For the vast majority of us, the idea of being able to retire before the age of 60, with enough money to buy a small country estate and a hovercraft to drive on it, is nothing more than wishful thinking.
The reality is that most of us will be slaving away well past our sell-by dates, retiring on a pittance to 'enjoy' a few years of not being able to afford the winter gas bills, until we're eventually stuffed into a state-run nursing home to shit and dribble our way through our final miserable years.
A pretty grim prospect, isn't it?
However, one prematurely retired businessman-cum-blogger reckons he can impart some wisdom that may potentially save you from going down that particular path.
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Esi, of esimoney.com - a blog that basically tells you how to get rich - recently spoke to Business Insider and imparted some wisdom; some wisdom which he claims allowed him to retire at 52 years of age with a net worth of £2.3 million ($3m).
We're all ears.
'University degrees are worthless' has become a bit of a cliché, but it's not one that Esi subscibes to - if you want to spend your twilight years on a yacht in the Bahamas, being fed vintage champagne by Brazilian models, as opposed to alone in a flat in Preston, eating cold baked beans straight out of the tin, he suggests you'd better get yourself some learnin'.
"College degrees can add significant wealth," explains Esi. "There's no debate that (on average) the more education you have, the more you'll earn and the less likely you are to be unemployed."
In addition to a good foundation of higher education, Esi says the next important step is to focus on growing your career - regardless of what it is.
"Even if you don't pick a vocation in the highest-earning field, your career is a multi-million dollar asset," he says.
"If you don't believe me, take a starting salary of $40,000 (£30,800), add in three percent annual raises over 45 years, and look at the result. You'll have earned $3.7 million (£2.8m)."
Esi says another important element of building wealth is, somewhat unsurprisingly, not being a total dickhead with your money
"No matter how much you make, you can spend it all," he continues.
"We don't have to look far to find examples. It's almost a cliche that high-income actors and sports stars go bankrupt. People who have made millions somehow spend it all and then some. As a result, they are often left with nothing (or less)."
Credit: The Dark Knight/Warner Bros.
Eliminating your debt is another vital move for ensuring a good foundation to grow wealth. Esi explains how eliminating his family's debt enabled them to move forward financially: "We eliminated all debt over 20 years ago when we paid off our mortgage. We had already retired our car loans and a personal loan. Then we focused everything on paying off the mortgage.
"Not having debt for two decades allowed us to dramatically increase the amount we saved, which in turn super-charged our net worth."
Among the rest of his tips for financial success, Esi lists investing, marrying well and sticking to goals.
You can check out the full list here.
Words: Paddy Maddison
Featured Image Credit: Disney