Childfree Retirement

Jan 26 / Matt Gray, CFP®
In my 10+ years of being a financial planner, the most exciting aspect of this job is helping people do something they never thought they could do. This is particularly rewarding when working with Childfree people and they have the realization that all the “traditional rules” of life are thrown out when you don’t have kids.

Who says you need to go to college? Who says you need to retire at 65? Who says you even need a primary residence outside of a van you drive around South America? The options, quite literally, become endless when you don’t have the responsibility and challenge of raising kids. 
The stereotypical retirement looks something like a gold watch on your last day at age 65. You then head home where you do crossword puzzles, play golf and pickleball, then eventually move into a home. Sounds nice, but there is a new paradigm in what retirement means.

I love how Dr. Jay always talks about retiring TO something instead of FROM something (work). Retirement allows you to stop working, but then what?  Many people no longer want to (exclusively) golf and do crosswords in retirement. We want something more and we want it to start sooner than later (Check out our article on FILE – Financial Independence, Live Early).

More people want to start businesses, turn side hustles into full time jobs, or work exclusively on passion projects. This is true for a lot of people but being Childfree makes it more readily accessible. Retirement isn’t just for the aging anymore and people without children have the luxury of aggressively pursuing that.

How do we get there? One of the most common responses to “How early would you like to step away from you day job?” is “AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!”. So why don’t people? I’d argue that in America the two reasons are general finances and health insurance. Let’s look at how you can work towards those two things in this new retirement environment.

Firstly, understanding how much and where to save is critical. The current system is designed for people to retire at age 60+. Social security and Medicare start even later than your retirement account dollars are accessible. Knowing what you want retirement to look like, at what age, with how much income become the primary variables in the savings equation. Ultimately, the earlier you want to retire, the more you may want to consider stashing into standard brokerage accounts and other accessible investment types.
Secondly, we need to think of healthcare a bit more seriously as we age, but also if we retire early. Medicare doesn’t kick in until age 65 so whenever you stop getting insurance through a day job up until age 65 needs to be covered by YOU! The current system allows for purchasing plans on state exchanges and those are costs to plan for.
Additionally, Childfree people need to consider long-term care solutions. Childfree people may be the most interested demographic in long-term care insurance because of the need to prepare for major medical events and the care that’s required for them.

If you want help working on a financial plan, when to retire (or if you want to retire), speak with a Childfree Wealth Specialist®.

About the Author - Matt Gray is a Childfree Financial Planner who holds both the Certified Financial Planner® designation and the Chartered Advisor of Philanthropy designation. He enjoys working with his Childfree peers because he enjoys helping solve the specific needs of the Childfree community. Furthermore, he believes choosing a less traditional life path leads to more unique life stories and he loves helping those stories become a reality.