Secrets of extreme savers

You can put away a lot more than the average American without living a deprived life.

1 of 8
BACKNEXT
Avoid debt
Avoid debt
Super Savers: Ed Haskell, 50 and Debbie Chasteen, 52, daughter Laura, 15
Savings Rate: 50% of after-tax income
Home: Liberty, Mo.
Occupations: Ed is a retired Air Force officer; Debbie is a college professor

Since they married two decades ago, Ed Haskell and Debbie Chasteen have saved more than half their income every year. But Ed's aggressive savings habits go back even further. From his early 20s, Ed was determined to live frugally so that he didn't have to work into his 60s. When the couple was dating, Debbie realized how serious Ed was about saving when she needed a new car but didn't have the cash. Rather than have her borrow, Ed offered to put up the money so she could continue maxing out her 403(b) retirement plan. That avoidance of debt has been a key to their success.

Before they make any purchase, even big-ticket items like cars, they save up the cash. In 1996 they paid cash for their first home, a $105,000 townhouse in Macon, Ga. Five years later they bought their current three-bedroom home in the Kansas City suburbs for $200,000 -- in cash. "Sure, we could afford a bigger house and more expensive cars, but we're content with the things we have," says Ed, who retired 10 years ago and now teaches and consults. By the time Debbie retires in six years, Ed estimates they'll have a $2.5 million retirement nest egg.
NEXT: Delay gratification
Last updated July 19 2010: 9:04 AM ET
More Galleries
Our biggest money highs and lows How much money do you need to feel rich? What are your biggest money mistakes? Money magazine surveyed 1,000 Americans for the answers to these and other questions. See how your answers stack up. More
How we feel about our finances Participants in an exclusive Money magazine survey reveal how they feel about their finances. Although the Great Recession may be over, they're not all that confident about their prospects for the long run. More
8 ways to cut your tax bill To keep your tax bill as low as possible this filing season, you need to stay on top of all the ways the rules have changed. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.