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Is it possible to get rich just by working for someone else your whole life?

So if you don't win the lottery and you don't build your own empire, are you doomed to live paycheck to paycheck and save whatever extra you can for retirement? If I am 31 now and have two small kids and we make about 90K a year, can I retire at 55 and travel and see the world and not work anymore (unless it's a pleasure to work)? I refuse to believe that this is it, I look around and see people working in their 70s, life sucks if that is life.


Asked by Anonymous at 2:56 PM on Aug. 8, 2010 in Money & Work

This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • If you spend more than you earn, you'll never be rich, even if you earn 17 million a year. If you save money every year, you'll be 'richer' than most people.

    If anyone thinks it's 'normal' for humans to live to 80, or to spend decades of their lives idle and living off the profits of the first 3 decades of their adulthood, they're hallucinating. Retiring at 65 made sense when hardly anyone lived past 70. Now that lots of people are living past 90, it's about 20 years too early.

    I recommend living the life you want, now. First, because there is absolutely no guarantee you'll be breathing in 8 months, but secondly because you're not going to get a Mulligans for your first 40 years, even if you're fabulously wealthy or fabulously healthy at 70. Essentially, it's this: if you agree to torture and torment for 40+ years, will living 'rich' for the last 6-30 be adequate compensation for that?

    If you want to travel, do so now.

    Answer by LindaClement at 3:10 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • If you would only spend 45K a year and save the rest, you can have 1 Million dollars by the age of 55. I think you can travel plenty with one million. If you find a good place to invest the 1 Million you can have as much as 4.5 millions using the investments that double your money every 7 years. Imagine that, 55 years old and 4.5 millions in your bank account.

    Answer by icanbeabitch at 3:03 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • yes u can.... My bil works for a company and he makes a lot. No business of his own or anything he is just smart and saveshe has a 6 digit income and a huge savings accnt im sure hell retire in the next 20 yrs...

    Answer by MomNbabyGirl009 at 3:04 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Ya I totally agree with PP, if you spend way less than you make, and save and invest that, you sure can be rich, even working for someone else. My sisters friend and her dh did this. They lived off like 27k a year, payed off all of their debt, saved and invested and are now millionaires and paid cash for a mansion of a house. They made a lot of sacrifices and who knows anything about investing, I sure don't! But it can be learned. GOod luck. I'm with you, I want more.

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 3:06 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Live below your means and save as much as you can. The Millionaire Next Door is a great book. I listen to a radio money show, online, on Sunday mornings 9-12 EST. go to Susan Kaplan is the host that I like the best. She is raned the #4 best financial advisor in the US and gives excellent advice. You can do it!!

    Answer by elizabr at 4:20 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Don't worry be happy

    Answer by coffeeyum at 2:59 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • possible yes, probable no

    Answer by justnancyb at 3:25 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • I can fully retire at the age 48 that's 25 years for me. My plan then is to be a nurse for a while.

    Answer by mamaofficer at 5:40 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Yes, if you defer the max from the beginning, always maintain 2 good incomes and live within a budget.

    Answer by Sisteract at 5:49 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • My father worked for the same company for over 20 years, and retired very well off at age 55. Honestly the TYPE of job you have makes a difference too. Is your job dead end, or does pay and benefits increase every year? How do you budget your money? Do you live within your means?

    Honestly OP some work to age 70 for they WANT TO. Don't assume all who do are forced to for income. Some just ENJOY working. I teach and our substitutes are retired teachers. They love being in the classroom, so they keep at it even after retirement.


    Answer by KairisMama at 6:29 PM on Aug. 8, 2010