DINKs: Child-Free Retirement Planning

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DINKs: Child-Free Retirement Planning

As societal dynamics evolve, retirement planning isn’t one-size-fits-all. Retirement advice for ‘DINKs’ (Dual Income No Kids) could help you spend more in retirement, or even retire early.

By 2040, projections from the AARP indicate that over 20% of retirees will be childless. The reality of retiring without children can indeed bring unique challenges, but with the right preparation, a fulfilling and comfortable retirement is within reach. 

What the DINK?

As the name suggests, dual-income, no kids (DINK) households have two incomes and no children. Whether by choice or life circumstances, the money to raise children shouldn’t be underestimated in your retirement plan. Back in 2025, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that parents can expect to spend $233,610 for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child through age 17. But today, that number is much higher. Since 2020 alone, the higher pace of inflation has added about $26,000 to the cost of raising a child, according to an analysis by Brookings Institution. This means it now costs an eye-watering $310,000 to raise a child… That figure doesn’t even consider the cost of college.

If you’re a DINK, your retirement strategy might be different from the “average” couple, because some of the standard rules about retirement planning do not apply:

  • DINK (Dual income, no kids) is a slang phrase for households with two incomes and no children.
  • DINKs tend to have higher disposable incomes because they don’t have the expenses associated with kids.
  • DINKs may be able to spend more than the recommended 4% during retirement or retire earlier because they have more money to save and invest.
  • Be sure to take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans if both of you have access to them.
  • You may find yourself with more tax liability if you don’t have any kids, which means you may have to find tax-efficient investments.

With a high disposable income and a variety of investment choices, making a financial plan seems confusing. But it doesn’t have to be! Here is our guide for you to chalk out a good retirement plan to make the most of your golden years.

Retirement Planning Steps for DINKs

For those nearing retirement without children, here are seven pivotal steps to ensure your retirement needs are comprehensively addressed.

1. Nurturing a Supportive Social Network

When we think of retirement, financial stability often springs to the forefront of our minds. However, an equally vital component that can dramatically impact one’s quality of life during these golden years is the presence of a supportive social network. The value of deep, meaningful relationships becomes more pronounced. Such relationships can be a source of daily joy, provide assistance in times of need, or be a listening ear during moments of introspection.

Active participation in community events serves multiple purposes. This engagement can lead to a sense of purpose, a trait that researchers often link with increased longevity and improved mental well-being. Joining clubs or organizations tailored to one’s interests can lead to enriching experiences in retirement. Join a book club or a gardening group, these gatherings provide regular interactions, stimulate the mind, and promote physical activity, all while nurturing friendships.

2. Prioritize Health and Well-Being

While maintaining an active and social lifestyle is vital, planning for healthcare expenses is also a crucial aspect for retirees. As age advances, medical needs tend to increase, often making healthcare one of the most significant expenses during retirement. Whether it’s routine check-ups, medications, treatments for chronic ailments, or unforeseen emergencies, having a robust financial plan dedicated to health expenses is imperative.

For retirees, understanding Medicare and its various parts is fundamental. Medicare, while comprehensive, may not cover all medical needs, prompting many retirees to look into supplemental insurance. These supplemental plans vary in coverage and cost, so discussing with a seasoned financial advisor is essential to determine which aligns best with one’s health needs and budget.

Additionally, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a worthy avenue to explore. These tax-advantaged accounts allow retirees to set aside money specifically for medical expenses, including treatments, medications, and other healthcare-related costs. Investing in such accounts during one’s working years can yield considerable financial benefits in retirement.

3. Preparing for Long-Term Medical Care

Preparing for long-term medical care and assisted living is another paramount aspect of comprehensive retirement planning. As individuals age, the likelihood of requiring prolonged medical attention or the amenities of assisted living facilities increases. These services, while offering specialized care and enhanced quality of life, can come with substantial costs.

It’s imperative for individuals to talk with a financial advisor and understand the various long-term care insurance options available, which can offset a significant portion of these expenses. Additionally, setting aside dedicated funds or considering investments specifically tailored for such future needs can be beneficial. Engaging in early and informed financial planning can help ensure that individuals are not only able to afford the best care available but can do so without jeopardizing their financial stability or burdening their loved ones.

4. Secure Your Future with an Estate Plan

Having children often prompts the initiation of estate planning. However, if you are without offspring, this becomes paramount. Beyond asset distribution, an estate plan is a tool to safeguard your future wishes, especially in unexpected scenarios. It encompasses setting up a living will, determining medical and durable powers of attorney, and ensuring your financial and medical decisions are in trustworthy hands should you become incapacitated.

5. Tax-efficient Investing

DINKs may face a higher tax liability than a traditional family household because they have fewer deductions. This makes tax-efficiency even more vital. Choose your investments wisely based on their tax-implications, and don’t overlook opportunities to make deductions where you can, including by giving to charities. You may also consider taking additional money out of each paycheck in preparation for paying state and federal taxes.

6. Start Planning Now

This isn’t exactly a surprise is it? But you must be thinking why retirement planning when you are so young. Well, if you want to build a substantial retirement corpus, the trick is to start young. By putting aside a little amount from a younger age, you let the power of compounding work wonders to your investments and create a considerable corpus. When you have kids, your financial priorities would change. You would have to provide for the child’s financial safety. At that time, investing in a retirement fund would be the last thing on your mind. If you, however, start now, with small amounts, you can continue your investments till you retire and get a good corpus.

7. Engage with Professional Financial Advisors

A successful child-free retirement often hinges on strategic planning. Here at CKS Summit Group, our bespoke tactical portfolios are designed to provide our clients with a harmonious balance of savings growth and principal preservation. Entrusting a professional advisory team like ours can streamline your journey to a secure retirement, even without children to rely on.

Final Thoughts

The DINK stage is a very beneficial stage as you have little or no responsibilities and the income earned is also high. Plan your finances properly and you would never face problems later when you have children, start your family and shoulder greater responsibilities.

At CKS Summit Group, we’re committed to accompanying you at each step of your retirement path. Our mission is to ensure your financial tranquility, allowing you to embrace and enjoy this thrilling next phase of your journey. We believe in preparing for every financial situation, leaving no stone unturned.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.