2022 Financial Goals – March Update
Welcome to an update on my 2022 financial goals, a countdown to semi-retirement.
2022 Financial Goals
A reminder to readers we defined our semi-retirement goals a few years ago as part of this Financial Independence Plan here.
I’ve put a screenshot from our actual written plan below:
Sticking to many of the bullets in my asset accumulation years are a given:
- We’ll continue to live within our means.
- We remain on track to pay off all debt/mortgage debt in the coming years.
- We will continue to invest in many assets for diversification and aligned to our risk profile.
There is also work ahead in the coming years to even consider semi-retirement:
- Max out contributions to our Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in 2022.
- Max out contributions to our Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) this year.
- Continue to pay off our mortgage.
- Initiate a larger emergency fund to start semi-retirement with.
Since announcing these goals for 2022, I thought I would share a quarterly update.
2022 Financial Goals – March Update
1. Max out our TFSAs
Using your TFSA as an investment account is one of the best things you can do with your TFSA, although other ideas exist as well.
Early in January 2022, we moved cash savings into our TFSAs: $12,000 contributed.
Since early January, we purchased a few hundred units of low-cost ETF XAW and some shares in Algonquin Power (AQN).
The rationales behind these purchases were simple:
- With XAW, I diversify my assets across companies and countries from around the world for a low-fee. No stock selection at all. I own 9,000+ stocks within a single ETF.
- I’ve put AQN on my buy radar a few times over the years and 2022 is another example. Algonquin Power is a diversified, international renewable powerhouse with utility generation, transmission, and distribution operations headquartered in here in Canada, with operations across North America, including in Arizona, California, and Texas. I personally like and support their push for green energy. They have many facilities under construction and with the demand (and need) for renewable energy increasing, I believe AQN is well-positioned to deliver cashflow and growth to shareholders like me.
2. Max out our RRSPs
Passionate readers of this site will know for years, I’ve touted the merits of investing inside your TFSA before your RRSP.
There are a few key reasons for this:
- The TFSA “wins” over the RRSP regardless of your earned income. Meaning, regardless of how much money you make, every adult Canadian has the chance to max out contributions to this account for investment purposes.
- While the RRSP is great, for multi-decade retirement saving and investing, it does need to be shut down eventually in the year you turn age 71. This means the RRSP account essentially has an expiry date. There is no such expiry date for the TFSA!
- Life happens. Because TFSA money can grow and be withdrawn tax-free, this makes the TFSA an outstanding estate planning account – your TFSA and your partner’s TFSA should be strongly considered for “the end” when it comes to portfolio drawdown considerations.
I practice what I preach.
So, after maxing out contributions to our TFSAs again in 2022, I’ve moved on and just recently maxed out contributions to each RRSP again for 2022.
I still have some purchases to make inside this account so I will let you know later this year what I purchased.
3. Continue to pay off our mortgage
Without any debt entering semi-retirement, I feel we’ll be in a great position to work on our own terms.
Goal in progress.
4. Increase our cash wedge for semi-retirement
Some readers will recall I made the decision to incorporate in late-2020, for many good reasons many folks decide to incorporate as well. I wrote about my thoughts on whether I would take a salary or dividends from my corporation eventually. In the near-term however, I will do neither.
Instead, I will see if I can increase our corporation income in 2022 and keep our increased cash savings there for the time-being as I approach semi-retirement, potentially around the end of 2024.
We still however keep our emergency fund at this amount outside our corporation.
Aligned to our financial independence plan above, we have a goal of keeping about $50,000 in cash to enter semi-retirement with. That’s essentially 1-years’ worth in expenses to cover all necessities of life if/should we want to spend that and never touch our portfolio or even work part-time. I keep cash as a risk mitigation tactic.
You can see how we intend to structure our accounts for cashflow management here:
This is our bucket approach to earning income in retirement.
Goal in progress.
Is it still all about the dividends?
I suspect even if we get half of those dividend hikes in 2022 (like we did in 2021), we should surpass our $27,000 per year target goal from taxable and TFSA dividend income rather easily by the end of this calendar year.
Here is a longer range projection of where we are headed:
I’ll keep you posted with my monthly dividend income updates! A quick Google search with “My Own Advisor dividend income” will put pretty much all posts on your page 1. 🙂
2022 personal resolutions
Beyond money stuff, there is no value in early or semi-retirement if I don’t have my health.
So, here are a few personal goals for 2022:
- Increase physical fitness. I’ve made improvements over the last year but I’m not where I want to be. I have commited to getting into a mix of walking, stretching, yoga, and some weights three times per week.
- Being more mindful of my time and energy. Less can be more. Aligned to my personal goal above I believe mental wellbeing is essential. As such, I’ve been working on my time management in 2022. That includes working on what moves me and saying a polite “no” to what doesn’t.
So, that’s my update for the start of the year.
I wish you well in your financial or personal goals this year and welcome any comments on mine.
I read every comment.
How to Beat the TSX market here.
I’ve maxed out my TFSA and RRSP. Now what to invest in???
If you’re considering retirement, make sure you know how and when to withdraw from your RRSP and TFSA.
How much do you need to spend $4,000 per month at 3.5% inflation for the next 40 years?
Hey Mark, congrats on hitting your finance goals so far! I was wondering, what are your thoughts on higher yield ETFs such as Covered Call Dividend ETFs? For example, ZWC, ZWB, or HDIV. If you’re not familiar with CC ETFs that’s okay, I was just wondering. Maybe you can do a post on it as well in the future?
Great question 🙂
Some answers Passive:
If you look apples to apples and compare the 5-year performance between ZWC and XIU, for example, I think you’ll find no comparison 🙂
Just me! Looking forward to your feedback.
Thanks I’ll definitely take a look at that article.
I’ve found a mix of the two to be a nice middle ground, with more weight of course on the index side for growth and still having the covered call etfs for some monthly cash flow.
Good stuff Passive, have a read. 🙂
Very nice and detailed financial & personal plan. We used to have a fairly similar financial list before we got to the point of feeling comfortable that our dividend income was significantly higher than what we need for all expenses and very likely to remain that way (around 2015).
It’s actually quite amusing that my overall plan (financial, personal, life in general) is to try and make the current year as good as the previous year. No self-improvement goals, bucket list is all done, etc, etc. I know I “peaked” around 2015 and am just trying to maintain that level. So far, so good, I still can do all the physical stuff at pretty much the same level and still really enjoy walking, running, hiking, camping, and all the outdoor stuff and the family fills almost all the social needs.
My motto has gone from “upwards and onwards” to “steady eddy”. 🙂
Take her easy
I’m slowly getting to the “steady eddy” Don.
I enjoy reading the comments from yourself, Deane, others on the site that have been there, done that.
You provide both inspiration and confidence I’m doing all the right things.
I suspect as I get older, it will be less about self-improvement and more gratitude. I also really enjoy walking, hiking, camping, and biking, etc. and it is my hope I simply have more time to value what’s important as I get older 🙂
Thanks for your thoughtful contributions. I read every one.
Thanks for the really nice reply. Great comment on “more gratitude”. That’s an even better way to describe my current situation – “steady-eddy, appreciative” phase. I really know how fortunate my wife & I and family have been.
I think your blog is quite amazing with how you can keep coming up with such interesting topics. I also think you have the best group of followers and commenters.
You’re also doing an incredible job with your finances and with how you’re living your life. It’s very cool seeing you getting into more exercising and getting out & about.
So when you actually full time retire what total percentage do you hope to have in Dividend stocks and what in ETFS?
Thank you, Alice
Hopefully close to 50/50 split = dividend stocks + ETFs = 100% portfolio assets beyond cash.
That’s my current thinking but could all be subject to change 🙂
I should add Alice, that’s in many years. I hope to work part-time for 5-10 years so it’s going to take me some time to even out the portfolio a bit with that blend of low-cost growth ETFs and some pay-me-now dividend stocks. We’ll see. I hope to own more XAW and other ETFs for growth but I might stay tilted to more dividend stocks as I age but I see the benefits of less individual stocks (and therefore some low-cost ETFs) as I age to hedge some risks.
Thoughts on that?
I like the personal resolutions, the $ numbers and trajectory of that dividend chart.
Pedal down on the mortgage, the savings for investing, and building the cash wedge you want. All stuff you’re doing and on track with!!
Thanks very much Deane and I must say, folks like yourself continue to be an inspiration to me – folks that have successfully “been there, done that”. I enjoy following and learning from success stories 🙂
Good list Mark, the only one I would question is the $45K emergency. I can say (now retired) I focused on eliminating the mortgage to clear the “cloud” for retirement both mentally and financially. If you did need some emergency $ you can always pause the plan a bit with PLC if in fact it was a true emergency with no recourse to deal with from cash flow. Not dealing with the mortgage (in my humble Opinion) creates a false sense of wealth. Calculate too, all the hidden cost including mortgage insurance etc. plus the idea the bank really owns /controls your home and has its hands in your pockets. (even if rates seem low)
I can attest the day you stop making mortgage payments and start flowing that $ to your investments the sun shines bright when you walk thru that door!
Thanks K/Ken 🙂
Ya, I really want to be close to mortgage/debt free at time of semi-retirement. I might take on some leveraging investing after that but only a bit 🙂
That said, I know psychologically when the mortgage is done, any income I/we make is ours to keep and have fun with.
In fact, from our taxable account alone, that should cover our monthly condo/maintenance fees + annual property taxes in the coming years for life via dividends and distributions! That’s the plan anyhow.
Thanks for the encouragement!
Excellent progress Mark. I do miss, just a little, the days of being on the path to achieving our FIRE goal. I found the planning and executing of the plan very rewarding.
In your written goals you have a $45K emergency fund, and in Bucket 1 you have a $50K cash savings wedge. Are these the same thing, or is the emergency fund in a fourth bucket?
Sorry Bob, to clarify, the $45k-$50k emergency fund is the same as Bucket #1. That’s all the cash I intend to have entering semi-retirement in a few years. That’s the idea. Too much, too little, thoughts?
Mark, “Too much, too little”? Oh boy, being able to answer that question for myself took about a year as I tilted our portfolio back and forth between equities and fixed income (including the emergency fund), until it felt just right, i.e. I could sleep soundly. It turned out that $50K cash, above our cash for expenses, was the sweet spot.
I found my comfort zone to be a $15K emergency fund, a two-year rolling cash balance of $70K, half of which is for the current year’s expenses, plus we have three years’ worth of spending in bond ETFs ($100K). As we progress through the current year, I periodically top up the cash balance from dividends or selling stocks and equity ETFs. Any funds destined for CRA are excluded from our cash balance.
Whereas you have a high dividend income, we have income from a pension which I was able to access without penalty at age 55. The pension covers our basic expenses; the portfolio covers the rest.
So, if your $45K-$50K emergency fund is to carry you though an event like your garage roof collapsing onto your car, AND through a major market crash (albeit not at the same time), then it sounds just about the right amount to me.
That’s great insight for me Bob, re: “It turned out that $50K cash, above our cash for expenses, was the sweet spot.”
Exactly what I think as I strive for semi-retirement in the coming years.
Yes, I hope to have most expenses covered by dividend income in about 2-3 years. Shelter, food and transportation. The rest of our expenses will be covered by sales of assets (stocks, ETFs) and part-time work. I figure we need about $4k-$5k per month for a decent retirement spend. That means I’ll need a portfolio of at least $1 M to enter retirement with excluding government benefits.
I’ll keep you and others posted of course where we get. There is value in working longer but I think part-time work will be a nice balance for me in my 50s.