Do with less
Candy Lindsey spent most of her life as a school teacher in a small Missouri school district -- not a high-paying position by anyone's standard. Still, Lindsey was able to do the work she loved by simply living frugally throughout her life. She was able to retire two years ago, at age 60, and lives in a condo with her mortgage and car completely paid off. She continues to work part time to help pay the bills.
She is able to access excellent medical coverage through her previous employer, which she feels is a key element of her successful retirement. Beyond that, she says, "I guess I just live frugally. My daughter, who is 40, has always taken care of herself -- she doesn't need financial assistance from her mother. I belong to a club where I swim many times a week. I usher at university sporting events and cultural events, so I get lots of entertainment for free. I mostly cook at home. I walk the beautiful trails in our town three times a week with a friend. My life is wonderful."
Living within your means is key. "Spend money on maintaining relationships," she says. "Buy less stuff. All that happens is that you need to clean it, move it, manage it, insure it."