Planning to retire but not ready to put your feet up? Why not become a homesitter?

Posted on 26 July, 2022

Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash

A record number of people will retire in the next decade, with the number of people reaching state pension age expected to surpass 800,000 for the first time in 2028, according to a recent article on [i].

But for many their retirement might be very different from those of previous generations, as today people are more likely to want to use it as an opportunity to do something new.

Research from investment manager Abrdn [ii] offers some interesting insight. They surveyed 2,000 people who were either due to retire in the next 12 months or have retired in the past 12 month. The found that over half are retiring earlier than planned, nearly 20% are concerned about their income lasting and two-thirds (66%) plan to continue working in some capacity in retirement.

Increasingly retirees don’t just want to put their feet up, they want to continue working in some capacity and some even start a new business. This is as much about boosting pension income as it is a desire to keep busy, especially as people are staying healthier for longer these days.

Most of our homesitters are in their 50s, 60s and 70s and it’s the ideal flexible role people can fit around hobbies, holidays and other commitments. It involves going to stay in a client’s home when they go away, to take care of the home and any pets they may have.

Benefits for most include the chance to explore the UK, without the cost of accommodation, and spending time caring for pets.

Homesitters receive a modest remuneration, along with mileage to and from the assignment and a food allowance. They can make savings on their own utility bills if they do quite a lot of assignments, especially during the colder winter months. It’s also a very rewarding job that can be started prior to retirement, which is what Essex-based Margaret Mackleworth did.

Margaret is in her early seventies and has been one of our homesitters for over eleven years.

When Margaret started homesitting she was working part time in the catering industry and did homesits on the weekends or in her holidays. These days she homesits regularly, but as she loves to be busy and still works in catering on a casual basis. Margaret loves the fact that she can fit both jobs around each other and her family commitments.

In the past Margaret owned a Border Collie and loves animals, particularly dogs, however her circumstances doesn’t allow her to own pets, so home sitting gives her the perfect opportunity to spend time with animals.

Margaret says, “Home sitting is the perfect job for me, I love to visit new places and meet new people and I find that dog walking is very sociable! One of my favourite things is to go for long walks in the countryside so I enjoy rural homesits with dogs that I can walk.

“If you like animals and travelling I’d thoroughly recommend joining Homesitters – I can’t speak highly enough of them. They are lovely people and I find it very reassuring that there is 24 hour support – although I’ve never had to use it – and I like the security of having to check in with them every morning, especially as I’m on my own.”

Margaret has some clients that she regularly homesits for, including one lady who has moved house four times in recent years and used Margaret at each of those houses to look after her cats.

With over a hundred homesits under her belt, she has a tip for others considering the role, which is to have a hobby to keep them occupied in the evenings. For Margaret this is doing jigsaw puzzles and she always takes one with her wherever she is located.

If retirement is on the horizon and you are keen to try a new role, why not get in touch? With the boom in foreign travel after the pandemic we’re seeing huge demand for our services, so are recruiting more homesitters.

The great thing about working through us is all our homesitters are employed directly by us and benefit from 24/7 support when on assignment, as well as insurance. To find out more about the role and to apply click here.




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