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Let's say you have been working in your career for 20 or more years and are well compensated, but now you are having second thoughts about continuing down this path. Here are some signs that early retirement might be right for you:

1. People with less seniority have duties similar to yours. It's natural to take on more and more responsibilities as you gain seniority and get promoted. As you get paid more, your boss expects more productivity. If you take a look around your team meeting and see that you are the most senior member and getting paid the most, it might be time to either take on even more responsibilities or perhaps move on.

2. Each Monday it is getting more difficult to come to work. You don't enjoy your job anymore and don't really like your co-workers. You are stressed all the time, which is affecting your mental and physical health. If this describes your situation, it's time to search for an alternative.

3. You've hit a plateau. Your career has hit the proverbial brick wall. Perhaps the next promotion requires something that you don't have, such as an extreme time commitment or stellar leadership skills. In today's corporate environment, all employees must keep evolving and grow. If you've hit a plateau, other people will catch up and pass you by.

4. You want a career change. You are bored with your job and want to focus on other interests. We all know the grass is always greener on the other side, but sometimes we have to find out if that's true or not. If you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to start your own business or if you want to simply try out another career, it may be time to go it alone.

5. You have enough side income to cover your monthly expenses. If you can pay the bills without the salary from your full-time job, early retirement becomes a real possibility. Diligent investing in dividend stocks, rental real estate, bonds and other income-producing assets can give you this option. Even if your investment income does not fully cover the bills, you can freelance or work part time to make up the rest of it.

If you are miserable all the time at your job and feel as if you are unable to advance in your career or achieve a work-life balance, perhaps it is time for a change. If your job fails to excite you and you have a significant amount of savings and investments, you should start to think seriously about your exit strategy.

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