The Childfree and Early Retirement
At this time of year, lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. One resolution can have to do with when one wants to retire, maybe even retire “early,” and making a plan for that to happen. One thing that can give people a head start toward retirement and certainly early retirement: no kids.
Take childfree Deegee, for example, who resembles many childfree early retirees. A couple of years ago he retired at the age of 45. He recalls, “My first step toward unknowingly began when I was 20 years old. That year, I made the important decision that I did not want to ever have children.” Later in life, Deegee began to recognize the financial benefits of this decision, made and carried out a plan to retire early.
For others that are childfree, the cost of having kids influences their decision not to have them. Take childfree and early retiree Sydney Lagier on Yahoo Finance. Using figures from babycenter.com, the cost of raising and educating the “requisite 2.3 kids where I live would have set me back nearly a million dollars.”
“These figures only take into consideration the direct costs, such as feeding, clothing, and educating the kids. They don't include the hit to household income when one parent decides to give up a career or downshift for a few years in order to be home with the kids. Nor do the figures include what Ann Kingston describes as the motherhood premium in a Maclean's magazine article. The motherhood premium is the plateau and subsequent drop in salary experienced by university-educated women after having a child.”
While Lagier says her early retirement dreams didn’t figure into her decision not to have kids, it does for other childfree. Either way, she makes the point that all childfree early retirees can relate to: “..I can’t deny the impact that my decision had on my own ability to retire at age 44. Of course, if you decide to give up the joys of parenthood, you'll have to be comfortable being out of the mainstream. But then again, that will be good practice for being out of the mainstream when you retire long before you are eligible for your first Social Security check.”Continued on the next page