When she retires in 10 years, Spring hopes to spin her yarns into a book.
"I've always wanted to do something in addition to being a flight attendant," she says. "I took a few courses in English to see if anything was there. It was encouraging enough for me to say maybe I can tap into this and be more serious about it."
To sharpen her skills in the meantime, she hopes to write a monthly flight attendant Q&A for her local newspaper's travel section. She's not too worried about financing her retirement because she will receive at least $4,800 a month in pension and Social Security payments, and she currently spends only $4,200 a month.
Janet Rosen, a New York City literary agent, points out that while Spring can write all she wants, book editors don't often take chances on an unpublished writer.
Advances for new authors tend to be small, and publishers pay the money in chunks until the work is completed.
Moreover, Spring will need an agent to sell her work, and that person will take 15 percent right off the top. Fortunately, writing doesn't cost money, just time, which should be plentiful in retirement.
The bigger issue: Spring has significant debt. She's carrying two sizable mortgages - one for her New Jersey home, another for a place in Florida - and a home-equity loan.
She also took on a lot of credit card debt to pay for relatives' medical bills and her daughter's education. According to Heather Hutchinson, a San Francisco financial planner, even though Spring should be able to rely on her pension and Social Security, her $300,000 in debts could bog her down if she carries them into retirement.