This week I was in a meeting and to no surprise I witnessed at least one participant drinking bottled water. I kept quiet as it made no sense to offend anyone, but it did not stop me thinking – suppose one drank from the tap and saved the difference? What would that saving amount to over a lifetime? A quick calculation can be found at this bottle calculator site. It is not difficult to drink $1,000 a year of bottled water. While that will not add up to a huge retirement fund, it can make a big difference if the growth is five to seven percent per year. Add beer, wine and soft drinks into the budget and it begins to add up to real money. This is not meant to be a "kill joy" blog entry, but rather a reminder of what is required to build a retirement account.
Back to bottled water. One of my best links, Bottled Water: Another Look, was removed from the Internet. I suspect the originator of this photographic essay on plastic pollution was too strong and pressure to remove the site came from the bottled water industry. We still have a few sites that carry the message of bottled water and pollution. If you are interested in some technical information, check out this site.
As William Bernstein, Charles Ellis and others point out, one needs to begin saving early in life if there is any expectation of ending up with an acceptable retirement portfolio. Eliminating bottled water and soft drinks, while small on a daily basis, adds up to significant expenditures over a lifetime. Don't drink away your retirement portfolio using unnecessary beverages.