It's that time of year when a warmer locale beckons. You may be scouting potential areas in the Southwest or the Sunbelt for a future full-fledged retirement move, or simply want an escape from freezing temperatures and icy roads for the winter season. But just because you are changing locales for a few months, doesn't mean you are going to be in vacation mode the entire time.
See also: Find a job that's right for you.
Mavis Rush got antsy a week after arriving in Naples, Fla., from Alexandria, Va. "I knew I wanted to be someplace where I wasn't cold anymore, but I couldn't stand playing leisurely golf and tennis," she says.
The truth is, Rush, 74, has never taken tennis leisurely. For a dozen years before she retired, she was the director of tennis for Worldgate Sport & Health, a large sport and health club in Herndon Va., outside of Washington, D.C.
So it's not all that surprising that when Rush retired, she wanted to stay active — even after hip replacement surgery. When she heard about possible openings at the Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples from a friend, she applied and was hired as a fitness attendant.
She wears lots of hats. She might teach a tennis lesson, dole out restaurant recommendations or take a guest out on a catamaran for a sail. But her primary position is in the fitness center, where she commands the front desk.
She greets sleepy exercisers at 5 a.m., five days a week. She books appointments for guests with a personal trainer, makes sure they have peppermint-scented cool towels and makes sure there is plenty of water within arm's reach. "I hope I brighten their day right from the start," Rush says.
Her pay: $13 an hour, plus tips and benefits. "It's not about the money, though" she says. She has retirement savings and lives modestly. "I do it for the mental and physical engagement. I couldn't just sit around. But best of all, I make friendships, and I'm putting something in someone's life."
On a typical day, Rush signs out around 12:30 p.m., and heads home, two miles away, where she pedals off on a bike ride to unwind. "My job is about great service and making people happy," she says.
Rush hasn't lost her competitive edge either. When she was younger, she competed in singles and mixed doubles in national tennis tournaments in her early adulthood and bumped up to contending in the Senior Olympics in both tennis and race walking. She even ran the Marine Corps Marathon when she was almost 60. Now she's looking for more challenges to tackle on and off the job.
"I'm ambitious. I like to make at least two new friends a day. My next job I want to bag groceries at Publix. … Look at all the people I'll meet."
There are plenty of great warm weather jobs out there for you, and there's always the potential to extend beyond the peak season. You might even be able to take your own business with you on the road.
Here are five to consider. Pay ranges, which will vary based on factors such as experience and where you live, are primarily derived from U.S. Department of Labor data.