Retirees are picking up on impact investing, which has been a favorite of millennials for several years already, says new data released by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, an educational and research organization focused on aging.

Retirees are focusing on impact investing, as well as traditional philanthropy, to promote the causes they believe in, says a survey of 3,694 U.S. residents included in the report "Giving in Retirement: America’s Longevity Bonus." Impact investing is considered to be investing in companies that support good environmental, social and governance principles.

Seventy-two percent of retirees say impact investing is a more effective way to help the environmental and social causes they care about, the study says.

Another 43 percent say they like having the opportunity to make a profit on charitable giving and 42 percent feel it is a way to make corporations become more socially responsible.

Retirees are being encouraged to adopt impact investing, in addition to more traditional philanthropy, by the growing body of evidence that shows investors can make money while investing in companies that are positively affecting the environment and society, says Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.