Do you have to choose between having children or a comfortable retirement?

November 25, 2015
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She chose not to have children and defended it as a conscious decision. She passed up two marriage proposals because her near-fiancés wanted children. She opted instead for a comfortable lifestyle where going out for dinner, taking wonderful vacations, or buying what she wanted when she wanted it was more attractive than spending money on children and their care. They called her selfish.

Thirty or forty years ago, women did not have a choice: it was “get married and follow the money track”, or, “pass up marriage and children to have a career.” My, how things have changed!

We may not get it right, trying to have a balanced life, as if that was ever a possibility, but somehow we do manage to try to have both. And it is not always possible.

Pundits warn that baby boomer women of today are very ill-prepared for retirement. Probably because they took themselves out of the workforce to raise their children for several years and were not contributing to Social Security or their own retirement plans. And they added costs for private secondary and college education, sporting event paraphernalia, birthday and right-of-passage parties, cars, etc. Hard to do it all on one salary. Even on two!

But it raises the question, if we do chose not to have children, is it true that we will save and invest more or just spend it during our lifetimes? Only the next twenty or so years will tell.

However, some very lucky nieces and nephews will thank the single aunts for making that choice. Or maybe not, when the care for Aunt Susie falls on their shoulders, while they are also caring for their own parents. Stay tuned.

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