Retired couple share how they make huge savings while topping up pension: ‘Fantastic role’

The Retirement Podcast Cafe gives expert advice

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Brian, 70, and Barbara Kennedy, 69, are both retired but the couple top up their pensions by working as home sitters, looking after other people’s houses and pets. Although it doesn’t make them a fortune, it allows them to make huge savings on their energy bills at home because they are staying in other people’s houses six months of the year.

Brian told “I was 52 when I first retired and having given in notice, my wife and I were sent on a pre retirement course.”

He continued: “So we went to a hotel in Surrey and amongst all the paperwork was a book called The Good Non Retirement Guide.

“There was a section on home sitting and we liked the sound of it.”

The couple decided to give it a go and haven’t looked back, they’ve worked out that they’ve looked after approximately 150 dogs and stayed in 80 individual properties over the years.

One experience that sticks in their mind is when they stayed in a mansion in Norfolk with 16 bedrooms, thousands of acres of farmland and another 10 acres of gardens open to the public.

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Brian recalled: “We’d open the curtains in the morning to sheep grazing outside on the grass – it was a really enjoyable sit.”

Benjamin Irvine, director of business operations at Homesitters said they are always looking for new homesitters to join the team.

He told “It’s a fantastic role that suits retired people in their 50s, 60s and 70s or those not working.

“One of the main benefits of working through us is that all our homesitters are employees, and it’s a flexible job that can fit around other commitments.”

Mr Irvine added: “It’s a fun way to visit new places and the chance for animal lovers to look after all kinds of different pets.”

Sitters aren’t just placed anywhere but are carefully matched with clients, considering their preferences, personalities, skills and experiences.

Mr Irvine explained: “Homesitters can pick and choose their assignments and will almost always visit their client’s home and pets before starting.

“Successful candidates will have the opportunity to stay for free in gorgeous homes across the UK, spend time with pets and meet new people.”

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Mr Irvine continued: “They can also boost their income or savings, as homesitters are paid a modest remuneration, including a food allowance and make savings on their own energy bills when they are on assignments.”

Although homesitting won’t help people to get rich, it can be a great way to retire or enjoy a more relaxed way of life.

An added bonus is that it will also help people save money on their own energy bills at home.

For pet lovers, it could be the ultimate retirement dream.

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