Retire Early? 8 Sure Signs You’ll be Working Till the Grave

Retire Early – Is it Even Possible?

Early retirement… it’s the dream, right?  If someone mentioned that you could skip retiring at 62 and instead retire at 50 or even retire by 40, would you do it?  Most would answer with a resounding… yes!

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However, it seems like even the “normal” age for retirement is becoming an unrealistic dream for some. Why is that?  It’s because the area of money management is not being addressed.

There are many that are living paycheck to paycheck, yet they have cell phones, TV’s, other toys and the internet.  Many have debt up to their eyeballs and aren’t being financially responsible.  That just seems silly…

Financial Independence – Early Retirement

Have you ever heard of the phrase, financial independence?  Or perhaps “financial independence retire early”, or often known in the early retirement community as “F.I.R.E.”.

What is it exactly?

Here’s a great financial independence definition… It’s a state of having enough personal wealth to continuously pay for a certain lifestyle, without having to work.  In other words, it’s having a large enough amount of assets, along with income earned on those assets, to continually pay for the ongoing expenses of life.  

Becoming financially independent is something that all of us should be aiming for.  And if you want to obtain this “state”, these 8 things are exactly what you shouldn’t be doing.

If money management is the last thing on your mind, then you’ll be “working till the grave”.

8 Sure Signs that You’ll Be Working till the Grave

If you want to know how to retire early, make sure you aren’t doing any of these “financial sins“, so to speak.  If you are, there will be action steps to reverse the damage before it’s too late!

Sign #1 – You Are Focused on Surviving, Not Saving

Grave Stone - Survival


If you are living paycheck to paycheck, then you are focused on surviving, not saving.  There is a big difference.

Understandably, there are many that are in tough spots…income is low and expenses are equally as high, or higher than income.  You are working just to survive.   It makes sense…you are doing the best that you think is possible.  Unfortunately, changes still need to be made if you don’t want to work till the grave.  

What to do instead…

Stop focusing on surviving, and instead focus on saving.  What does that actually mean?  It means stop being so focused on today, but rather be focused on tomorrow.

That change of focus takes someone who is tired of living paycheck to paycheck out of the insecurities of today and into a mentality of creating a stable future.

Start by budgeting and putting a savings plan in place.  Doing this will help you change your focus from surviving to saving.  

You can retire young by changing your focus. 

Sign #2 – You Only Have One Income Stream

Grave Stone - One Income

One income

If you only have one income stream, then you are leaving money on the table…it’s that simple.  Thomas C. Corley conducted a five-year study of self-made millionaires and found that many of them had developed multiple streams of income.  

Here are the results of his study: 65% of self-made millionaires had three streams of income, 45% had four streams, and 29% had five or more streams (Rich Habits Study).

What to do instead…

Start by adding one extra income stream at a time.

Some common income streams are: real estate rentals, stock market investments, owning a side business, making money from a blog or doing something online, etc.

Live life happy by adding income to your budget!  Doing so will enable you to retire rich at an earlier age.

Sign #3 – You Save to Save, Not Save to Invest

Grave Stone - Save to Save

Save to save

This is another sign of your focus not being on the right thing.  It’s great to save money, and it’s needed…but it’s not enough.

Having an emergency fund is a must, or at least have a little pool of money that can be liquidated quickly.  However; if you are just saving money to put it in an interest free savings account, then you will never be wealthy.  

Very few of us can save our way to become a millionaire.

What to do instead…

Change the mindset.  Don’t just save your money; save it so that you can invest it.  Remember that…

One dollar saved is never as good as one dollar invested… because that one dollar invested will earn you an additional dollar over time.

Make sure you are investing in secured, almost sacred accounts.  Be smart, be wise, and you’ll be able to grow your wealth over time.

Sign #4 – You Lack Financial Self Control

Grave Stone - Lack Financial Self-Control

Lack financial self-control

Here are a few signs that you lack financial self control:

  • Making compulsive purchases is your middle name!
  • You have the latest and the greatest things, but lack the money to fund those things.
  • You have debt that doesn’t advance your financial culture.

Self control indicates the ability to control emotions, desires, and behaviors, especially in difficult situations. If you have a problem in this area, admitting it to yourself is the first step!

What to do instead…

Stop spending frivolously.  Control your impulses.  Self control is gained over time as you continue to say no!  You’ll save more money and won’t take on debt.  Subsequently you won’t be working till the grave!

Sign #5 – You Like What Debt Gives You & You’re OK With It

Grave Stone - Like What Debt Gives

Like what debt gives

There are a lot of us who like what debt gives them, and they just don’t mind being in debt.  Sure, debt can give you a beautiful boat and a fancy car, but it will ultimately delay your ability to get to financial independence.

Debt is crushing a lot of people, taking names, and spitting them out.  If you aren’t careful, debt will drag you swiftly to your financial grave.  

What to do instead…

The problem is a lackadaisical attitude about money and debt.  Be careful with the debt that you take on.  Debt should be avoided at all costs, unless it will help advance your financial future.  

The rich know how to leverage debt to grow their investments and cash flow, but the poor use debt to just buy things.

Don’t live your life like it is just a matter of toys, and things.  Plan for the future by getting rid of debt now.

Sign #6 – You Don’t Invest in Yourself

Grave Stone - Don't Invest in Yourself

Don’t invest in yourself

If you aren’t investing time, energy, and resources into yourself, then you’re not heading down the right path.  

Warren Buffett is known to spend roughly 80% of his day reading, and his children call him a book with legs!  

He has learned that reading is an important investment in himself.  He understands more about investing than probably just about anyone…because he took the time to invest in himself and his knowledge.  

What to do instead…

The safest investment you’ll ever make is in your own future.  Become a well-rounded person capable of doing everything and anything.  Consume knowledge like air and put learning about anything and everything above all else.

Make sure you schedule some “me time” every day, week, month, and year.  It’ll help you feel rewarded and prevent burnout.

Sign #7 – You Don’t Plan for Emergencies

Grave Stone - Don't Plan for Emergencies

Don’t plan for emergencies

Everyone has emergencies… something that will come out of nowhere.  Big and small, emergencies can ruin the best of plans and the largest of savings accounts.  

Emergencies tend to be a problem when you live your life without preparing for the future.

Not planning for these events are like diving into a pool thinking you won’t get wet!  Life is the same way.  Every single one of us will have an emergency or two, so not planning for those events are setting yourself up for failure.

What to do instead…

The best way to retire early is to plan ahead for these possibly, earth-shattering emergencies.  Doing so will enable you to pay for those emergencies without having to dip into retirement or investment accounts, or even worse… needing to take out another loan.

Live the life you love by planning for emergencies; you’ll be grateful later.

Sign #8 – You Don’t Plan for Retirement at All

Grave Stone - Don't Plan for Retirement

Don’t plan for retirement

How much money do I need to retire?  And when can I retire?  The answer to those questions are dependent on how much you prepare now.  If you can get rid of debt, and cut your living expenses, you won’t need as much to retire and you could retire earlier.

This is possibly the biggest sure sign that will force you to have to work till the grave.   If you don’t plan for retirement, you will never be able to retire.  It’s that simple.

What to do instead…

The best way to secure your future is to accumulate retirement savings, in a retirement portfolio.  Saving for retirement, or early retirement isn’t easy… in fact, it can be hard.  Sacrificing now for tomorrow comes at a price.

If you want to start preparing now, start by asking yourself:

The answers to those questions will be different for everyone, but knowing those questions are the basics of planning for an early retirement.  Here are some retirement planning tools to help you get started.

Final Thoughts on Early Retirement

So will you be working till your grave?  Do your current actions fall within any of these sure signs?  If so, gain power over your life by making some adjustments to the way you approach retirement and money.  

Planning for retirement is a part of money management; it’s just good life management too, especially if you want to spend a large chunk of your life being retired.  Early retirement is within everyone’s grasp.  Replace these eight sure signs with positive actions that will move you towards a path of financial success.

Managing money is a key life skill that puts YOU in control…and once you have that control, then you truly have POWER OVER LIFE!

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Quick Tip - 8 Sure Signs

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Retire Early? 8 Sure Signs You'll be Working Till the Grave
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Retire Early? 8 Sure Signs You'll be Working Till the Grave
Early retirement is the dream; yet, many are committing some "financial sins" that will cause them to work till the grave. Learn HOW TO RETIRE EARLY.
Jacob Merkley
Power Over Life
Power Over Life
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