May 28, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Retirement pensions rise, but many retirees are turning to homesitting for extra income

From 1st April, state pensions in the UK will increase in line with inflation. Those who qualify for a full new state pension will receive £203.85 per week, up from £185.15, while those receiving a basic state pension will receive £156.20 per week, up from £141.85. The increase will provide much-needed relief to retired individuals who have been struggling with the rising costs of energy and inflation.

However, many retired people still find it challenging to make ends meet and, some have turned to creative solutions to supplement pensions such as home and pet sitting.


According to Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd., home and pet sitting has become a popular choice among retired individuals who want to earn extra income while enjoying the comforts of a home away from home.

“At Homesitters, we have seen an increase in the number of retired individuals interested in home and pet sitting,” says Ben Irvine. “This option allows them to earn extra money while also providing a valuable service to homeowners who need someone to look after their homes and pets while they are away. It’s a fulfilling job that many retirees find appealing as it allows them to spend time with animals, particularly dogs and cats, and explore different parts of the UK without incurring any travel costs.

“It also provides a flexible work schedule that fits around other commitments such as grandchildren duties or travelling, while also offering a little bit of additional money and the opportunity to make energy cost savings. The more assignments people take on, the more they can earn, with couples typically earning around £170 for a two-week homesit, along with a food allowance and mileage reimbursement at 45p per mile.

“Homesitting can provide a great lifestyle for retirees who want to stay active, meet new people, and see new places,” he adds. “It’s an ideal way to get a ‘canine fix’ for dog lovers who may not want to commit to their own pet. It also offers extra income to spend on treats like meals out or to save for something special.”


Sue Cabrelli (pictured above) has been homesitting for 10 years since retiring and it gives her a sense of purpose and enjoyment, as well as a chance to save some money. Sue adores animals but didn’t want to own a pet because of the restrictions and ties involved and wanted to be able to take breaks with her husband she wanted.

The job also enables Sue to travel and explore different parts of the country which she loves and to spend time on cooking which is a real passion. On assignments she always takes a cook book and to try out new recipes and she saves her earnings from homesitting on her summer holiday to Italy each year.


Sue said, “I have visited many beautiful places that I wouldn’t have even considered. There are wonderful rural villages throughout the UK. I love walking and when I am on assignments, I often take the dogs out for long walks. If there aren’t any dogs, I just walk myself. I’m a member of National Trust and English Heritage so there’s always somewhere special to visit. Clients often leave me information about interesting places and great walks, so I’m never short of things to do. If I am in London, I try to see all the latest exhibitions.”

She adds, “I’m also a big exercise freak – I take a Pilates class once a week as well as horse riding. Whenever I am on assignment, I take my yoga mat and do a Pilates routine every morning, which fascinates the dogs. They always come to see what I’m doing and on a recent homesit I did my ‘rolldown’ and got my face licked at the bottom!”


Homesitters Ltd is 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. Homesitters is currently recruiting new Homesitters – for more information, go to: