Retirement planning without children
A few weeks ago, we wrote an article for single retirees, letting them know that their savings plan may be different from the savings plans of married retirees. This week we are tackling a different retirement challenge: saving if you do not have children.
This might not seem like a problem to most of you: after all, this should mean you have more money during your retired years; however, many individuals use this as an excuse to not be proactive about their retirement savings and their financial future. In fact, the opposite may be true: you may need to be more proactive in your financial planning if you do not have children.
If you are preparing for retirement and are not planning on having children, we have compiled a list of steps to take to ensure that you are adequately saving for your future.
Eliminate Your Debt
This one seems obvious; however, many individuals in their later years – as well as those in their 30s and 40s aren’t utilizing their extra funds properly. Instead of paying for school, lessons and medical expenses of children, you may be using your income as an excuse to spoil yourself. Learn to live frugally now and pay off all of your debt while you can.
Without children, your pre-retirement years are the perfect time to eliminate your student loan debt and re-evaluate your financial plans and goals, which will change over time. This will help you plan for a particular lifestyle. Remember: just because you do not have children doesn’t mean you should neglect your savings. You should be saving and simultaneously paying off any debts you may have.
Plan for your health without kids
If you do not have children, you may need to start planning for who will care for you should you fall ill or need long term care of any sort. Saving for long term care insurance without children may be more affordable than you previously imagined. Additionally, preparing for any long term care you my need will help you head-off any unexpected future financial obligations
Consider your career
It is a sad truth that once we have families and settle down, it becomes more difficult to leave our careers. The financial obligation to care for a family often makes it easier for us to stay in jobs or cities that may not align with what we once wanted to do.
If you choose not to have children, you may want to reconsider your career plan before you retire. Without a family, you have the freedom to make career moves – such as relocating or switching jobs – that you may not be able to make otherwise. In many instances, you may be able to break from the traditional 9-to-5 office job and make career choices driven by value – including going back to school, traveling, relocating or taking a pay cut.
With no family obligations to meet, you should consider traveling before you retire. You can always do so after, as well; however, it may be easier to do long-term travel when you have a steady income stream or when you are easily able to start and stop work.
Consider Your Legacy
Just because you do not have children does not mean you shouldn’t consider what legacy you want to leave behind. You may not have heirs to provide for; however, financial planning is about much more than retirement and saving for a family; it’s about figuring out how you will spend your life.
You should consider what you’d like to leave behind – if anything, Perhaps there is another family member to whom you would like to leave your inheritance or maybe you’d like for your money to be donated to a charitable cause. Either way, you should not neglect leaving behind a legacy simply because you do not have children, You should take the time to speak to a financial planner about your retirement savings and what you will leave behind for your family and heirs..