DiscoverThe Retirement Wisdom PodcastWays to Retire on Less – Harriet Edleson
Ways to Retire on Less – Harriet Edleson

Ways to Retire on Less – Harriet Edleson

Update: 2021-08-02


Planning for retirement is a delicate balancing act. Focusing on the practical realities is essential. But it’s important to imagine your future with a sense of adventure, too. Harriet Edleson, the author of 12 Ways to Retire on Less: Planning an Affordable Future joins us to discuss how to plan your retirement with both in mind.

We discuss:

  • The hopes and dreams people have for their retirement

  • How a sense of adventure can boost your retirement planning

  • The realities of retirement today – and the implications that can be underestimated

  • How to find the perfect location for your retirement

  • Considerations for Staying-in-Place

  • The case for – and against – working longer

  • A case study from her book 12 Ways to Retire on Less

  • Common mistakes people make in planning for retirement – and how you can avoid them


Ready to design your new life in retirement?

Our group program kicks off on September 24th.

It’s limited to 10 participants.

Learn more here.



Harriet Edleson is the author of 12 Ways to Retire on Less: Planning an Affordable Future.

She writes for the Washington Post Real Estate section and

A former staff writer for AARP and contributing writer to Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, she

has written the Retiring feature for the New York Times.


Wise Quotes

On the Dreaming Aspect of Retirement Planning

“…I think that the dreaming aspect is something that gets the wheels spinning and thinking about something other than the kind of life that you’ve had for maybe 30, 40, or whatever number of years where you were in some kind of a routine, some kind of a structure where you had to be somewhere, you had to do something. Maybe you had to answer to a supervisor, people call it their boss, whatever. And now you can really – if you plan correctly – do what you want. And so you have to stop before you retire and think about what it is that you would enjoy, what maybe you haven’t had time to do, or [how] to rekindle an older interest.”


What If Money Were No Object?

“Will I have enough? Will I run out? Which a lot of people have the fear of. And then once you’ve got that straightened out, then you think what are the things that I really would love to do? I’d love to get a second home. For example, I’d love to ski. Again, there are people who want to do these things. There are people who might want to travel around the world. So then you figure out: how much is this going to cost me? So the dreaming has to be in the context, of course, of what you can afford. But at some point, you can just say: If money were no object, what would I want to do? And you can sit down with your spouse of 30 years or partner, whoever it is that you share your life with, or if you’re solo,  and actually write down some of those things: if money were no object, what would I want to do? I want to take a balloon ride, whatever it is that you think you might want to do- or d0 you want to be able to fly back and forth between three homes, whatever it is, actually allow yourself to fantasize a bit and get away from the same little box that you have been in for maybe…20, 30 or more years.”


On Deciding Where to Retire

“…List your priorities and then figure out places that would match those. And the second thing is to consider places that you vacation to and love, but realizing that the vacation time will be very different than living there in all four seasons if you think you may be doing that. So you might want to test out the place in the different seasons and check out the weather. And when you talk about the weather, think about the weather with today’s climate change, not the weather that was 10 years ago because of weather may be very different now. And you may be [surprised] when people tell me it’s 110 here. …Well, when you moved there, what was it? Oh, it is 85 on the hottest days. So be really careful with the weather. And then transportation is a really big part, because transportation turns out to be after housing, the second most expensive item when you retire. And then the third most would be healthcare. But then after about 75, healthcare becomes the second most costly element in retirement. So when you’re looking at these different states and these different locations, you may be driving now, but there may come a time where you’re no longer able to drive. And so, if that wonderful, isolated home on a mountaintop or wherever is going to be a place where you can get around, and then that’s a whole other topic – about how to get around and how to figure out the transportation element.”


For More on Harriet Edleson


Harriet Edleson’s book: 12 Ways to Retire on Less: Planning an Affordable Future

The Washington Post article mentioned in this episode: A ‘new adventure’: Pandemic drives demand for vacation homes


Podcast Episodes You May Be Interested In


About Retirement Wisdom

Your retirement won’t be like anyone else’s. So plan for it with that in mind.

But what’s next isn’t always clear. What do you want your new life to look like?

Even if you have some ideas about your future, it can be hard to figure out exactly how to get there.

You need a structured principle-based process – and a guide you can trust.

Our Certified Designing Your Life coach can help you envision and transition to your new life, using a proven three-phased approach.

Imagine new possibilities, evaluate alternative pathways, and create an actionable roadmap to your new lifestyle.

Take the first step today. Schedule a free call with Joe Casey to learn more about our coaching programs.



Access free tools, resources, and browse our retirement podcast conversations.









Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Ways to Retire on Less – Harriet Edleson

Ways to Retire on Less – Harriet Edleson

Retirement Wisdom