Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How many childfree and childless couples have 2nd homes?

What percentage of childfree and childless couples have second homes, compared with the percentage of parents who do?

A childless woman writes about not having kids and why women are childfree

Some 6.6% of women surveyed in 1995 said that they chose to be childfree, and some 44% of women between 16 and 44 are childfree or childless, according to Nancy Rome.

Her impact graphs in The Washington Post:

Those of us who are not mothers do not fit into any of society's convenient boxes: We're not slaves to carpools or homework. At the same time, we are not necessarily obsessed about our careers or even ourselves; nor are we anti-family. Our days are simply lived according to a different rhythm: Children don't tug at my clothes and beg for attention; I don't leave my cellphone on during films or dinner parties in case the babysitter needs me; I travel; I read books -- lots of them -- as well as the newspaper.

I am also a filmmaker, and a few years ago I began to work on a documentary about childless women -- not only those of us who have lost or can't have children, but the growing number who don't want to have them. Their reasons vary. In the most devastated areas of Baltimore, I found women who told me they had chosen to be childless because there were simply too many children in their families or neighborhoods who needed looking after. An immigration lawyer told me she had done motherhood when she was a teenager, helping her mother with her younger sibling. Many reflected the attitudes of an academic who told me that her decision to remain childless made her feel like "an outlaw."

Some of the most telling comments come from the women I first talked with -- three friends, all like me now in their 50s. Dyann, a lawyer from Boston, recalls a moment at her local pizza joint when the owner asked how many of the children she came in with were hers. "None of them; I chose not to have kids," she said. "That's okay," she remembers him replying. "You still have time; maybe you'll change your mind."

Having grown up as an oldest child, Dyann felt she should be free to choose a career instead of motherhood. With a wry smile, she told me: "Just because I've chosen not to have children, doesn't mean I'm some sort of W.C. Fields character who hates kids, doesn't have patience for them."

The other point Dyann makes to me is that, in her view, raising children is "a job, which calls on the depths of your soul to give to another person. And because I respect that, I didn't want to call forth a life and raise a child when I wasn't 110 percent passionately committed to the idea."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Deep snow is not conducive to walking kids or pets

When the snow is deep, wet and heavy as it is today here, I'm glad I don't have to walk kids to school or just walk the dog.

But I do like to shovel the snow, a bit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Childfree and childless couples have families, too

Childfree and childless couples have familes even though we don't have kids or pets.

Our families include our parents who need our care and love as we all age. It's a great joy to see parents who live far away, and they certainly enjoy our vists, calls, letters and e-mails.

And at some point, we may be needed to manage assets, find and manage care givers and even move a parent to our communities or homes.

Managing parents assets can range from taking over investment portfolios, accepting power of attorney to oversee an investment management company, taking control of a business or farm and taking responsiblity for maintaining a parent's home. Some children may pay their parents' rent and provide other financial help.

Finding caregivers is always a challenge, whether local or long distant. And once you find them, they fail to perform, need supervision and turnover, requiring replacement.

Moving a parent to your home can make your life easier or harder, depending on you, your parent and your relationship with your parent.

And then there are your relationships with your siblings and in laws. For some, these relationships can be relatively easy because the relatives live in other parts of the country or world.

For others, these relationshisps can be distant or close, regardless of where the relatives live.

Again, it depends on you and your relatives.

Some families are very close and spend much of their spare time together. Others don't share interests and spend llittle time together.

Close or distant, childless and childfree couples still have families that they enjoy, cherish, or not.

While our family relationships are different from those of people who have kids, they still involve family, and for most, thinking about and being with family is special.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Check out Childfreebychoice.com

The longer I write this blog the more interesting books and blogs on being childfree I find. I'm blog rolling Childfree by Choice.

The site offers a blog, articles on making the decision to be childfree, a list of prominent people who are childfree and lists of business establishments that favor the childfree. It also includes demographic statistics that show that the number of people who decide to have no kids, if not no pets, has been growing since the early 1970s.

There also is a defensive statement about the idea that people who decide to be childfree are selfish. People have plenty of good reasons to not have children, most of them quite personal.

But it also can be said that having children is selfish in that people insist on "cloning" themselves, leaving a legacy in the form of their children and increasing, but not guaranteeing, that when they're old and feeble, their kids will look out for them.

Truth be told, neither being childfree or childless or a parent is selfish. Deciding to be childfree can be a contribution to society in many ways, just as deciding to become a parent can be. No guarantees, however.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Childfree, childless discussed at Wikipedia

A Wikipedia article explains the differences between childfree and childless.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What are their parents and kids thinking?

Berny Ebbers, former chairman and CEO of the bankrupt Worldcom, and Enron's former CFO, Andrew Fastow, went to jail today, convicted of fraud.

You have to wonder what their once proud parents and kids are thinking, if they are still around to witness their kid's and parent's shame.

This is when childfree couples say, "There for th grace of God go I."

Just think how proud the families of these two men were before their downfalls began. Talk about ups and downs.

What's scary is that every day we read about more corporate and political ethical missteps. It's enough to wonder what makes such smart people go wrong.

And, of course, while parents set ethical standards for their children, good and bad, ultimately each individual is accountable for his or her own actions.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Childfree.net offers lists of books, web sites

Childfree.net is being added to our blogroll because it offers brief reviews of several books published since the earlly 1990s about the childfree and childless. And it provides links to several web sites that discuss having no kids that I plan to explore.
(Click the headline.)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Childfree, childless, no baby or no kids

A search of the internet for "no kids" brings up everything from

1. Childfree
2. Childless
3. No kids allowed
4. Baby Not On Board ( Click head to see blog by author of the book.)
5. Fertility clinics

to, I suppose, empty nester and "dual income, no kids."

People are at different stages of their lives. Young folks are deciding whether to have kids or not. They're finding out whether they can have kids or that one or both members of the couple are infertile.

Older childfree couples or individuals may be empty nesters, having raised children. Or they may be child free or childless individuals or couples who never had babies and never will.

So we go from those childless people desperate to have children to those child free parents who have had them and are empty nesters to childless or childfree individuals or couples who either never wanted or never could have children.

I've found another site that seems to be of the younger generation, pushing a new book, Baby Not On Board.

I guess you could say, Teens Not On Board, Adolescents Not On Board or Grandkids Not On Board.

Looks like a series to me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Childless couples more likely to read blogs; influential people do

Young childless couples are more likely to get their "news" (which is undefined) from blogs; 3% of seniors do. More will as time goes on. Blog readers, however are opinion leaders, so we're getting to the influential people in the world. Click the headlline for more information.

Target meets Wal-Mart's $4 price on 150 generic drugs

The price wars begin. Note that 150 classes of drugs are involved, not the 291 announced by Wal-Mart, which counted different dosages separately. Wal-Mart says it may add more drugs, will make money on the $4 prescriptions and that the drugs involved represent about 20% of its prescription drug sales.

Financial planning is different for childless couples

When you don't expect to have kids, you plan your financial future differently than you would if you had kids.

When you have kids, you spend 10s of thousands on raising them, educating them, marrying them off and on keeping them healthy, if you're luckky.

And you plan your estate so that your kids will get more of your money than the tax collectors.

But if you have no kids and don't think you will have them, you look at your financial prospects differently.

First you plan for self sufficiency. When you're in your 70s, 80s and 90s, who will take care of you?

Your savings and investments, maybe your pensions.

Parents will be gone. No help from them. Siblings will be gone or will have their hands full taking care of themselves and their kids, grandkids.

You'll be on your own. And you'll depend on paid help—hopefully honest, compassionate paid help—to manage your money and your care.

If you're lucky, a niece or nephew will help out.

So you have to invest for the long term, and you have to save. You have to become financially savvy.

I didn't say financially smart. It's not about being smart, it's about beilng educated, informed and involved in managing your investments, preferably yourself. Otherwise with a financial adviser.

I'll be blogging on investing and planning for the long term when you have no kids to finance or to finance you in your old age.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Parenting lasts longer these days

Parenting lasts a lot longer these days as some parents put their 20 somethings on their health insurance programs.

When you have no kids, you don't have to make these hard decisions. Too bad more people don't read The Millionaire Next Door, which warns against subsidizing grown children.

When you don't have children, it's easy to be critical.

Watch for Wal-Mart's $4 generic drugs; coming in '07

Whether you have kids or pets or not, you probably are buying generic drugs.

And Wal-Mart reportedly will be testing sharply lower prices on some 300 generic drugs, beginning in Tampa. Wal-Mart's press release is here.

If you are using a lot prescribed drugs, this will be worth moving your pharamcy business to Wal-Mart, if a store is convenient to you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Working women lose to the tax collectors

The Washington Post has a great column on modern moms and outdated laws, but it applies to childless working women as well. Click here.

Impact graphs are here (read the whole thing, ladies):

Two-income families now constitute two-thirds of all married couples; women account for 59 percent of the American workforce. Yet working women ages 22-55 are paying some of the highest tax rates in the country and married women who work outside the home are likely to pay the highest marginal tax rates in the country.

These are just a few of the troubling facts contained in a new book Leaving Women Behind: Modern Families, Outdated Laws, co-written by Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel and John Goodman and Celeste Colgan of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

"The entry of women into the workforce has been the greatest economic and sociological change in our society in the past 60 years," said Kim Strassel in a recent press release. "Despite this momentous transformation, our public policy institutions have failed to adjust."

According to the book, our country's major economic institutions -- including tax law, labor law, employee benefits law, Social Security and retirement policies -- reward families with a full-time worker and a stay-at-home spouse and, by comparison, punish every other arrangement.

The book highlights several examples of the penalties married working women face. For example:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This morning I'm supposed to be proofing our new book of stories by parents of twins, Twice Loved, which we hope to send to the printer next week. I'm half way through the entertaining galleys. There are 220 pages to proof.

This is a sample of how Susan and I work together.

She decided she wanted to publish a book in the "Chicken Soup" genere for parents of twins. We receive dozens of manuscripts from parents who want to be published in our Twins™ Magazine, which has been loved by parents of twins since 1984. Since the magazine is published only six times a year and is too small to have great advertising support, we don't have space for all of the great articles we receive.

Susan found the editor, (if not one of the ediors, of the Chicken Soup series who happens to be a mom of twins. She selected and edited the stories and got their writers' approvals of her editing. Our art director designed and desktop published the book.

I quietly approved and listened to Susan talk on the phone and to our art director about the book. Seems like a good project.

So now I'm involved. I'm the fresh set of eyes, the critic and promoter. In addition to enjoying a good read, I'm finding a few typos and raising a very few questions. I'm also the bottleneck in charge of finding a book printer, hoping we don't have to go to Sinapore to find an affordable printer. I'm trying to gauge the market for the book, which should appeal to more people than our some 40 children's and parenting books, which are published for families and raising twin babies and more.

Finally, I'll promote the book by advertising on Google and Yahoo, and we'll do some PR on the Internet and in the print media.

So that's how we're working together in our 38th year of our childless marriage.

The lives of the kidless are relatively routine and quiet.

We don't get calls from the kids, and we don't have kids to worry about and enjoy.

So we focus on other things.

Like work.

Last night, we worked and played on the computer at the office until about 11 p.m. I was surfing the net, looking for ways to build traffic to our www.businessword.com web site, where I blog on marketing and business and we sell subscriptions to our newsletter, Financial Advertising Review.

Like many others, I can become glued to my chair in front of a computer and forget about time.

My wife, who is president of The Business Word and a hard worker, was on the other side of our office (we've always shared an office), mostly playing. She was planning a trip back to the Midwest, where she wants to visit her aunt in a nursing home and I want to visit my Dad.

So even though we don't have kids, we have relatives that we're caring for and concerned about. Will spend a week driving around Illinois and Michigan and enjoying Chicago, where we lived for many years.

I don't know about other childless and petless couples, but we feel a great freedom to come and go as we please, although we usually come home from work at the same time—in our own cars. We're not tied to baby sitting responsibilities nor do we have to walk the dog or feed the cat.

Yesterday was a little more intense than usual. We both worked the equivalant of 17 hours, but we pace ourselves with distractions between bouts of concentration on business.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just discovered a Blogger, Dual lncomes No Kids that's being written by a couple of newly weds who are at the opposite end of the parenting versus non parenting spectrum.

Monday, August 28, 2006

It's been a long time since I posted on this blog. This tells me that having no kids nor pets has not been at the top of my mind or list of priorties.

Yet, being childless does come to mind as we see friends play with grand kids, not play with their grandkids and let grand kids take over their lives, or not.

And being childless comes to mind as we think of our mortality and stay involved in staying in touch with our one surviving parent. We think about who will support us and comfort us as we age, and we can only think that we will be alone with relatives far away and friends dealing with their own lives.

If your work requires you or your spouse or partner to be away for home for days or weeks at a time on a regular schedule, you may be interested in a new board designed for "Camp Widows" and their road warriors. I've added a link. Click here to see the Camp Widows Forums.