April 2023 Dividend Income Update
Welcome to a new monthly dividend income update…
New readers to this site will learn more about my hybrid approach to investing through these updates. Long-standing subscribers will also learn about some recent portfolio additions too!
How much is enough?
Probably the biggest retirement question “out there”.
If I had a nickel every time I heard that question (and any answers to it) I wouldn’t be working right now. Ha.
But on a serious note, it is a big, important question for pretty much every prospective retiree. No denying that. An answer that you or your partner can only answer. An answer that is unique.
I want to revisit some thinking on that question this month as we progress towards some plans ourselves hopefully sometime next year.
How much is enough?
Well, I always say it starts with what you intend to spend and probably a little bit more to cover any “what ifs” in life. I’ll link to some case studies below that you might find interesting, how much is enough for some couples and some individuals, and you can compare from there.
Back to us, unlike other years, we’re more actively tracking our expenses throughout 2023. We’re doing that to gather a meaningful baseline to see if our assumptions make sense – a slight reduction in work + retirement withdrawals = semi-retirement fun.
Tracking expenses are likely important in any year.
I’ve always appreciated you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
So, tracking expenses in more detail this year is good validation that we have “enough” saved up coupled with some jobs that entail less than full-time work – the sum of two parts to meet our lifestyle needs.
On My Dividends page I’ve posted in general terms what I believe we’ll need to earn from our portfolio to cover most basic expenses/needs. A huge financial milestone for us in the coming year or so will be no mortgage debt. Without that debt anchor, that should free-up a couple thousand dollars per month – money we don’t need to earn to sustain our current lifestyle since we’re not paying other people/banks first.
Another factor in our financial independence plan is my concept of #FIWOOT or as others’ might coin it, Barista FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early).
This is where you and/or both of you in your household, supplement some of your financial independence with some part-time work for extra income to close any gap on needs and wants. This is a bit contrarian thinking to what some folks feel is true financial independence – realizing a clear Crossover Point:
The entire work on own terms has always had a far greater appeal to us. My wife and I are too young (to be honest) not to work at all. We want to keep our minds and bodies active, and be productive contributors to a workplace we currently enjoy. We also simply don’t have enough saved or invested yet to never work again. So, the combination of working a bit more in our 50s, albeit not full-time (?) with having a decent portion of our investment income covering our annual expenses is an approach that should work out well for us. Your mileage may vary.
Here is a quick example of any FIWOOT or Barista FIRE plan playing out (just a loose example).
Mark is a project manager.
While Mark and his wife enjoy their jobs, they are also paying a mortgage right now – paying other people first. As a couple they need to earn at least $63k per year, after-tax, to lead the life they want. (Source.) Once the mortgage dragon is slayed, this couple might not need to work as much to sustain their current lifestyle.
Let’s suppose this couple wants to spend about $4,000-$4,500 per month, on average, excluding any travel and excluding any major expenses (newer vehicles, etc.). If this couple has managed to save a large enough portfolio over their 20+ year working careers respectively, they can likely withdraw 4-5% from that portfolio, per year, every year rising with inflation over the coming 30 years with little fail of running out of money until their 70s or 80s. These withdrawals do not include other, future, income sources such as any government benefits (like CPP and OAS) and these portfolio withdrawals exclude any small workplace pensions they both have as well.
Our couple in this case 🙂 – could hopefully continue working, albeit a few less hours per week and therefore earn less money, but still make some income to cover various spending needs and wants in their 50s. That includes covering the expenses gap between basic expenses (food, shelter, home utilities, etc.) and desired, higher spending like international travel and other experiences.
The flipside to this #FIWOOT journey is prolonged full-time work. That is also an option, of course. That might also mean continuing to save money for retirement too. Yet I figure if you’ve already built yourself a solid financial foundation, it’s OK to take your foot off the proverbial investing gas. It’s OK to take a small leap of faith and not work full-time too much longer than you really have to…unless you really want to.
Life is short.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”―
April 2023 Dividend Income Update
Thanks to decades of following some diligent saving and investing practices, using our hybrid approach to investing, we’re getting closer to realizing some major, multi-decade financial milestones. I can only hope the same for your investing journey!
Original image Source: Akil Mazumder, Pexels
As of the end of April 2023, here is our updated Projected Annual Dividend Income (PADI) in chart form:
To put this new monthy update into perspective:
- That’s averaging $3,420 per month or about $112 per day.
- A reminder we don’t intend to invest any money inside our taxable accounts at all, this year. We simply don’t have enough to go around…we are focused instead on maxing out our TFSAs (first, like we do every year (now done)) and then maxing out our RRSP contributions for the current 2023 tax year in a few months. After that, our plan is to save for 2024 TFSA contributions later this year and be ready to roll when new TFSA contribution room opens us as of January 2024. This saving work remains directly aligned to our 2023 financial goals.
Our recent rise in dividend and distribution income this month can be attributed to buying a bit of TD Bank recently on top of the CNQ purchase last month when that share price was down.
I look forward to sharing my next update for the month of May including any new transactions!
An inspiring tiny thought from one of my favourite blogs – Farnam Street:
“Spend the best hours of your day on the biggest opportunity, not the biggest problem.”
Want to spend about $4,000 per month on average or closer to $50k per year rising with inflation starting at age 55? This is how much you need. From the post:
“Even though all their retirement savings are associated with their TFSAs and RRSPs only, Michael and Julie will still have lots of control over withdrawals. This should be a takeaway message for all aspiring retirees – max out those TFSAs and RRSPs if you can!”
How much do you need if you want to spend more in retirement: what does it take to retire on $6,000 per month?
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments below.