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How the sharing economy could save your retirement

Retirees fearful about their financial security are turning to the sharing economy to better their lifestyle later on in life.  

The rising phenomenon that encourages owners to rent something out that they are not using; such as a house, car or bike, is helping retirees use their personal assets to vastly improve the quality of their everyday lives.

Sites such as Airbnb – the global community marketplace that connects travellers seeking authentic, high-quality accommodation with hosts who offer unique places to stay – have seen a rise in older generations using their services, with the average host age now at 50.  Enabling regular income without the pressures of a full-time job, older generations are embracing their inner entrepreneur and enjoying a second wind of earning – with a fresh burst of life to boot.

Take Tessa for example, the 61 year old host from Camden, who was a former acrobat, avid traveller and TV location manager before being severely hit with ME. Out of work for 15 years, and almost housebound, she began hosting for London 2012 and has not had an empty room since.

“I couldn’t afford to heat my house at one point, and now I am feeling a bit better, I am starting to save enough money to travel the world. My aim is to visit every single tree house that is listed on Airbnb – I never thought that would be possible! There’s definitely no going back for me.”

Others in their 50s and 60s have suddenly found themselves with empty rooms for the first time as their children fly the nest; leaving behind them an opportunity far too tempting to miss.

Thinking of hosting? Here are some tips from Airbnb:

Be sure everything accurately reflects what guests will experience. Airbnb offers free professional photography to help you with this.

Keep in touch! Get to know your guest’s travel plans so you can personalise their experience. Download the Airbnb app to respond to guests from wherever you are in the world.

Manage your calendar meticulously. Find the right match for your space by setting criteria and get to know your guests before saying yes.

Keep your commitments.  If you can’t, apologise and bend over backwards to find back-up accommodations. Don’t forget to officially cancel online, too.

Clean as if royalty were on their way. The cleaner your space, the more glowing your review.

Fresh bedding, towels, soap, and toilet paper are a must. Always, always have them available upon arrival. Plus feel free to add your own little luxuries, too!

Give a good welcome. Think prompt check-in time, transportation tips, and a tour of the space.

Be supportive. Check in on guests, be easily accessible and go out of your way to offer alternatives if things don’t go according to plan.

Write a review for guests within 14 days. Approach this as if you were writing a thank you note or friendly letter encouraging how to be a better guest.

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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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