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 on our HouseSitMatch You Tube Video channel. Here is a written summary of that video.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
We love the pets, they make travel feel like home
What we love about Housesitting in Retirement
What housesitting gave to us is elements of travel that we like. They are:
- Living like locals somewhere new – learning about a country from its’ neighbourhoods
- Being in a home with pets around – we love caring for pets and find they help you feel at home while on the road
- Having a good kitchen and a comfortable bed – we love to cook and always kept a comfortable home. Housesitting is ‘home from home’
- Finding new places to travel to – housesitting helps you discover new places you would not have encountered on the usual tourist routes
- Petsitting gives us great joy!
How we started long term Housesitting in Retirement
- Slow and careful start – We started in itsy bitsy steps
- Financial assessment – We found a financial advisor and worked with him very closely to plan our finances carefully
- Careful financial planning – We nit picked out way through our expenses to minimise our out of pocket expenses
- 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
- Property maintenance – We found a manager for the house who supervises the house maintenance in our absence
- 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
- Keep packing down; travel light – you can always buy what you need on the road, if you buy something new, then give something away.
“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 in retirement!”
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