2018 Financial Goals – May Update

2018 Financial Goals – May Update

Spring has finally sprung in Ottawa!

That means since my last update here, it’s time for a financial goals update.

Now, as a reminder, here are our two big hairy audacious long-term financial goals:

  • Become debt-free before we retire (that’s pretty much a MUST), and
  • Own a $1 million investment portfolio to spend in retirement.

Instead of focusing on these goals and thinking they are insurmountable, we break-down our long-term goals into more manageable chunks.


Also, unlike what some bloggers or financial experts suggest, we save and invest, and we pay down debt at the same time.   I’ve followed this approach for many years and will continue to do so.  On that theme, here’s our financial goals for 2018 and where we are trending to:

  1. maximizing contributions to our TFSAs (for long-term dividend income and growth), and
  2. killing debt.

May Updates

Goal #1 has long since been accomplished.  In January 2018 we decided to maximize contributions to our Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).  If you don’t already know, there are many great things you can do with your TFSA here!  We decided to buy more Canadian dividend paying stocks inside our TFSA last month – including some of the ones I said I would in this post here (utility stocks) and here (bank stocks).

Our TFSAs are now fully maxed out.  Based on recent calculations the investments inside those accounts now churn out close to $7,500 in (tax-free) dividend income per each year – should we want to withdraw that money for something.  (You know what I’m going to write though – the thing is – we don’t dare touch that money.  For almost a decade we have considered our TFSAs as a retirement account.  Investments within our TFSAs will help cover future retirement spending needs when we’re no longer working and/or when we no longer have a decent job.)

Regarding Goal #2 we have more work to do.  We took on some debt to make a down payment as part of this final housing dilemma decision but we believe this was the best decision for us and for what our future semi-retirement lifestyle could be in as early as 5-10 years from now.  While managing money is an important skill in life…life is definitely not about money.

That’s it for now.  We’ll provide more details about Goal #2 in a future update.

How are you doing with your financial goals this year?   Did you set any?  

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

9 Responses to "2018 Financial Goals – May Update"

  1. Stumbled upon your blog. Great insights! I shall peruse your dividend stock lists next. Admire your intentional goal-setting. Good for the soul! Nice, hopeful this to reflect on when times are tough (work sucks, kids sick)… particularly if you can see the light! Cheers!

  2. Hi Mark – the marriage question was totally general, and not directed to you! Sorry for that! But thanks for your comments, esp. about writing more in future about total well-being. A vast topic for sure.

    1. No problem and I know that – I was just trying to give you an honest and open answer in that these are things discussed at our kitchen table over a bottle of vino!

  3. Hey Mark – lots of goals for us too this year, especially as we near early retirement. Investments wise, I use and will continue with the canadian couch potato approach – VXC, VCN and a canadian bond index. Personally, this portion of my portfolio is stress free and I check it but once a year to rebalance. Some REITs too – a nice steady DRIP of dividends. But I do like to gamble and about 1% is to pick ‘wild’ cards. You gotta have some fun! Any winners in this area will be marked for future trips.

    I think that it is important to set goals in the personal arena of our lives as well as we approach retirement. Like, how’s the ol’ marriage doing? Are we both aligned in how we see retirement? Its a lot of time to spend together! I’ve seen a few too many relationships break down in the golden years, and to lose half that way? Not fun. So this year for us is lots of conversing ( with good bottles of wine) about a future without work. Pretty darn exciting but not to be launched into without serious planning, both financial and personal.

    1. I’m a big fan of VXC and I will likely buy some myself in the coming year to keep things simple for my wife inside her CDN $$ RRSP. Same with me, although most of my RRSP is in USD.

      Interesting you ask about our marriage because while investing for our future is important, goal alignment is far more important. It’s actually a HUGE reason why we are moving to a condo. This move will (and has already) cost more money but it’s for other reasons to support my wife.

      “I’ve seen a few too many relationships break down in the golden years, and to lose half that way? Not fun.”

      I too have seen this and I’ve also seen marriages stay together (but probably shouldn’t) because there is misalignment. I don’t want to fall victim to that. So, we need a balanced approach that I might write more about eventually – physical, mental, personal and financial well-being. Good finances are hardly worth it without the other three and I would argue if you focus too much on one of those 4 things – the other three will suffer.

  4. My goal this year is full deploying cash on hand. So far not make much progress yet. 🙁

    It’s difficult to be greedy when everybody is fearful.


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