The most obvious way to ensure that only death's sweet embrace will release you from the bonds of employment is simply by saving nothing and spending a lot.
Spending more than you should on things you feel you need, but could easily live without, is an effective way to mess up your retirement plan, says Ralph Lunt, a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Consultant at Strategic Capital Advisors in Cleveland.
Vacations, new cars, expensive home remodeling can all feel like necessities. "You have to ask, can I afford it?" says Lunt. "Then you have to crunch the numbers -- and maybe if you cut back in other areas you can afford it -- maybe skipping a vacation or not eating out so much."
If you don't want to retire, skip the self-assessment and get out that credit card!