Making ends meet during retirement can be tricky. Sure, you want to finally enjoy your time off, but you can’t sit on your butt all day when you’ve got bills to pay. Instead of jumping straight back into the workforce by taking a part-time job you might not like, why not find a hobby that also pays you? That’s what retirees Barbara and Bob Vokac did.
Since retiring, the former schoolteachers have found a way to combine their love of traveling and cooking with making money. For the last seven years, they’ve worked as temporary innkeepers, aka inn-sitters. Essentially, they get paid to run inns and bed-and-breakfasts while the owners presumably enjoy some time off.
For three months of the year, the Vokacs trek across the country while caring for inns along the way. So far, they’ve traveled to Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Williamsburg in Virginia, and through Georgia’s mountains. “It’s 24/7 and we are always moving,” Bob, 69, said in an interview with Next Avenue. “But unlike the inn owner, we get to leave it all behind when we eventually return home.”
Inn-sitters can charge a handsome fee for their services depending on experience. Skilled innkeepers can earn up to $100 per day, plus their lodgings are covered (as well as some travel expenses). And in addition to making money, the Vokacs have been exposed to all sorts of interesting people.
“We meet all sorts of personalities,” Bob said. “For example, the inn we work at in Cape Cod is near the Woods Hole research facility (a climate-change-focused think tank), so we’ve had very interesting conversations with our guests about their research.”
If you’d love to wake up somewhere along the coast in New England, perhaps inn-sitting is the perfect way for you to supplement your income in retirement. After raising a family, looking after your husband, and caring for aging parents, keeping the guests at a small B&B fed and the rooms tidy won’t faze you.