Housesitting in Retirement – HouseSitChat Interview

16 Oct, 2019

Housesitting in Retirement – HouseSitChat Interview

Spread the love

Housesitting in retirement offers a range of fantastic opportunities for affordable travel and living like a local while you care for pets and property of your hosts. Bev and John, fun loving pet lovers from the USA, recently registered as housesitters on HousesitMatch and shared some of their fun petsitting and travel experiences.

Check out or our HouseSitMatch You Tube Video channel.  Here is a written summary of that video.

housesitting in retirement
Housesitting in Retirement by Bev and John

Housesitting for seniors

Belying their ages of 69 and 70, Bev and John gave an animated video interview. The couple described how retirement from corporate America, they found an opportunity to travel and discover the world together. They did this by long term house sitting in retirement.

Preparing for housesitting in retirement

Before committing to any extended travel options they decided to take a hard look at their finances and carefully selected an advisor to help them evaluate their financial position.

After selling their business, they worked with the financial advisor to ensure their nest egg was well invested and protected to afford them the freedom to travel long term. To ensure a worry free retirement, they wanted to travel and see the world without money worries.  They also de-cluttered and rented out their home so they could have a travel budget and be independent while they were travelling.

Learning what to do in their retirement

They had invested time in a 3-Month University Summer Programme for seniors looking to retire.  it got them into the mindset of travel. Bev had long wanted to travel to explore the world. During this time Bev discovered the notion of housesitting and petsitting as a way to travel. Housesitting in retirement was becoming an idea for them to build on.  However, John proved a little reluctant at first.

” Why would strangers want strangers to come into their homes and look after their pets..?” John had protested.  ” I couldn’t see how you could plan a life of travel around that arrangement, it seemed so haphazard !” he said. And house sitting international living in other people’s homes seemed odd at first.

What were legal requirements for house sitting I couldn’t get my head around it. Does house sitting mean spending the night? What is the etiquette for house sitting? How would learn all that?

“But that’s where platforms like yours, Housesitmatch, help people like us housesitting in retirement! That’s what makes your facility so valuable,” added Bev.

housesitting in retirement
We’ve always loved pets and had some of our own
Short Trips – Testing the Waters

John agreed to try a few short trips so they went for a month to Rome and then decided to venture further and travelled their way around Italy.

They used AirBnB and housesitting combined.

Housesitting in retirement began to feel like it might work as a travel option. They then took five weeks together and went to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. And so their adventure began in earnest.

housesitting in retirement

We love the pets, they make travel feel like home while were housesitting in retirement

What we love about Housesitting in Retirement

What housesitting gave to us is elements of travel that we like. They are:

  1. Living like locals somewhere new – learning about a country from its’ neighbourhoods
  2. Being in a home with pets around – we love caring for pets and find they help you feel at home while on the road
  3. Having a good kitchen and a comfortable bed – we love to cook and always kept a comfortable home. Housesitting is ‘home from home’
  4. Finding new places to travel to – housesitting helps you discover new places you would not have encountered on the usual tourist routes
  5. Petsitting gives us great joy!
Glenn the horse drinking Bev’s tea!

How we started long term Housesitting in Retirement

  1. Slow and careful start – We started in itsy bitsy steps
  2. Financial assessment – We found a financial advisor and worked with him very closely to plan our finances carefully
  3. Careful financial planning – We nit picked out way through our expenses to minimise our out of pocket expenses
  4. Renting out our property – So we de-cluttered our house, gave the kids what they wanted so we could rent out our home for income on the road
  5. Property maintenance – We found a manager for the house who supervises the house maintenance in our absence
  6. We decided what kind of travel we wanted – We like living like locals, so we needed long stays 3-4 weeks minimum; cities or farms..? now we like both
  7. Keep packing down; travel light – you can always buy what you need on the road, if you buy something new, then give something away.
housesitting in retirement
We love travel & housesitting in retirement






“The more we’re on the road the more we want to discover!” said Bev.

“We’ll keep doing this as long as we find joy and fun in doing the housesitting and petsitting. We’re healthy, we’re excited and it’s a fun thing to do – housesitting in retirement!”


How to start as an international housesitter

If you are thinking of housesitting as a fun thing to try, then you need to think carefully about your next steps. So here are my top 11 tips for getting started as an international housesitter:

Join a small housesitting platform

Join one of the smaller housesitting sites such as HouseSitMatch. Posts on the larger sites can draw 30 or 40 applicants – daunting competition for a newbie!  But the smaller sites offer less competition and increased customer service that is often personalized.  I can attest to HouseSit Match’s unparalleled hands-on support. Also consider the option to become a house sitter for free.

It means you are volunteering and will exchange your services for free accommodation. The barrier is low to get started.

Other advantages of being with the right platform is they will have guidelines, templates and support documents to help you understand what best practice looks like. Make sure they have a responsive administration so you can ask questions about housesitting and petsitting. A good platform will support you in your endeavours.

Start housesitting locally first – it will help you get started as a housesitter

While you might be asking yourself ‘ are house sitters in demand? ‘ you should start locally first.

Looking for local housesitting jobs or house sitting jobs near me gives you a chance to meet the homeowners and pets ahead of time. This gives you a “leg up” on sitters traveling from foreign countries. It is worth doing if you possibly can. Local housesitting is definitely a good way to get started as a housesitter.

Especially during these times when airlines are still regaining their footing following the pandemic, your proximity provides extra peace of mind for the homeowners that their sitters won’t get caught up in airline delays and cancellations. Also, since you know your area, language and culture, a local housesit reduces the variety of new things you need to adjust to.

It is one of the best ways to get started as a housesitter. So go ahead give it a go, and good luck!

Join and discover the world of housesitting, please follow these links:

HOUSESITTERS – to find house and pet sits all over the world


Further reading on housesitting for housesitters

At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters and house sitting in London useful.

How to travel on a budget

Cat sitting tourist sees London for free

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

What is House Sitting?


Spread the love


Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

1 comment

  1. Thank you Bev, John and Lamia for this excellent blog post. Networking with like minded retiree’s is very comforting and fun. This post and the video on you tube is inspirational and certainly will motivate the de-cluttering task ahead of us.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.