Secrets of extreme savers

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

1 of 8
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
8 great summer vacation deals Want the perfect summer getaway? MONEY searched for destinations with balmy weather, unique attractions, fun stuff to do, and great deals from four different categories: beach, mountain, culture and city. More
Best ways to catch up on your retirement savings Even the most financially responsible people make a few mistakes or run into obstacles along the way. These tips -- from cutting taxes to selling securities -- can preserve a safe retirement. More
Nearing retirement? Fortify your finances Your financial goals are within reach. Here are tips and tools to make sure you achieve them. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.