The cost of living is going up with energy, fuel and food prices all rising leading to many people being concerned about their finances. With inflation expected to hit 7% by spring[i] the crisis may get worse, before it gets better. For retired people on a fixed pension income this can be worrying as there are limited to opportunities for retired people to add to their income.
One solution however is for them to become home and pet sitters who are employed to look after people’s homes and pets when they are away. Most of our homesitters are retired people in their 50s,60s and 70s who want to remain active and fill their retirement with new experiences.
Our homesitters can boost their pension income because they can make savings on their own household utility bills when they are on assignments, and they receive a modest remuneration.
One retired couple who have been home and pet sitting through us since they retired are Peter and Julie Barnes from Gloucestershire who are both in their 60s. They typically earn around £180 as a couple for a two-week homesit, plus they get reimbursed for mileage at 45p per mile when they travel to and from the assignment and they get a daily food allowance.
The fees vary depending on how many pets are involved and the length of the assignment, however this extra income comes in handy with the Barnes’ saying they tend to save it up for holidays. However, money wasn’t their main motivation for becoming homesitters it was the benefits of the role that appealed. Prior to retirement Peter spent many years in the Armed Forces, before leaving to work in the printing industry. Julie was a swimming coach and a manager at a large leisure centre in Gloucester. The couple wanted to do something adventurous in their retirement. Peter was keen to get a dog, but the couple also wanted to travel, which would be difficult with a pet. Peter remembered seeing an advert for Homesitters Ltd in a magazine and realised the role could offer the perfect solution. One of their favourite parts of the job is to travel and exploring new places. The couple especially love to spend time in the countryside because they enjoy walking and wildlife spotting.
Julie says, “We do a lot of homesits around the Cotswolds near where we live and really enjoy going to different places. Even if we’re only going thirty miles or so from our home, it is often to somewhere we haven’t heard of before! There’s a limited amount of exploring you can do while you’re working and we’re really enjoying discovering new places.” The couple love to spend time with pets and both enjoy combining a long dog walk in the country with a pub lunch.
Peter says, “We can’t help but fall in love with the pets – they all have different characters. We looked after two black Labradors who loved to play in the snow and a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback who would sit and watch us read. We even looked after a parrot who would mimic Julie’s voice so I would think she was in the room talking to me!” “We keep a travel journal to remind us of all the wonderful places we’ve been, the pets we’ve looked after and the people we’ve met.”
If you are looking for an interesting and fulfilling way to spend your retirement, as well as boost your pension income, we are currently on a recruitment drive. We have assignments across the UK and offer flexible employment which can fit around other commitments.
One of the best things about working through us is all our homesitters are employed by us (rather than being self-employed) which means they benefit from support from our team when on assignment. We also organise all the assignments, including arranging the preliminary meeting with clients prior to a homesitters agreeing to take a job. All homesitters are fully insured through our company too. If this sounds appealing, please get in touch, here.