To mark International Women’s Day[i] on 8 March, Homesitters Ltd, the UK’s leading home and pet sitting company, is shining a light on the empowering role that becoming a home and pet sitter can be for women looking for a way to boost pension income and keep active in retirement.

 Last year research from Aviva[ii] suggested that semi-retirement is set to rise as the over-55s look for new ways to work in later life, and that 80% of over 65s said they “like the idea” of working through retirement.

Homesitting involves staying in people’s homes when they go away, looking after the home and any pets people have, and is ideal for women looking to continue working in a role that offers something a little bit different.

According to Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters they are seeing growing numbers of women embracing the homesitting lifestyle after retirement as it’s a flexible part-time role that offers many benefits such as exploring the UK and spending time with pets.

Ben Irvine said: “Homesitting is a rewarding role for women that want to stay busy in retirement doing something purposeful and enjoyable. It opens up a travel opportunities and the chance to visit parts of the UK they may not have been to be before, staying for free.

“It’s also a way to spend time with pets, mostly dogs and cats, without the responsibility and expense of pet ownership. The great thing is it fits in around other commitments such as spending time with family, and people can pick and choose when they work.

“Homesitters receive a modest remuneration, a food allowance and mileage plus they can make savings on their energy bills when on assignment. It all adds up and can be a welcome financial bonus for those on a fixed pension income.

“On International Women’s Day we’d like to celebrate all our female homesitters and encourage those that might be looking for a post-retirement job to consider the role.”

One homesitter reaping the benefits from homesitting is 81-year-old Margaret Mackleworth who has done over 200 homesits.

Margaret says, “I absolutely love homesitting. It slots in nicely around my commitments, volunteering for Age Concern and spending time with family, and I do as many assignments as I can. I really notice the energy savings, especially in the winter months and the money I earn is a welcome boost to my pension.

“I usually take food with me for the start of the assignment, but then can just top it up with the food allowance I get on the assignment, meaning I can save a little here each time, plus the mileage is handy. It all adds up!”

For Margaret, who previously owned a Border collie and loves animals, particularly dogs it’s the ideal flexible role. Where she lives currently doesn’t allow a pet so home sitting gives her the opportunity to spend time with animals, offering what she says is the next best thing.

Margaret says, “Homesitting 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. I’m a fit and healthy 81-year-old and I’ve got itchy feet, so like to be out and about exploring places.

“I’ve met some lovely people and pets, and stayed in some great properties. I have every intention continuing homesitting for as long as I can, and highly recommend it as a role for retirees. If you like animals and travelling, and want to earn a bit of money it’s fantastic.”

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: