OP, there are many ways to make money. If you don't have some sort of credentials on paper, finding a well-paying job will be difficult, but there's nothing stopping you from earning income in other ways. I learned a lot from The Richest Man in Babylon and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I am of the opinion that retirement is unhealthy for me and my dp; we do not have any desire to retire. What we do have, is a desire to do work that benefits us, and that we retain the flexibility necessary to evolve our work to match our abilities and goals. Having savings is important, too, but being productive is moreso. I disagree that we should work at jobs during our most viable years and retire when we're spent. It's fine with me that others want to do this, but it's not for me.
My grandfather is in his eighties and has for the past 20 years since stopping his trade-based work due to physical inability to continue (and with no retirement savings), been making a very long list of odd and useful/beautiful objects for sale, chosen based mostly on serendipitous findings. For an example, albeit a bit of an unusual one, he found a shop that makes custom blinds and discards ends of fabric rolls and cut-offs of tracking. He asked them if he could have these rolls, and because it reduced their dumpster load and meant less cost to them, they said yes. He filled the back of his van and made blinds for his neighbours and surrounding community for a year with those rolls. He did the same with carpet and pallets, making really tidy cat trees and scratch posts. He sells lots of his creations at the fairs. He has also done more artistic things like photography and wood-burning. He supported himself and wife this way until last year when she died (having had only a few paycheques from her twenties), so now it's just him. Anyway, he's not breaking his back doing this stuff. He goes at a steady, leisurely pace and truly enjoys his work. He spends a few hours each day sitting in his garden with his cats. He had a heart attack 2o years ago, and decided to change his life. He did. He's not retired and relies on nobody for his well-being. There are many ways to live- and live well. I should mention that he owns his house outright, has no debt, and he's strong as an ox.
You do not have to have a job or be employed by others as a hireling in order to earn an income. Thinking that you do is a limiting belief that is demonstrably untrue. That people do have jobs and earn incomes from them is beside the point.
I understand the torture of schooling's pace and also cannot fathom spending my time that way; it is far too valuable to me. I am an autodidact, took the first half of two degrees in order to gain the skills I wanted from them, but then moved onto other things. I have no papers, but I have a portfolio of work. I am also awaiting confirmation from a local paper for contributing a weekly column. I am waiting on the assignment specs for a book I'll be illustrating. I refuse to make a job that I own, so I am intentionally keeping my sources of income varied, enjoyable, and leisurely.
Also, it is possible to live rurally, but only semi-off-grid. We haul water, but have telephone, electricity and high-speed internet just because the property happens to be en route to a town further north. Otherwise, our life is that of homesteaders.
Look up "unjobbing" and "homestead income" for ideas on how to earn income without a job. It doesn't matter if you are not yet homesteading; there are lots of ways you can earn income in similar ways. If you are an autodidact, you are likely quite creative, so once you are free of the college=job or job=money mentality, you will likely have trouble narrowing your options. The "job" is a very new concept in humanity, from an evolutionary perspective. Productivity and the trader principle are our nature, and why we have been so successful over so much time. IMO, the job is a detractor to progress.
ENJOY your journey!!!