The key to financial independance is a substantial amount of passive income. Assuming a 50 grand a year salary replacement, you’re looking at about 4.2 grand a month. There are a couple of ways one can go about that (by "one", I of course mean myself):
1. Investing in stocks that have a decent growth rate and a history of dividend payement (and increases). Moody’s publishes a report on the best dividend payers of the yesteryears. Just remember that the dividend of a company is not related to the
stock (except for the dividend yield). That is, the stock could be in
the ditches, but the company is chugging along, growing at a good clip. In this case, the company will pay dividends from its profits, regardless of the atmosphere of the stock market. While there is a certain recession risk, this is fairly nutrelized by investing in large companies with staple products. You’ll keep buying soap regardless of the economic atmosphere.
2. Bonds. I’m not a big fan of these but if you’re interested in not a lot of risk, there is this option.
3. Real estate. Primarily from rent, you can find yourself with a certain amount of cash each month. I’m currently reading "Real Estate Investing In Canada" by somin Campbell. It’s easy to read and makes sense.
4. Creating a cultural product which pays you sales commision or royalties over time. Books, articles, movies and podcasts fall into this category. The Internet is a technology waiting to be fully leveraged for any of those categories. For example, Steve Pavlina (of his self-titled personal development website) reported that he was expecting a six-figure income from his website for that year.
5. Other. I’m planning a website development business that is about website development. The key is that I take a bit of a hit upfront with the design fee (the loss leader, or the razor handle, if you will) but make up for it through a monthly charge (the blade, if you will). Here’s to hoping that all goes well.
Obviously all these need a mix of determination, knowledge and skill, but I believe that being financially independant can be achieved by anyone. Good luck!