In Valentine’s Week, Homesitters Ltd, the UK’s leading home and pet sitting company, is highlighting the romantic benefits of a homesitting lifestyle where couples in retirement can spend quality time together enjoying new experiences.
A survey last year by Aviva[i] to find the ultimate ‘retirement bucket list’ found that travel was top of the list; and when it came to how people planned to adapt their lifestyle in retirement, the top answers were they wanted to ‘enjoy myself/have fun’, ‘relax more’ and ‘spend time with family and friends.’
Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters said: “Homesitting gives retirees the chance to travel more in the UK, have fun and relax, and spend more time with their partner whilst on assignment looking after people’s pets and homes.”
“Sharing a homesitting experience can be a real treat for couples looking to spend time together and do something purposeful in a new and exciting location. Caring for the home and pets is the priority, but there is also time to pop out to enjoy a romantic pub lunch, tour a local attraction or take a long walk with the dog.”
“Homesitters receive a modest remuneration and get a small food allowance and mileage, plus they can make savings on their own energy bills too. It’s a great way to boost pension income whilst doing something that feels for many like going on a mini holiday.”
John Charlick, 79 years old (pictured above) and his partner of 20 years, Richard, 70, are regular home and pet sitters and they love their way of life. John has been homesitting for seven years since retiring from a career in the hospitality industry and Richard, a former care worker, retired recently so they can now do assignments together.
The couple used to run a small boutique hotel in St Ives in Cornwall. Now they are both are fully retired, they enjoy homesits which they view as mini breaks, with the bonus of looking after someone else’s pet. They tend to do around eight assignments a year, which is enough to keep them busy in retirement.
John and Richard were both keen to stay active in retirement and thought the flexibility of the role would allow them to travel to interesting new places and be around different animals.
John says, “I’m a people person and love the social side of the job, but my favourite thing is staying in gorgeous homes and visiting places I haven’t been to before. We often stay in great locations and very glamorous homes, with swimming pools and tennis courts. I took up playing the piano again a few years ago so if there’s a piano, I enjoy playing in the evenings.
“I also like spending time with the animals, particularly dogs. I’ve owned dogs in the past, but now that we live in a flat it isn’t practical to have one and they are rather a tie. Homesitting gives us the opportunity to look after dogs and take them for walks, but we can then hand them back to their owners – rather like having grandchildren!
“After seven years of home sitting, we have a few regular clients and particularly enjoy home sitting for a lovely couple in London looking after their whippet. We stay there several times a year and usually arrive the night before the client goes away so we can all have supper together – we almost feel like one of the family.”
Homesitters is keen to hear from people interested in home and pet sitting. Ideal candidates are responsible and reliable people, who are good listeners, and will be sensitive to clients’ requirements. Proven pet-care skills and a genuine affinity for animals are also a bonus.
For more information and to apply to become a homesitter visit: www.homesitters.co.uk