Retirees are boosting their pensions by working as professional house-sitters.
Pensioners can pocket as much as £29 a day keeping a watchful eye on people's property and caring for their pets.
Clive Noble, 72, and wife Yolande, 67, have made hundreds of pounds a year staying in empty care homes, bungalows and even a Gothic property rumoured to have belonged to the Marquess of Queensbury.
Sue Cabrelli, 70, from Loughborough, Leicestershire, has been a house-sitter for ten years
On their first job they spent their silver wedding anniversary looking after a goldfish called Mary. Yolande applied to Homesitters Ltd about 15 years ago after a house-sitting stint for her sister.
The Nobles, who live in Shropshire, regularly return to a stately home in the Midlands where they look after a Bernese mountain dog. In the winter of 2017 they stayed for four-and-a-half months in a Liverpool care home.
Before their second career, the couple had run shops selling fishing tackle and outdoor clothing.
Yolande says nothing has gone dramatically wrong in their 15 years of house-sitting, but it is important to prepare for what might happen.
She says: 'We thoroughly enjoy house-sitting, it has taken us to places we never would have gone to before. It makes us feel useful and keeps us active. While we are retired we don't just want to sit around doing nothing.'
Clive says: 'It's not just about making savings on gas and electricity — house-sitting allows us to travel without expense.
'We can go and stay in a nice part of London and drive down to Richmond Park, which is beautiful and full of deer. How much would that cost us if we were to come here on holiday?'
...Other ways to boost your pension
Home-sitting is not the only way to boost income in your retirement. You can let out spare rooms to lodgers or use Airbnb, which connects holidaymakers and weekend-breakers with homeowners.
For example, a double room near the centre of Bristol is listed on the Airbnb website for £35 a night.
You can earn £7,500 a year tax-free under the Government’s Rent a Room scheme.
Language school EF pays £85 a week to host families taking in foreign students. Unused space such as a loft, attic or garage, can be let out on sites such as Storemates.
Rent your drive or parking space for up to £200 a month on JustPark, Park Let and Your Parking Space.
Old mobile phones can be traded in on sites such as Compare My Mobile, Sell My Mobile and Compare and Recycle.
Compare My Mobile offers £83 for an iPhone 6 16GB. Zapper, Music Magpie and We Buy Books will pay cash for unwanted books, CDs, DVDs and games.
Two months of the year spent looking after homes and animals could make you £1,122, according to Homesitters Ltd.
Managing director Alan Irvine says: 'Home and pet-sitting is a role that is increasingly popular with older people looking to continue working flexibly during their retirement.'
He adds: 'Most retired people are on a fixed budget and many look to supplement their retirement income.
'Home and pet-sitting is a great option that many won't have thought of, which is flexible and offers a modest remuneration.
'Our clients truly value the skills, reliability and experience that retired people have.'
He also says house-sitters will usually save on their own heating and water bills by being away from home.
The easiest way to find homeowners willing to pay you to stay is via websites such as Homesitters Ltd, House and Home Sitters and Animal Angels.
Buckinghamshire-based Homesitters Ltd says it saw a 14 per cent increase in applicants between 2017 and 2018, with the average sitter now aged 60.
Most websites are free to join but you will need to attend a face-to-face interview that could last a few hours.
Applicants need to be fit and active. Being a lover of animals is important and having experience with them is a bonus.
You will need to provide references from previous employers and acquaintances who have known you for at least five years.
Homesitters Ltd pays £11 a day plus a daily food allowance of just under £9. You can only leave the property for three hours at a time and for just one hour after it gets dark.
Animal Angels, in Hampshire, pays sitters £29 a day and extra for animals. If you looked after a dog, two cats and a goldfish for ten days you would earn £344 plus travel expenses at 40p per mile.
Dogs' life: Applicants need to be fit and active. Being a lover of animals is important and having experience with them is a bonus
And Portsmouth-based House and Home Sitters pays an average of £20 a day. Trusted Housesitters will not pay you a fee. Instead members pay £89 a year and in return can stay in properties in 130 countries across the world.
Experts recommend keeping the owner's mobile number close to hand, requesting a spare set of keys, keeping information about the surrounding area and contact details of someone local, in case of an emergency.
You should also ask for a copy of their home insurance policy. And you should double-check the house-sitting firm has insurance in place in the event that something goes wrong.
Housesitters Ltd, for example, will cover you for up to £10million if you are injured on a job.
You should also check your own home insurance policy as some insurers will only allow you to leave your property empty for a few weeks at a time.
Ryan Fulthorpe, of comparison site GoCompare, says: 'It's important to agree all responsibilities you will be expected to undertake.
'This includes financial responsibilities, bills, deliveries and whether you'll have access to a vehicle, WiFi and landline.
'If you're expected to look after any pets, it's crucial you check with the owner they have a suitable level of pet insurance in place, should there be any unforeseen emergency veterinary care required.'
Sue Cabrelli, 70, from Loughborough, Leicestershire, has been a house-sitter for ten years.
She was devastated when a Labrador she was caring for died after suffering a heart attack.
She says: 'Looking after someone else's beloved pet is quite a lot of responsibility.
'Older ones may have health problems and you are in charge of their medication.'