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Parenthood is not a one-size-fits-all journey. The reasons why some individuals choose not to become parents are complex and personal, often lying outside the scope of societal judgment.
There’s no right or wrong answer to the question of having kids, even though there are some societal stigmas around not having kids. The online forum community shares their top reasons for not having kids below. We also asked financial advisors at Wealth Tender working with child-free couples for further insight.
1. Financial Crisis
Many people struggle without adding the financial burden of a child- living in debt or barely scraping by each month. One user says, “Can barely pay for food and the roof for myself.” Many others agree, saying they can barely take care of themselves.
One writer says, “The curse ends with me.” Some people live with childhood trauma that they recognize would be hard to overcome if they have their own kids. The community applauded the writer for recognizing his limits.
3. Love Giving Them Back
Some adults have struck a balance they enjoy by making their career about kids, but their personal life about not having them. One Redditor says, “Work with them everyday, don’t like them enough to take care of one 24/7. I like the part where I can just hand them back to parents when they cry, sh** themselves and act like hamsters overdosed on coffee.”
It’s not uncommon for teachers, medical professionals, and other people that work in industries with kids to choose to not have their own kids.
4. I Wouldn’t Be a Good Parent
One user simply says, “I’ve met myself.” They may recognize they don’t have enough patience or some other quality that doesn’t make them well-suited to raise children- and that’s okay.
5. Too Much Work
Kids are a lot of work and require a huge time commitment. This is why one writer says, “I’m way too lazy to raise a kid.”
6. Mental Health Concerns
Having kids can take a mental toll on parents (no personal time, sleep deprivation, etc.). One woman shares, “I don’t want to pass on mine or my husband’s mental health issues. Among other reasons.”
7. Not with the State of the World
Some people aren’t comfortable with bringing children into the world as it currently is for various reasons. A Redditor shares, “The world is f***d and I don’t see it getting unf***d anytime soon.” Many others agree.
8. All the Things
One woman on the forum has a long laundry list of reasons she doesn’t want have kids: “Noisy, annoying, take up time, take up money, take up energy, take up sleep, dont want to be pregnant, dont want to bring kids into a f***d up world.”
9. Financial Stability
John McCardle, a financial advisor for Summit Financial, confirms a lot of the same reasons in the slide before, saying, “Financial stability, ability to retire early, having less stress in their lives around money and resources, better work life balance than they witnessed with their parents are all examples we have experienced [for choosing this lifestyle].”
10. Personal Choice
“Personal choice. Kids are not a prerequisite for a fulfilling life.” Says one user. Indeed, life can be fulfilling for many reasons that don’t involve kids.
11. Afraid of Pregnancy
Quite a few women on the thread report being afraid of pregnancy. One woman says, “The idea of pregnancy terrifies me, I find children unpleasant to be around, and I’d rather have money and a good social life.”
12. Financial Freedom
Jay Zigmont, PhD, CFP®, Founder of Childfree Wealth, notes that a lot of people value their freedom as a childfree couple. He’s noticed they also tend to be more nomadic and in pursuit of their passions. “Childfree people tend to embrace a Die With Zero approach to finances. If your goal is not to pass wealth on to another generation, that changes much of your financial plan. [Plus], there is very little need for life insurance if you are child-free. Instead, childfree people, particularly if they are soloists (no kids, no spouse), need to focus on disability insurance.”
13. Hopes to Retire Early
Jory Berstein of Berstein Investment Consultants notes, “With no children, the couple may be able to save more for retirement earlier than those with dependents. Consider contributing the maximum amount to 401(k) or IRA accounts to build a robust nest egg for retirement.”
Ultimately, having kids is a personal choice. They are worth the effort for parents that choose them. But there are plenty of people that are happy not to have them. To each their own.
For couples choosing not to have kids, Paul Doak with Financial I.D. recommends an emphasis on securing coverage for long-term care and staying active in the local community for both mental and physical well-being while aging.
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