The number of Americans without kids has been increasing steadily for decades, with the percentage of women ages 15 to 44 who are childless nearing 50% as of the last Census report. At first glance, childlessness may seem to be the trend that bodes the best for financial stability, especially for couples — a family structure known as "DINKs" for double income, no kids.
This logic is based on the simple fact that kids are expensive. A child costs over $245,000 to raise until age 17, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a sum of money the childless, in theory, could use to fund retirement.
But while Gregory Hammer of Hammer Financial Group acknowledged being childless can make a time horizon for retirement more predictable, he was quick to add that people without kids often have other things that are costly in their day-to-day lives — more travel, for instance — while other retirement planning differences are negligible.
One difference he did emphasize is that childless couples must be sure to prepare for the death of a spouse, since they don't have children to rely upon.