This study examines the perceptions of childlessness reported by 287 childless respondents aged 55 and over who were part of a larger study (n - 678) on aging and social support. Sixty-seven per cent (n = 193) report advantages to childlessness and 64 per cent (n = 185) report disadvantages. Qualitative data show that key perceived advantages are fewer worries or problems, financial benefits, greater freedom, and career flexibility. The major disadvantages are lack of companionship/being alone/loneliness, lack of support and care when older, and missing the experience of parenthood. Bivariate and multivariate analyses of the effects that gender, marital status, age, and childless status (childless by choice or by circumstance) have on the perceived advantages and disadvantages of having no children show that there is variability in perceived advantages only. When we compare specific perceived advantages and disadvantages to related experience, only some perceived benefits (financial advantage) are associated with actual experience. Findings are discussed in the context of actually experiencing costs and benefits versus sharing widely-held beliefs about childlessness.