TONY DICOSTA, 67 | $30,000 a year
Home: Cape Coral, Fla.
Previous Life: Media professional
How he did it: In my early 60s, my career in media came to a premature end. After a period of reassessment, I decided to pursue my lifelong passion for fitness and become a certified personal trainer. As one who has personally dealt with the requirements of training a body in its golden years, I had an understanding of the unique nature of fitness for older adults.
How he succeeded: You need to be in shape yourself in order to inspire your trainees. Since my 60th birthday I’ve entered a variety of masters competitions, though that level of fitness isn’t necessary to look good or be fit. It’s not hard to get a certification; several online companies can help. But you will need insurance, especially if you want to work for a club.
What you need to know: The right location is critical. With a demographic mix even older than the rest of Florida, the island of Sanibel is the perfect spot to find a clientele of people age 50-plus who are concerned with staying fit. With low start-up costs and minimal time expenditure, my income (plus Social Security and other gigs) provides just what I need to maintain a decent living.