Working in retirement

Winnipeg was hit with near-record amounts of snow in February, but 66-year-old Monty Noyes has warm memories of his time delivering takeout orders for SkipTheDishes on the city's blustery byways.

"Dude delivered in a snowstorm! Thanks, Monty!" he proudly recites, recalling an online comment posted by an out-of-town customer who ordered food delivered to his hotel room.

Noyes is part of a growing trend in Canada of people who retire from their careers but reject decades of idleness and keep working to enrich their lives or stretch their fixed incomes.

"It is completely different. It's stress-free," the longtime bachelor says, contrasting his current flexible hours and pleasurable banter with restaurant staff and customers with his previous working life at a small manufacturing plant in Edmonton.

"Before, there was always somebody standing over you, making sure you do the work, or putting pressure on you to complete the job.

"It's excellent. I've really enjoyed the job."

Jobs involving driving for delivery services or trucking companies or bus services are among the online blue-collar postings that attract more clicks from retirees, according to Brendon Bernard, an economist for job-finding site Indeed.com.

"Positions like those in SkipTheDishes or Uber, they potentially offer a more part-time or flexible spin on those driver roles which older Canadians show disproportionate interest in," he said.

A study by Indeed last year found significant differences but lots of overlap between retirees and younger workers in their interest in jobs in service and retail sectors.

Older part-time workers are more likely to find jobs in management and finance roles, Bernard said, as companies adopt retirement transition plans or hire back retired workers for contract roles or relief work at busy times of the year.

He's seeing a lot of opportunities now in nursing, a growing field with many openings for part-time workers, especially for those with experience in health care roles.

"The share of older Canadians in the workforce is only going to keep growing," said Bernard.

"While we've seen a significant increase in the share of Canadians over 55, for those over 65 ... this is going to be a topic of growing importance in the Canadian labour market going forward."

"People are living longer and they realize they want to continue to contribute," said Suzanne Cook, an adjunct professor in the department of sociology at Toronto's York University, who studies working seniors.

"They don't envision themselves having a vacation for the rest of their lives. It's a very different retirement than their parents' retirement."

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