Many retirees are looking to supplement their income, and there are different ways to do this, including pursuing what is commonly referred to as a “side hustle.” Such is the case of Sue Cabrelli, a 69-year-old woman from Loughborough, who took up housesitting after retiring as a service administrator, and has done so for 10 years so far.
Ms Cabrelli exclusively told Express.co.uk: “The thought of retirement and sitting at home all day doing nothing motivated me to start housesitting.
“I happened to pick up a newspaper and read the story of someone in Scotland who was housesitting for animals. I think it occurred to me then that it was something that I would like to do, so when my retirement approached I looked into it and saw what I could do and what that would entail.
“I love animals, but my husband and I don’t want any for ourselves, because we want to be able to travel as much as we want. So I get off to take care of the animals by going into the houses to take care of them.
Ms Cabrelli has completed more than 100 homeits, which she usually undertakes alone, although her husband Mark sometimes accompanies her with the permission of his clients.
READ MORE: “Very believable!” Barclays issues warning over vicious scam text
She highly recommended the business to anyone looking for a new activity and added: ‘I think it’s a great idea for retirees, especially those who love and care for animals.
“You can see parts of the UK you never thought of. You will find beautiful walks and villages that you would not otherwise find if you weren’t sitting at home in this area.
“Normally we travel within a 100 mile radius of our home, and there’s this flexibility – the journeys are never too strenuous, and we can make it work for us.”
Flexibility also extends to the jobs a person decides to take, as house sitters may reject opportunities if they feel they are not suitable for them.
Ms. Cabrelli’s new flexible career since retirement has allowed her to care for a variety of animals, not just the traditional dogs and cats you would expect.
DO NOT MISS
‘Game over!’ Woman, 42, watches hackers steal £10,000 in attack [ANALYSIS]
Pensioner, 76, had ‘£3 a week’ before getting £7,000 of aid [VIDEO]
Retirement and me: “Like the 1970s!” Woman, 70, ‘rationing food’ [INSIGHT]
She said, “I’ve taken care of parrots, turtles, guinea pigs, rabbits, all kinds. I haven’t taken care of horses and larger animals because I tend to do that myself.
“Although I’m not sure I can deal with more exotic animals like snakes!” They might need a little more care than I could provide.
“Some animals are more skittish and cautious, but it’s about letting them know you’re their friend. I believe that when owners go on vacation, it’s just as much a vacation for the pet.
“But there are always favorite experiences and moments that you enjoy more than others. I was taking care of a house where I was watering the garden and the dog I was taking care of kept getting in the way of the hose.
“At the end, the dog and I had a water fight, and he was rolling around in the grass – we were both soaked at the end! It’s an experience that can be a lot of fun and a lot of love.”
READ MORE: Martin Lewis: The one thing everyone over 66 needs to know
Ms. Cabrelli keeps herself busy doing Pilates, cooking new recipes and putting together big puzzles, all of which she can do while staying at home.
As a result, it allows retirees like her to enjoy later life pursuits, while earning money, with Ms Cabrelli using hers to fund a summer vacation in Italy each year.
She concluded: “It’s something different for retirees. You see so many people leaving work and sitting around all day. There’s not much you can do in your own home every day, all day.
“I think if you walk away and see different things, it makes your life and your retirement more interesting.”
Ms Cabrelli works with Homesitters Ltd, which offers modest pay and food and travel allowances, although it is not the only organization Britons can use.
Ben Irvine, Operations Manager at Homesitters, discussed the financial benefits of housesitting with Express.co.uk, and said: “The basic housesitting fee to look after a residence only is £11. £85 per day for one hour and 45 minutes of activity. .
“To that you can add various rates for animal care or overtime/responsibilities. An additional food allowance of £9.20 per day, plus return travel costs at 45 pence per mile, is paid directly by the client to the house sitter.
“In addition, HMRC recognizes the provision of accommodation to house-sitters while on assignment and the statutory ‘accommodation compensation’ currently £8.70 per day applies.
“Housesitters doing a week of house sitting to look after a client’s home without animals, involving one hour and 45 minutes of work per day, would equate to an income of £82.95 per week. plus, a maintenance allowance of £64.40 for the week, as well as the house-sitters travel allowance based on mileage, would be paid directly by the client, excluding accommodation costs that the house-sitters would make from savings made on their own household bills while you are away for a home-sit.
“If a house sitter had to house-sit for two months a year just to look after residential properties without pets, they could earn £1,178.80.
“This involves one hour and 45 minutes of work per day and includes the house-sitters’ daily food allowance, but excludes the house-sitters’ travel allowance to and from the assignment and excludes savings on their own home bills. while being absent (accommodation compensation).”
The final price depends on the abilities, preferences and location of the house sitter, as well as the requirements.