TODAY   |  January 24, 2013

How to be a cheapskate (and retire early)

Penny-pinching has its benefits according to the ultimate cheapskate, Jeff Yeager. He explains how it can help you find an earlier and happier retirement, as outlined in his new book, “How to Retire the Cheapskate Way.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> pennies just to get by. according to the self-proclaimed ultimate cheapskate , there's another benefit. being cheap might lead you to a better earlier happier retirement, his book is how to retire the cheapskate way. good morning. good to see you.

>> good morning, happy 2013 . the year of the cheapskate .

>> is it? for you, every year is the year of the cheapskate , right?

>> right.

>> let's talk about you say right off the bat this is not a get rich quick book, how to be happy with what you have.

>> i don't write books how to get rich and how to get happy perhaps with what you already have and when you look at people's retirement dreams and expectations.

>> talking about retirement, one of your cheapskate principles, as you say, help us live within our 3450emeans but below our means.

>> it's inextricably important. only about 30% of americans do that including my cheapskates and allows you to live below your means on a 45% basis and allows you to avoid risky last minute investing schemes to maximize your returns.

>> the basic idea is do things the cheapskate way and put that money towards your own retirement.

>> become your own cfo, chief frugal officer. you interviewed some of your cheapskates and pretty proud of some of the things they've done. this is stacy , a single mom . here's what she had to say.

>> hi. i'm stacy barnett from illinois and i am a cheapskate . one of the things i was spending the most money on was beauty products . so i started doing some research online and found not only great cheap products but also products that you can make at home. it saved me so much money.

>> stacy has a great story. she worked her way out of i think $165,000 worth of debt. what is she doing right? she did. the important thing about stacy 's story is she's finding little incremental ways to save on things that add up over time . do you know if you live close enough to where you work, could washing everyd walk everyday, over the course of your career you'd save half a million dollars during the course of your career and have a great looking pair of legs.

>> and before you retire yourself, let's listen to what this family had to say.

>> hey, we're jonathan and sherry from jackson, mississippi.

>> our retirement plans include being 100% debt free including our house by the age of 40, only four years away and understand how easy it would be to enjoy retirement to the fullest without a big house payment over our head es. we also have ap joint checking account to pay our utilities but use cash for everything including groceries.

>> they are superstars. can you really expect to pay off your house before you retire?

>> amen. according to the cheapskates unless you're debt-free, you're really not qualified to retire and how to keep debt out of our lives on an ongoing basis the average adult will spend $600,000 of interest in their lifetime. the cheap skates are spending a fraction of that and live by the rule, if you can't afford it now you simply can't afford it.

>> let's hear about this family's experience.

>> hi. i'm dan, am in 69. i'm liz , age 65.

>> we built and accessory dwelling unit underneath our house, about 900 square feet and a 400 square foot guest cottage. with a regular house on top. i'm building a food garden all around our lot and going to can and freeze and dry food, so i am hoping that we can grow most of it right where we live.

>> so they're pretty special, they're growing their own food.

>> first, i have to say, i have a great case of mustache envy with that guy. they're using their time in liz liz 's case to raise food that supplements their budget because it is a passion for them as much to occupy their time as to populate their bank account . the other great lesson is they're leveraging their home to create a rental unit that will provide additional income in retireme retirement.

>> great ideas. thank you so much.

>> stay cheap.

>> the book is called how to retire the cheapskate way.