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having a career with both the pay and free time allowance to do what one wants.
For a quickie ... a brief trip to Canada, boink, and come back.
That's about it fellas, I've actually found a formula for being happier-at-home
Ok, I'd add in ... not having a mortgage (I'm excluding non-bubble cheaper states, like TX or NC) but renting and then, buying a home for retirement, but abroad
Now, to get to the above, since various other threads about education were troll-jacked ... if you're worried about having a college diploma for HR types, see London Univ distance, BS degrees < $8K USD.
http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/pr ... /index.php
I didn't do the above (since I did my BS a long time ago, locally, when it was affordable plus I'd won a few scholarships) but the above will work for today's budget. Also, for those interested in the energy sector, they do have an MS distance program in Petrochemicals ...
http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/pr ... ndex.shtml
Though a bit more expensive, is doable with courses spread out over time. You may have to do the prerequisites at a community college. If you're serious about the profession, however, I'd recommend moving to TX, attending either U Houston, Texas A&M, or U Texas, and interning locally there for the energy sector. Right now and for roughly another ten years, this will be an important sector for the US and world economies.
Then, there's health care but that's a thread onto itself. Let's leave it at that.