WORKING AFTER RETIREMENT AGE
As I written many times, most of us are going to need to keep working long after the traditional retirement age of 65. The obvious reason is that we need the money. Medicare and Social Security may still be there when we need them, but we don’t know how supportive they will be. If we only have Social Security income we will need to find ways to earn extra money. Many people lost savings and investments in the last couple of economic downturns.
Unless you are in the millionaire category, you are nervous about having enough money for your old age. The good news is that it is better for your brain if you keep working, especially if it is work that you enjoy.
KEEPING HOUSE AND HOUSEHOLD SAFE
This week I have been researching different options for keeping my house safe and my pets tended when I am out-of-town.
Some services include the following:
- Feed and water pets at specific times
- Pet care in the home of a pet-loving family
- Daily dog walks, playtime and brushing
- Pet transportation to the vet or groomer
- Errands for pet supplies and food
- Medication administered
- Pet clean-ups and litter box changes
- Love and pet them
- Collect and/or forward mail
- Pick up newspapers, flyers, and packages
- Water and feed indoor/outdoor plants as needed
- Take in and out trash cans on garbage days
- Alter lights and window treatments
- Adjust tv & radio
- Check overall security of home
MONEY CHANGES HANDS
In Dallas, the costs for home pet care are as follows:
- Per visit (1 – 2 pets): $15 – $40 ( 15 – 60 minutes)
- After hours visits: $5 extra per visit
- Holidays: $10 extra per visit
- Over night stay: $60 – $80 per night
- Pet Taxi Service: $25 per 30 minutes
- Extended care: $40 per hour
- Shopping for pet supplies: $20 fee plus supplies
- House checks (no pets): $15 – 20
- Emergency Key Service (when you lock yourself out): $35 per occurrence
As someone shopping for services, costs add up pretty quickly. As someone being paid for those services, it is not a bad deal. If I hired a house and pet sitter for two weeks, these are my costs. $50 per day X 14 days = $740 After hours visits: $5 x 14 days = $70 Overnight stays = $780 for 14 nights, $490 for every other night. My costs could run from a low of $810 (if no one stays in the house) to $1590 (if someone stays every night). But from another perspective, YOU could be making up to $1590 for part-time work for two weeks. If you had more than one client at a time you might do quite well.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
As I was doing this research, I kept thinking, ” I could do this job.” What is more, I would enjoy this job. I would make money, give and get love with critters, get daily doses of oxytocin (the love hormone), and keep myself busy and engaged.
Some of the pet sitters are bonded and insured, some are not. Some are certified, some are not. You can obtain pet certification through The National Association of Pet Sitters (NAPPS) by taking an online, 16-week course for $245. I think I would take the course and be bonded.
I would prefer to hire someone I know for this service and would prefer engaging someone I trust to before insisting on certification or insurance. You could start with friends and family and get the other credentials as you build your business. Seniors with clean backgrounds, good references, and flex time are ideal for this work.