Human Development 2008, 66(4), 329-345