One of the segments on Becky's Homestead is on financial independence. She said that they never gained full independence until after they sold their home and moved to the homestead. Once they lost the house payment, they began to have money left over, which enabled them to invest. It's those investments that will permit them to live comfortably in their old age.
If you have debt, Dave Ramsey's method of becoming financially successful will get you on track.