More young Americans are avoiding the traditional milestones set by their boomer parents and opting not to have children, and they’re celebrating the benefits on social media.
Ness Baker and her partner were recently called DINKWADs (dual income, no kids, with a dog) in a viral film that showed the couple shopping, relaxing in bed, and enjoying the outdoors. The TikTok video received over 10 million views and sparked heated controversy.
Not everyone who saw the film was taken by the concept of choosing not to have children. “Good luck dying alone at 60 to 70 with no kids or grandkids to take care of you,” one viewer said, which received over 5,000 likes.
The DINK way of life isn’t for everyone. And, while there are many factors to consider when choosing whether or not to have children, here are the financial implications of both options.
The most obvious benefit of the DINK lifestyle is (ideally) having fewer financial responsibilities. Forget about budgeting for food, additional health care, daycare, education expenses, Christmas and birthday celebrations, and so on. You can probably live in a smaller and less expensive home, or at the very least, you won’t have to worry about good school districts in the neighborhood.
This should provide you more room in your budget for fun activities like dining out or traveling, as well as for saving. You may use this time to set up some decent retirement savings if you plan and budget correctly.
However, you may need all of that extra money to save for future expenses. One of the most compelling reasons against having children is a lack of built-in social support that many older Americans rely on as they age.
Going it alone comes at a cost for some. According to a 2018 Census Bureau research, while older childless persons have a larger median personal net worth than older parents, they also have a higher poverty rate. Essentially, while there are many wealthy DINKs, there is also a significant number who are poor financially.
The financial benefits of becoming a parent may not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing whether or not to expand your family, but they may significantly lower your annual tax burden.
You may claim the kid Tax Credit as a parent, which is worth $2,000 per kid. However, it is non-refundable, which means it can only decrease your tax bill to zero and you will not be refunded the difference. While the refundable earned income tax credit is available to all taxpayers, taxpayers with more kids can claim more money.