Feb 2

25% of people may be receiving bad financial advice (FinCon Talk) - Childfree Wealth Podcast Ep. 63

​​In this captivating talk from FinCon 2023, join Dr. Jay Zigmont, CFP® as he delves into the often-overlooked financial landscape of the childfree community. Dr. Jay, known for his unique perspective as a childfree individual himself, takes the audience on a thought-provoking journey through his experiences and insights.

Dr. Jay starts by addressing the societal nuances surrounding being in a childfree, sharing anecdotes about celebrating childfree life with a billboard in Times Square. He humorously navigates the differences between between childfree and proudly displaying it on a billboard, shedding light on the challenges and judgements faced by the childfree community.

As a financial planner, he highlights the absence of childfree considerations in traditional financial advice. Drawing from his personal journey, he discusses the lack of representation for childfree individuals in financial planning, emphasizing the need for tailored advice that goes beyond the assumption of pre or post-kid life and how the financial world can better serve childfree and permanently childless people.

For a complete list of resources mentioned in this talk, visit the page on our website & view the presentation here: https://childfreewealth.com/fincon23 

The Childfree Wealth Podcast, hosted by Bri Conn and Dr. Jay Zigmont, CFP®, is a financial and lifestyle podcast that explores the unique perspectives and concerns of childfree individuals and couples.

Like the show? Leave us a rating & review. If you want to join the conversation, email us at [email protected] or follow Childfree Wealth on social media!

Stay up to date with Childfree Wealth by signing up for our newsletter here! If you’re looking for financial help, we offer three services. Join our free 8 No-Baby Steps course to work through your finances on your own. Looking to manage your finances on your own? Enroll in Childfree Wealth Academy for $50 per month. For one-on-one planning, schedule a meeting with a Childfree Wealth Specialist®.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational & entertainment purposes. Please consult your advisor before implementing any ideas heard on this podcast.


How many parents are in the room? Wow. I scared them all off. Now, I'm not going to ask if you're all childfree, because for some people, that's like coming out. We're not public. We actually, I’ll show you in a little bit. We did a billboard in Times Square celebrating being childfree. We asked people to share their life and we only had like three people willing to do it because they're like, there's a difference between being childfree and being out on a billboard in Times Square childfree.

Just a little definitions. Childfree in this case is going to be people who don't have kids and aren't planning on having kids by choice. Childless, being not by choice and we’re really talking about people who are permanently childless. None of those terms are set in stone. It's just the ones I use. If anyones attended the Childfree Convention or the Childless Summit, every time there's a session on defining these terms. I'm not going to try to do that. This is a conversation. We got a small enough group. You can ask questions about. And I'm not past bribing people. So if you ask a good question, I'll give you the copy of the book. If you ask a bad question, I don't know what I'm gonna do.

We’ll let the audience judge a little about me. People ask me, kind of, why did you pick to serve childfree folks? And the answer is because I am one. My wife and I are childfree. And when I was studying to become a CFP®, I found out there was never once a mention of being childfree. All of the financial advice, walk through the halls, well actually they’re closed now.

But walk the halls. It all assumes either pre or post kids. Kids will always be in the picture. In the life planning. Even the seven step method for financial planning for CFP® includes kids. So my question was like, how weird are we now? I have to give a caveat. My wife and I are both Ph.Ds, so we are weird. Okay, we sit around and we talk about research studies.

I'm Dr. Jay. She's Dr. Z. Because otherwise I'd be Dr. Jay Z, you know. So, like, we are weird. But the question was, how? Where are we, like in finance, in life? I didn't know the term childfree existed at the time. I just knew we didn't have kids. Come to find out, I found a Reddit group for childfree and if anyone’s found that…

That's an interesting cesspool. I say that. For my book, I posted it an ad, “share your childfree life with me, I'm collecting stories.” It got flagged as hate speech. Hate directed at me. Hate directed at other groups. I'm like ohhh.

I started researching this and my wife and I kind of… we’re in the weird place. Like, I guess by choice. My wife has a 50/50 chance of dying if she gets pregnant. That kind of took care of it and people ask me, well, what did you want to do before? And I'm like, I don't know, that was 15 years ago. Like, I'm not sure I remember anything, but I started researching this and to that end I started a financial planning firm specifically for it.

I've actually worked through it. I’ve got a podcast all that. But one of the interesting things is I run a childfree financial planning firm in Mississippi, and in case you missed it, over the past year or two, reproductive rights have become a big issue, specifically in Mississippi. And we actually had to move our firm out of Mississippi to protect the privacy of our clients.

Our governor said, hey, we're not tapping your phones or reading your mail, but… we're not currently trying to outlaw contraception… currently. So we had to make some different shifts. So things you don't think about, but regulated industry, state come and read all my files. So we had to do something a little different. So here's some stats depending on how you want to look at this.

There was a study out of Michigan looking at adults 18 or over and by the way, there are links on all this. And there's in the app you can download the PowerPoint. So you can actually get to the links because you won't be able to type those in. I don't have the fancy QR codes, so I apologize. I guess I'm the old one in the room.

Bottom line is about 25% of the US are childfree or permanently childless. And when people see these numbers, they go, well, I don't know if I believe those. What do you all think? You believe it? 25%, one in four? You think higher or will be higher? Just yeah. My wife's an epidemiologist and she has access to medical records and that's what she does.

So I said, hey, just for fun now, I'm telling you, we're doing analysis of how much sterilizations have gone up since Roe was overturned. It went through the roof already. Okay. The U.S. Census looked at adults 55 and older and found it was about 16-18% are childless. Now they only care about biological children. So there's a definition thing, but it's a huge growing number.

What people don't realize is we're here, but people don't realize we're such a large group. My argument of this is, hey, if 25% of the U.S. is childfree or childless, 25% of our financial content should reflect that. Have you seen 25% of the content looking at that? I asked the question in one of my studies “Why do people choose to be childfree?”

And this is where you grade yourself and see which one you picked. Most people picked more than one starts off with kind of I just didn't want to have kids. But then it gets into finances and freedom and environment and then it gets really interesting because there's this little thing about like, don't like kids. So I was trying to buy software for my company and I love this.

I wanted to buy this software and said, Hey, who do you serve? I serve. I say, I serve childfree people. You said, okay, you hate kids. I'm like, no. Like I'm trying to buy your software. Okay, we're going to go with the judgments. But then it gets into interesting things like medical issues, environment, not wanting to pass down generational trauma.

The bottom line of this data is that more likely people who are childfree have put more thought into being childfree than people who have kids. You know, everybody always gets that question. Well, maybe you'll regret it. I'd much rather regret not having kids than regret having kids. The stats, by the way, in parental regret, about 17% of parents are willing to admit they regret having kids.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to be childfree or not. I'm just sharing the facts. But when you really start looking at all of it. You know, the U.S. Census looked at childless adults over 55. And here's some important things out here. They found that 32.1% of childless folks will never marry versus 2.5% of parents. In my data, if you ask why childfree people get married, ignore love and all that fun stuff. Health care.

They get married for health care and benefits. My clients, I got couples that have been together for 15 years are like, I don't need the health care benefits, I'm not getting married. Or I’ve got groups or solos or whatever it is. There’s this huge percentage. There was a study, Fidelity actually looked at it and looked at the soloists and they found the costs for being a soloist.

Single, no kids. Is somewhere between $400,000 and $1,000,000 across your lifetime because everything's built for more than one. They call this single tax. So you can't split housing. You can split electric. $400,000 and $1,000,000 across your lifetime is what you have to pay just to exist. My wife and I split everything. You don't think about like you split a gallon of milk.

Everything and it adds up. By the way, if you actually want one of the fun ones, in the financial software, try to tell it a couple that's not married. RightCapital, just fixed this so you can do this. It automatically assumes every couple is married. Be careful on that. The other thing that was interesting in here is that 2.5% of childless folks admitted or said they got any financial support from family over 55.

This is that question of who's going to take care of you when you're older. But in the same study, adults 55 and older, 1.5% of parents got any support. For the math nerds in here, that means parents get less support than the childless folks. The bottom line is, we're all screwed. We all have to figure out our long term care.

There's no answer behind that. Now, you all, since you all decided you are not parents or you voted that way, didn't want to admit it in this group, might have seen the childfree bingo at some point. These are all the questions we get asked that we ask people, please do not ask. I talk a lot to financial folks about childfree folks because they don't realize we exist and I'm going, hey, please stop asking these questions.

So I was working on a blog article with a large site, and we were having a debate with the editor on whether or not there's systematic biases against childfree folks. What do you all think? Okay, I'm with you. They did not agree. And we got into a discussion about asking questions in the system about do you have kids?

Are you planning on having kids? Where are you going with it. And then the way I do it, is ask, do you have kids? Yes. No. Do you ever plan on having kids? Yes. No. Maybe. Or I'm childfree, childless. And it says if you choose childfree or childless, I'll never mention it again. That's kind of what I want financial people to get to.

The editor was talking about, I think I need to know why they don't want to have kids. I was like, Why? How does that impact your finances? They said, well, I just can't understand it. You don't have to. I get people asking me all the time, well, why don't you have kids? And then I tell them, well, my wife could die. And they're like, I don't want to ask you that question now. Be careful what you ask.

When you start kind of working through these bingo questions. You realize how much bias is in there. I was just having a conversation on the floor here and they're like, well, I mean, I guess things are different with kids. Without, you childfree folks, you don't have family. I'm like, “Hold on. We have family. It's a different structure.” They're like, “Oh, I didn't realize I said that.” It's all the language is built in there, that pronatalist bias that we have to work our way through. Now, you’ve all lived it. You've probably seen these questions at some point or another. I've got a few family members they could fill out the whole bingo card on me.

It doesn't matter. I'm 45. They're still asking the questions. I run a childfree financial planning firm and they're still asking me what I'm going to have… Alright, whatever. You know, I bring this up just to talk about the bias. Now, I mentioned this before. Most people don't know that August 1st is International Childfree Day, we hosted a billboard that is in Times Square for those people that haven’t visited New York celebrating International Childfree Day.

We did it as a kind of press, fun thing and just to support the community, had a lot of great fun press in the beginning. Great social media engagement. You're all creators. You understand that? Then about 4:00. All of the interactions went away. I was kind of like, what happened? Somebody got indicted at 4:00. What's interesting about this?

This was somebody we focused on. She shared her life, Sibu, because she's a childfree person. And the response was, you are being used as a willing pawn onto a global site trying to… What? These are the judgments that we get. One of the challenges of marketing is how free people is the idiots on social media. Y'all with me? You understand the idiots on social media and I am not great at ignoring them because I want to engage and I really shouldn't and I don’t.

I should just not read them. The best thing I ever heard, I was doing a panel with other authors were talk about how to deal with social media trolls. They said, find a friend who watches your account and you watch theirs and you just block everybody else because you don't see the people. So your friend can like, actually, like if there's a security concern or, you know, something you should really know, your friend gets to see the bad stuff about you. You get to see the bad stuff about them. It’s just a little save your heart. Any childfree people if you’re goig to go publicly childfree, think about that.

Now you know who childfree people are, let's talk about finances. The first thing I got to dispel is this belief that because you're childfree, these checks come raining down from the sky and make you rich. For any of the childfree folks in here, has the check fairy come by? Okay. It is not true that having kids makes you poor or not having kids makes you rich. When I did interviews for my book on Childfree Wealth, I had somebody in there who was, her whole goal was she had moved from being on an air mattress to being on a bed, just barely keeping her head above water.

The way I look at it is if she had a kid, she would drown. The data says, this is going back to the census, that single childless women actually have the highest net worth by about two grand and it's not statistically significant. The next highest is father's. You're not rich. But what we do say is living the life of childfree wealth means you have time, money and freedom to do what you enjoy.

You all with me now. The problem is that could almost be too much flexibility for people when you can do anything. The analysis paralysis sets in. I got a few people nodding going “uh huh.” I'm doing this for my company right now. Like I do a lot of fun things for my company and I'm like, yeah, I'm an introvert. These conferences, not mine my happy space. So maybe I should find somebody else to do that. You know, you can make those choices. My wife and I, she got a great job opportunity. We moved 1,200 miles. We can. It becomes the flexibility.

Some of the other things that happen, childfree folks want to have a goal to with zero or not pass on generational wealth. The way I look at it is my nephew, if he… We’ve got three nephews, if they get $10,000 or $100,000, that's fine. If they get $1,000,000, I made a mistake because either they could have used it throughout their life or I could've used it. I made a mistake. Now here’s the thing, if you’re going to die with zero that breaks all the financial planning because all the financial planning is based on Monte Carlos and saying, hey, I want to keep running it up. It also, I can say this, your friends. It also has a built in conflict of interest for anyone charging you a percentage based AUM model because your planner wants your numbers to go up. You want it to go down. I don’t know.

Now, one of the other interesting things & we’re gonna do a little poll in this group, since you all said you're my friends, I’m going to give you two options for retirement. One is like, you shut the light switch off. I'm never working again. The other one's the dimmer switch. Kind of like I want to cut back. I want to do what I enjoy. I want to do something different.

How many people want to, like, completely cut out work? Never work again? Two, three. How about the dimmer switch? Vast majority. Childfree folks become non retirees.

If retirement's not your goal and you're not trying to pass on my next generation, financial planning gets a little different. And by the way, that becomes a challenge both systematic and in the structure. We've also got, we're going to come back to the garden and the rose. We have to plan for long term care. And there's so much more.

So let me do a quick plug if you haven't read this book read, Die With Zero. How many of you have read this book? Cool everybody else this really goes on your audiobook list or whatever I don't read much anymore so it's all audiobooks. And he talks about maximizing time, money, & health - when you're young, you got less money, but you have health. At the end of your life you have more time and money which you may not have health.

By the concept childfree folks are trying embrace this… now by the way, I don't follow the book exactly, but the concept works really. They're trying to do that bell curve for their net worth. Bring it down. I spend more time talking to my clients about spending money than saving money.

How many people here are financial planners, anybody? We have a couple. So that's the Monte Carlo that everybody does. The other two test and see if we're running out of money. Well, this person here I just grabbed on randomly 64% chance of success. I'm good with that for a childfree person because I'm trying to get a 50/50 chance they run out of money. If it's 90% success, that's a 90% failure. Now, for my financial planner friends, does it freak you out if it's going to say they run out of money? Okay, that's the problem.

We actually take this concept of non retirees and dying with zero and put it together with something we call FILE financial independence, live early. Now, I know we're in the FIRE world here.

Okay, I get it. But if you're not going to retire, FIRE doesn't fit. Also, the 4% safe withdrawal rate assumes you want to save the principal, which die with zero doesn't work. So FILE is really about that dimmer switch and reinvesting in you in the life you want to live versus investing in the stock market by way matters with clients brains.

I mean, this is one of those like the way I've always been told to save. I got to do this. I got to do this. That's the standard life plan that says you have to have the American dream, the two and a half kids, the dog, the white picket fence of the house. All that's a choice. When you throw out the kids part, the rest becomes a choice and you can invest yourself. Where you can actually find ways to invest in you earlier in life.

I’ve got somebody that's living the FILE lifestyle but originally was FIRE. Like he was deep in the FIRE literature, it was hardcore. I think he was going to be making soap soon, you know, like, you know, you know the ones I’m talking about the ones that are like saving. I won't say a living of beans and rice because that's a different plan, but same concept. And we have this discussion of what you really what really matters. He said, well, what I really want to do is hike the Appalachian Trail. Cool. Let's do it. It's like, what? I'm 30, whatever. He's 35, 37, mid-thirties. Can I really do that?

Like, yeah, it's a return on investment. It's in you. Those are the type of decisions that we're making. By the way, it'll slow down his retirement, but retirement's not the goal. It's a different way of thinking. They also embraced what my wife and I embrace, the gardener and the rose. Now, you may have heard of this as the gardener and the flower.

I say the gardener and rose because my wife is not just any flower. She's a rose. So I have to say that because it's getting recorded in, you know, when I tell stories about her, I have to give a good clip. In the garden, in the rose when we have dual income couples. Now by the way technicality, DINK, is dual income no kids. DINKY is no kids yet. If you're on the yet plan you're not in the childfree plan. Stay on the standard plan and that's when people get confused about because they're like well my kids are off to college, I'm childfree. No we're talking about never being part of your plan. Now some parents can embrace this, too, but this is the childfree spin on it. So the way we do this is in a dual income couple, one person's providing support while the other one's growing.

The example I use of the AT trail, his wife's actually working still. He's doing the AT trail for seven months. It works. My wife and I, she's the rose. She got a job offer. We moved 1200 miles away, back up the dog and went because we could do that. I'm in the support role. The thing with the garden and the roses, the way to do this well is to set a time limit and switch.

So when I become the rose, we're going to get in a boat and do the great loop for any boat fans around the US and then we’ll do the world. It doesn't have to be that the rose is growing financially. She's going to support my goal, but it allows the rose to be a little more selfish and they should be in order to grow.

Interesting side note when I see childfree couples and they try to both be growing at same time, it causes strife. That's why this works. Like five years you're you're the one growing, we’ll move we'll do whatever we got it for you then it’s my turn. It works the other one that comes in here, sabbaticals. Most of us have worked our entire life and never stopped to think, “Do we want to do this?” Because we just have to, that's what we're told to do.

I prescribe sabbaticals frequently. Here's the way I do it. Six months, first two months. You watch Netflix. I mean, it could be Hulu, it could be prime, but you watch some stupid show. Why? Because your brain has been working nonstop forever. You need two months to just, like, do nothing. And by the way, they actually do is they're like, oh, I'm going to like go work around the house a lot for the first week or two.

And then they finally realize, I really mean watch Netflix. The next two months, you're like, what do I want to be when I grow up? It has nothing to do with age. Because what's happened is most of us are 18 year old dumb self. By the way, we're all dumb at 18. Okay. You can pretend like you were smart at 18, but they're dumb self made decisions for us and we're living a career that they picked. The school or whatever. So I have that time. What do you want to do? The last two months, you want to go try it. On my podcast, I have an episode, a couple comes in, they were talking about it. She was working a state job with a pension, which by the way, we know how rare pensions are nowadays.

Like this is like as stable as you can get working for the state, you got the pension, the good benefits and hating it. The thing about working a state job is like it's the handcuffs and you're just stuck. I said okay, so what do you want to do? She said, I don't know. We put her on a sabbatical by pure luck. She tried a few things, and the middle of her sabbatical was NaNoWriMo.

For anyone that does know, there's national novel writing months. She wrote as a novel. She's now working to get your first novel published. She's going to run as an author for a couple of years. The fun part about authors, and there’s some in this room, you'll understand, is you’re either going to make a lot of money or no money. There's no inbetween. Who knows, but she’s happier than ever. That's common.

The other thing we get into these issues is the harder ones. And I just had a conversation beforehand with somebody on who's going to make the decisions for you when you're older. Now, all of you that are childfree in this room have a homework assignment, and that is to get your will and your power of attorneys in place today.

Why? Because the health care, government, and financial systems blow up when you don’t have a next of kin. Blow up. And I can say that I worked in health care. I remember I was a paramedic and I was at this person's bedside. Six family members, they have no paperwork and they're all fighting over what to do with this person who is coding in front of me.

And I'm like, so I'm going to pick for you. It was miserable. Until they complete paperwork. Well, because we don't have a next of kin to make decision for us, the next choice is the government's making decisions for you. Anyone happy with the government choice for you? And by the way, if you don't do the will, the government takes your money too, because they don't try too hard to find your next of kin.

I actually was working with somebody and in one state they post it in the newspaper saying, “Hey, if you happen to know Jane Smith, she died, so please claim her stuff.” When the last time you read the newspaper for your next of kin who happened to pass? So we’ve gotta work that one through. But one of the issues we end up with is who makes decisions for people when they don't have a family or friend to do it?

If you’re in California, you actually get a professional fiduciary to do this. If you're in Georgia, there's one attorney that does it. If you're in Texas, no attorneys will touch it. It's a huge issue because the liability that comes from making medical and financial decisions for people like who's going to put you in a home? Big issue. This is one we're working on now. We're trying to solve it. I've been working for two years. Stay tuned.

The other one is long term care. We need to have a plan in our mid-forties. How many people have a plan for long term care in here? Okay. The rest of you need to get going on this. If you don't have a choice, you end up in Medicaid, which a medicaid facility, if you haven't visited them lately, is probably not what you want.

I had somebody tell me there are good Medicaid facilities out there. There are. Do they have a bed open and that you can get in? The answer is no. So you need to have a plan. My goal is by mid-forties to have either money set aside, a long term care insurance policy, or say, yes, we're doing Medicaid. I make people make those choices.

The other choice that ends up happening with long term care, childfree folks, a lot of people are actually looking at the opt out. Death with dignity. That one's a huge problem for paperwork, but we'll get there. When we put it all together, we end up with our eight no baby steps.

Now, you may have heard of the baby steps. That's a little different. This is for people that don't have kids. First three really get out of debt, fine. That's all simple. It’s all the same. Then everything else changes. I'll show you. I'll take you for a quick walk through everything but getting out of debt. Now, by the way, people argue me, they want to be in debt, that's fine, whatever.

Step four is, invest towards your goals. Notice I didn't say invest towards retirement. It is completely different when you ask somebody, what are you investing for when retirement's not the priority. I have clients call me, “Hey, when can I retire?” And my question is, “Well, do you want to?” They go, “No.” “Well, then why are you asking the question?” Because all the financial literature says you have to do 15% or whatever number towards retirement. You have to have this by a certain date and all that. That changes.

Another one, buying a house is a choice, not a requirement for childfree folks. By the way, most times my answer is to rent because childfree folks are more mobile. The editor from my book, I’ve got a second one coming out in December and she and her dog live a month at a time in a different AirBnB across the country. I never know where they are. Like, hey, I was in Joshua Tree and I'm in Vermont today. Like, alright, whatever. So it becomes saving for their goals.

No baby step five changes all the insurance rules. Life insurance? Most non-free folks can pass the only people that can't really is if they have a whole bunch of debt which by the way was in the first no baby steps or have like some business structure they have to get out.

We can skip life insurance, but what we need is disability insurance for the soloists. That disability insurance is more important than pretty much anything on this setup. If you're single with no kids and you got no spouse to help you in the disability, go ahead and try to live off Social Security disability. I don’t know if anybody has seen that lately. It pays nothing.

Now, I also put long term care insurance in here. One thing on long term care, if you're working with clients on this or are talking about it, a stand alone long term care policy. If it's a life insurance policy with long term care, you're buying stuff you don't need. By the way, it's expensive. And, you know, by the way it’s most expensive for single, childless women, they have 3.7 years of care. And by the way, their costs are much higher. So you've got to find a standalone policy.

No baby step number six, estate plan. You’ve got to have this in writing. I also tell my childfree folks, you’ve got to have it on your phone. Got to give it to your doctor. Got to have it everywhere because you don't have somebody running in to go, oh, by the way, here's their paperwork and I don't get crazy on like, which forms are better or whatever. At some point, just like get one done and then we can figure out the best solution. The one for who's going to make decisions for you is one of the hardest. I have people I'm going to bribe my nephew with 15 grand to make decisions for me, you know, kind of might work, but it's becoming a big issue.

Here's one that completely changed everything. Planning for mom and dad. Here's how this works. I call this the financial bingo. You don't have a kid so you can take care of mom. Anyone here going to have to take care of the parents? Bet you a whole lot more than you think are going to have to take care of your parents.

This becomes a core part of a childfree person's financial plan. What are their boundaries around it? You know, do they get to live with them or not? What are their finances? How do they work it? The only parents I take his clients right now are parents rights of my childfree folks, because you never know. And it's got to be part of their financial plan because they can have this great die with zero plan. They’re living the FILE life, mom and dad need an extra couple hundred grand and it becomes a nightmare.

And then we end with no baby step eight, die with zero. Now, I don't literally mean they're going to have zero in their bank at the end. I am. I'm still a financial planner even though I'm childfree. And that would drive me crazy too, to really get to zero.

What we do is we say, okay, put off social security until 70, that's a little safety net, have a plan for long term care and then all cash cushion dependent clients, maybe a couple of years of expenses, one or two years expenses. But then we focus on with the clients how to spend the rest.

So I had somebody call me up 10 million plus, they're in their seventies. They said, Hey, I'm worried I'm guaranteed money. Okay, let's look at this. And we did the math and said, here's the thing, here's your portfolio gain. Here’s how this is working. You've got to start spending a whole lot more money to run out. So what we've been working on is actually how to spend more, which, by the way, if somebody saved and made $10 million, they're not good at spending money.

What we end up doing is actually working on giving clients to match whatever their spending is. It's a guilt routine. For that couple I'm talking about, we're actually on plan right now. The goal is to spend $300,000 a year on travel and $300,000 a year on giving. That sounds crazy, but when you really think about the numbers, that's the target. They’re not going to get close, but like we’re trying because it becomes an issue of how to actually spend it and use your money. It starts flipping everything. That's the overarching and I'm going to the questions but I want to give you some resources.

MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Kitces have done a few articles on childfree stuff. You're all going to dove into that. It cut off the Fidelity one, which we'll get there. But I have a call to action. I don't have to tell you all because you happen to be the childfree, but to be mindful of childfree people. But I do tell that. But we need to start integrating childfree people in our content, in our structures, in our discussions.

It's what it's interesting. I was talking to a whole lot of content creators over the past couple of days and a lot are like, “Hey, I'm childfree.” I'm like, “Cool. Do you talk about it on your podcast?” “No.” Why? We need to start shifting leads, start having that conversation by like if you need somebody, be the bad person. Like go out and say, I'm the childfree person. I'll come on and talk about childfree stuff and they can yell at me.

Because they're like, I'm going to turn off my audience. Well, that's why they’re not being served. So my challenge is if 25% of the U.S. is childfree, can we make it 25% of the content? The other thing is and we'll get like we’ll look at the National Endowment maybe we should be doing research asking the question are you childfree? How and where does that fit?

We should also be talking to brands. We had a great discussion at Christmas time last year saying, hey, if brands could actually figure out how to market to childfree folks, we have money. I will tell you who's figured out how to market to childfree folks, philanthropic arms. They look the data and they found childfree people give more money.

They figured it out, but it becomes an issue. So the bottom line is childfree people are different. Talk about it and make sure your financial plans match it. Now there’s a childfree Facebook group, Childfree entrepreneurs on Facebook it's great we're starting see it.

Now here's the thing, the stats of the largest childfree content creators probably, Tiffanie J Marie is one of the leaders. She has 126,000 followers on Instagram. 20% of the U.S. is childfree. That is nothing. The big childfree groups on Facebook, 20,000 people. And by the way, that's worldwide, nothing percentage wise. I'm all for the Facebook groups and anything else. So the question was demographics, cities and other areas. Interesting enough, I look at my clients. The number one place I've played is from Austin, Texas. I don’t know why, but it just, it does.

Here's what you're going to find. Yes, there are some areas. I did a thing for ABC seven in San Fran and they're like, hey, we have more dogs here than kids. Yeah. Okay. It's very obvious. The study out of Michigan I use for demographics is the best we've got. And that's only one state because there's this bias that's in there like if we ask people if they don't have kids, they may change their mind, so that data is no good. Okay. Now I will say on the demographics, the conversation changes based on the state location.

So I went to sell my house in Mississippi and I had to take down all my Childfree Wealth® signs & stuff because the realtor was worried about things happening to the house or not selling because of it being there. Yeah, New York City. I’ve got a bunch of friends in Denver. They have a meetup for childfree folks. Awesome. Other countries, it's much more open when you look at the interesting stats. Japan right now about one third are childfree which is part of their demographic issue and that's what people like you childfree folks are going to mess up Social Security like.

Yes, because it's a pyramid scheme and it needs growth at the bottom. Not my fault. So the demographics I hate said the research isn’t even there. That's part of what trying to do is trying to say, by the way, we're here. You know, we as the childfree community are about three times the size of the LGBTQ community. Nobody would have guessed that. By the way, LGBTQ plus community now 49% say they're childfree.

Audience Member 1
You mentioned before that your point was that the whole 4% rule, bell curve, but is there a percent that you lean more towards to help clients with their projections? Do you do like a 8% rule? A 6% rule? Where do you go? I know that, but I know I help a lot of families, but I do my own calculations and I'm just curious, how do you… what's the easiest way you deliver that?

Dr. Jay
Yeah. So the question was, hey, the 4% rule you said kind of doesn't work. What number to use. Yeah, okay. I have no clue. The way I do it is I set aside the money at the end and then said guardrails and say you must spend this much, you know, depending on how we do, you know, returns, we can we can change over time.

Because what I do is I because I do the end you know, Social Security all at the end. Then I go, okay, let's solve for spending this over your expected lifespan, because if they spend it too early, they still have their safety net at the end. And then what I'll do is I'll set a guardrail based on what is and usually I actually have to set a minimum spend, you know, so they have to spend at least a certain amount versus a maximum. It's a different way of thinking.

So question is, how do you determine what age you're living to? With a crystal ball.

Audience Member 2
I mean, is there something, because that’s kind of the whole basis. I'm just I'm very curious just how does this is all math based? So we're talking actuarial, we're talking…. Oh, you know how? Because if you ask me, I say I'm definitely going to die before my spouse. I just know it.

Dr. Jay
So you might, you might make that happen. But the question is, how do you know what age? How do you plan? And I was talking with a financial firm and they said they think as a fiduciary they cannot plan for dying with zero. And I said, well, so you're telling me you're going to ignore the client's wishes, which by the way really interesting debate and I might be in trouble at some point. I’m an SEC registered advisor.

We have to have some assumptions on age. We've set aside money for long term care, we set aside Social Security, we set aside some cash. If they live longer, they have a safety net. It works there. Now, I will say I had a… this is one of those like mind shifters I was reading on Reddit again.

I hate Reddit, but I love it. The question was a hypothetical what happens if if medicine gets to a place where now we're living… Yeah, we don’t have old age to die from and we're living hundreds of years. And I'm like, wow, I'm tired. Well, I feel like I'm not sure I want to live hundreds of years. Beautiful thought.

Well here's a thing so we’ve got safety net at the end of Social Security to 70 we got something there we spent in between but what actually happens with clients they're so reluctant to spend what they saved that here's the discussion I have most often. At some point in the childfree person's life, they are working for their estate, which is not a priority.

What I usually can get them to do is switch jobs or do something different. Go open that cupcake shop they want to open or whatever but there's this like where we call middle class work ethic, a passive work ethic whatever that pushes people to keep working the discussion to 4% I'm not so worry about the money the numbers I'm worried about every dollar you're earning is not improving your life.

I call it Marie Kondoing in your life. Get rid of things that don't bring you joy and do more things I do when I plan for childfree folks. I plan for their life first, then their finances, then their taxes. All the other financial planning does finances first, then life.

So the question was about annuities and in the book Die with Zero, he does propose them. Now, mind you, he is not a financial planner. He is an engineer. I do not recommend annuities because of the hidden costs. I had a really interesting discussion. We were on a webinar and there's a belief that annuities… it's hard to be a fiduciary, say, hey, yes, it's worth paying fees. So I do it the hard way. I'm also what's called an advice only planner.

I don't manage assets. I teach other people how to do it. I charge monthly. I don't sell any products. The people that are pushing annuities sell them. Same with life insurance. One of my clients, I actually I have six episodes on my podcast where I recorded sessions with clients and I one of them I said, go to your local insurance person they like. Get a disability quote for you because we need one.

They walked out with five life insurance quotes. Why? Because that's where they make money. And the disability quote was like not the right. Yeah, it was like covering 1200 bucks a month. It was like not even close and they went, how did that happen? Well, that's what they make. So on the annuities, I think because I don't sell them, it doesn't match the finances.

It might be the right answer. The annuities might. People keep trying to convince me of it, but the opaqueness of the fees, pause. Can I make sure to come back next year? Right now don't ask that question. The introvert in me is like all these parties and I'm all for talking to all of you. You can come up to me later, but like every time I go in a room.

But I'm trying to start a conversation, alright. Here's what I will say. All of you have content creators, my friends. I'm trying to get on every podcast, everything I can get and press because people don't realize that this exists. You know so I did one. Wall Street Journal did a full page article and somebody reached out to me, said, I did not know I’m childfree. I am. This is me. Help me.

That's actually the problem I have. I wish there were like ten other childfree firms, by way. There's one right now like that. There are other people that serve childfree folks. Like as part of my colleagues, like somebody who does tiny house living and has lots of childfree folks, but they don't.

I mean, I wish a whole lot of people did because we just have a continuous conversation. The fact that this room is full of non-parents, I don't know what to make of that. Yeah. So the question was childfree folks travel. Absolutely. We also have a lot of expats. Yes, I live in another country. If you're going to move to another country long term, I have no clue.

Like seriously, because I don't know their rules. Their laws. Yes, I’ve got somebody moving to Thailand. I’ve got somebody moving to Portugal. I got somebody. There becomes an issue. Now we can solve something. So I had somebody come to me who actually the border says in Canada they actually provide long term care for them. Beautiful. Yeah. So some of that makes life easy.

The travel that is one of those areas I do like insurance, you know, actually travel insurance. All the fun stuff. But it's question of how long you're going to be there because long term care policies, there's one I use I'm not going use any company names intentionally. You can talk about like in someplace, but one of the policies will not cover you anywhere when you're international.

The other one covers you for a year and then you come back to the U.S. So at least like we get closer. The wills, power of attorney thing for international. You're screwed. Oh yeah. There's no answer because you'd be on their laws. So you at least want to have some paperwork that says who makes decisions. As I delve into this stuff, the one I've been working for past two years, this question of who makes decisions for us.

I've met with attorneys. I've met with firms. Banks. Trust companies. We're actually building our own company to do this, a trust company, which, by the way, you want to about regulations go open a trust companies open a bank just to serve childfree folks to make decisions for them. But we can't figure out the international. You know, if you're if you are in Portugal and I get the phone call, hey, what do we do?

I'm like, I'll tell you what their paperwork says, but I don’t know if it's legal, that is an issue. I know we're at the end of time, but if anyone has other questions, I will stick around. Go ahead.

So if you have to run to get drinking, go right ahead and you can grab a book, whatever I got left. But the question was, how do I handle the anxiety around death and dying, long term care, all that fun stuff? I added long term care there because it's part of this whole package. I have a course of self direct product 15 courses 100 videos and we did a series on estate planning, the end of life discussions I did with Katie Seppi, who's on the childless side, who runs Chasing Creation.

And we got done with the sessions. We're like, Damn, this is depressing. We're going to give it out as a freebie. We're like, nobody will watch this because they'll be crying at the end. Yes, it's rough what I do, by the way, I meet with my clients every month. I don't talk about it the first month. Okay. Right.

We work up towards it. And actually the way I handle it usually is I do their parents stuff first. Then there's there's somebody my book, she was 50s and I was with somebody for ten, 15 years and they always joked he was gonna die at 50. They were married, he died at 50. They had no paperwork in place. Like nightmare. As she talks about it, you know how to, you know, how do you become a widow in your fifties and how do you deal with it? And you didn't have the paperwork. And I'm like, yeah, I'm doing the interview. And I'm like, this is tough stuff. But here's the thing. The only answer is to talk about it.

I have a love hate thing with the question of who's going to take care when you're older. I love it because it gives me an opportunity to discuss things. I hate it because what's implied, though it's implied, is they're expecting their kids day care, which, by the way, is why planning for mom and dad is in here for childfree folks.

When I have people with a tough anxiety, especially on long term care, I have somebody that I had to wait. Turns out you can't get quotes on long term care until you're 30, so I had to wait till 30 to get her quote because we're going to buy long term care insurance because of the anxiety, not because of finance.

The answer, but the paperwork. With the plan, we get the structure. You're good now, by the way, still sucks to talk about. Bri, who works for me. She loves talking about death and dying, and I'm like, cool that's. That's a skill. Go and do that. I think we just need to socialize it and have these discussions. You know, I'm working on his trust company we're building because this company is going to bury me. Literally is going to be the company that buries me because of those fears. My sister might take care of for me. But like I know the company I'm building, my legal fiduciary would do it. That's we're trying to work around which leaders are having the conversation.

I think what most people when I start the conversation, they go, well, who do I trust? That's a whole other discussion. Or they’re like I can't afford long term care. I'm like, you have to save towards your goals, which is the priority. What bothers you most? There's no right answer, but the best is to talk about it.

Audience Member 3
So I have kids, but I’ve sort of rooted myself with people who do have kids. My nephews not necessarily going to care for me.

Dr. Jay
Well yeah. So my nephews are getting they have a 529. We put money aside, they're getting what's left over. I didn't say, I hate kids. I will have to have that caveat. If you have kids you want to make an impact on cool, then you're not truly dying with zero, you’re going pass on but here's the discussion I have. Well can you make a bigger impact on their life now than when you're 80 and die? By the way the answer is you can.

I hope to be at least 80 when I die. And that means my nephews will be, you know, fifties. They won't need the money then. So what I end up doing, people like that, I have somebody she calls it, Make the babies love me. It's for her nieces nephews to go on like an international trip when they're in high school, college, you know. Not college funds. Kind of like go have an experience. We build that into the plan. It's not the end of life.

One last question in the back and then we'll.

Audience Member 4
I hope you’ll be back here. I’m a parent but I just wanted to thank you for the spark that and for looking more than hats and don't that.

Dr. Jay
I appreciate that and I appreciate a parent being in the room like I was hoping for more. I don't know. I was hoping to be stay remotely though. I did well. So what I find, by the way, the the people who serve the LGBTQ get this. And they're having the same troubles with the software and the structures and like.

Audience Member 4
What if that it is after all this I'm here call and like, I'm sorry, I think I do. Mr. and Mrs.

Dr. Jay
Yeah, like the systematic biases against being a couple or being a group. But we tried doing group planning and financial planning software blows it up. I like people like doing the Golden Girls Group. They all are going to live together and yeah cool awesome. I have romantic groups I have whatever cool by it's a planning nightmare because you got to get four people to agree on finances together. Communication is a thing. I have to appreciate you all for being here.

My call to action. Go find a couple of people and be like, hey, we should talk about child refinances. Yeah, if we need to do that, it'll be a big thing. And if you want to book, help yourself. I know who asked the good questions, but you all going to judge appropriate.