As the child-free lifestyle grows in popularity among younger generations, many people imagine that it means having a lot more money to spend, but this is not always the case.

In fact, some experts say that this clientele is not prioritized in the world of financial planning and that they have their own needs.

According to Statistics Canada, Generation Z and millennials continue the downward trend in the number of children per woman in Canada. About a third of people aged 15 to 49 don’t plan to have one.

When it comes to financial planning, this is actually an “underserved group,” says Barbara Knoblach.

An Edmonton-based financial planner working with Money Coaches Canada, Knoblach says many financial planning firms like to recruit multiple family members across generations, which is the main reason this clientele isn’t considered a priority.

Among her clientele without children, Knoblach finds there is an emphasis on saving and investing, and the average net worth is higher.

For a single person, disability insurance is important to protect themselves against a prolonged illness or serious injury and a long absence from work that would ensue, because they cannot count on their spouse or children adults to take care of her or support her, she emphasizes.

This increased importance given to disability insurance, however, results in a reduction in the importance given to life insurance.

“Conversely, people who don’t have children generally don’t need a lot of life insurance,” Knoblach adds, “because they don’t have dependents. »

Likewise, in retirement, childless people need a greater financial cushion to fall back on – they need to finance their own care as they age, she explains, since it is not possible to move in with a child.

They must also appoint a representative or liquidator of the estate, a particularly important detail in the absence of a spouse and if other family members live far away.

However, people without children have greater flexibility in their financial goals and retirement plans because they do not have to take on the expenses of raising children, says Ian Black, independent financial advisor at Macdonald Shymko

When it comes to leaving a legacy, Black finds that clients who don’t have children often donate their estate to charity after death and sometimes leave some money to other members. family, such as nieces and nephews.

Modern families and the transfers of wealth within them are no longer quite “linear,” says Julie Petrera, senior client needs strategist in Canada at Edward Jones.

Instead of a family tree, financial planning firms instead see a “family circle.”

“The definition of family continues to evolve,” says Ms. Petrrera.

Couples who don’t have children may still incur costs associated with children, Petrrera points out – some people aren’t childless by choice.

“They can actually spend a lot of money trying to have children,” she says. From a financial planning perspective, we therefore cannot assume that all childless couples do not have expenses related to children or looking for a child. So that’s something we’ll help them budget and plan for. »

Individuals and couples without children may also face different expectations within their extended family. They may be expected to care for their aging parents, more than their siblings who have children of their own.

Knoblach says she’s seen childless clients who were expected to foot the bill for elderly parents — and she tells them to communicate clearly with their siblings.

“It is not a given that a person without children will be better off than someone who has raised children. People without children must save disproportionately to avoid the risk of outliving their money. »

If not having children throughout one’s life saves on the high costs of raising children – Statistics Canada estimates the cost of raising one child up to $366,000 ‘at the age of 17 – the fact remains that caution and expertise are required in long-term planning.

“As more and more people decide not to have children,” says Knoblach, “I hope that financial planners will be better equipped to meet the unique needs and challenges of this client group. »