A growing number of retired people are expected to be seeking new types of employment in a bid to make ends meet as the cost-of-living crisis impacts people’s pockets, with home and pet sitting a possibility for some looking to boost income.
A recent survey by My Pension Expert[i] showed that 12% of those currently in retirement said that the cost-of-living crisis had upended their retirement plans and 6% said they think they will need to ‘unretire’ in the coming months to bolster their retirement finances.
According to Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd becoming a home and pet sitter can give people a way to earn extra money in retirement, as well as make savings on their utility bills which can be a tremendous help for some at this worrying time.
Ben said: “Home and pet sitting is a flexible form of employment that is suited to retired people who enjoy spending time with pets and staying in new places. The role involves staying in people’s home and taking care of people’s pets when they go on holiday.
“It’s a great way to make some extra money as well as save on bills, especially during the winter, as they are staying in other people’s homes. The biggest attraction of the job for most is looking after pets, most commonly dogs and cats, and seeing different parts of the UK.
“People also welcome the money they make, often saving it up for treats such a lunches out or holidays. At this time of national crisis when everyone is feeling a little bit poorer it’s an enjoyable role that those in retirement can easily do to boost their finances that won’t feel much like work at all.”
Home and pet sitters employed by Homesitters Ltd typically earn around £170 as a couple for a two-week homesit, plus they get reimbursed for mileage at 45p per mile and get a daily food allowance while on assignment. With the average household energy bills expected to hit £2,500 per year[ii], spending weeks on homesitting assignments could also help to reduce this.
One couple who started homesitting after retirement are Martin and Kristine Bell from Collingham, near Newark in Nottinghamshire. Martin retired at the age of 60 from a career in industry and legal secretary, Kristine decided to retire at the same time so they could spend more time together.
The couple didn’t want to sit around doing nothing during their retirement and were keen to get out and meet new people and visit new places. Home and pet sitting seemed a good way of doing this. Also after losing their beloved West Highland Terrier they decided not to get another dog so becoming homesitters seemed like a good compromise. They would get to spend time with animals without the commitment involved in being a dog owner.
Martin says, “The best way of spending the evening is having a dog on your knee or by your feet to stroke while you’re reading, it gives us a great feeling of contentment – and the dog too! We’re just ordinary people doing ordinary things and getting the maximum benefit from our retirement.
“You’d be surprised how many people aren’t aware that home and pet sitting is a job and we’d recommend it to anyone who’s retired. Where else would you get the opportunity to stay in different homes in new places and experience other people’s pets and lifestyles and not have to pay lots of money to do it?”
Homesitters Ltd are different to many other pet sitting agencies in that all their homesitters are employed by them, are fully vetted and insured, plus they provide 24/7 back up support for homesitters on assignment. Homesitters also meet clients and their pets beforehand to be briefed on the home and the pets’ routine to ensure the assignment goes smoothly.
For more information on Homesitters Ltd and to apply to become a homesitter visit: www.homesitters.co.uk