Book Review: Portraits of Childfree Wealth - Jay Zigmont

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Book cover showing a Venn diagram of time, money, and freedom.My wife and I are planning on being DWZ DINK FIRE. That's a lot of letters to say we want to retire early and not leave any money to our non-existent kids.

This book is a (slightly shallow) exploration of 26 people on similar journeys. They're all American (or now living in the USA) so it has a slight bias to talking about things like 401(k) and medical bills which are absent in most other parts of the world. The author is a CFP® and, at times, reads a little like an advert for their services. Which is fair enough for a free book.

But it is compelling - if a little repetitive - to read about people going through similar journeys to us. Opting out of the social default can be a little alienating, so it is heartening to hear their struggles and successes. Lots of talk about using spreadsheets to model the future, enjoying the freedom to pick up and leave at a moment's notice, refusing to compromise on their plans.

While I'm a gleeful propagandist for the childfree movement & FIRE in general, it's a little one-sided. There's no one who regrets their choice, so it suffers from survivorship bias. But there are a range of ages, races, and orientations. It's not all straight, white, young couples. Even if you're not American, there's some good advice in there - and some deep questions to ask yourself.

Overall, it's a great book for provoking a discussion with your partner. I'd love to read a follow-up with all the people interviewed in, say, a dozen years.

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