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).
Retire By 40 appreciates the power behind “Barista FIRE” that I mentioned in a recent Weekend Reading.
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!”
The answer to how much do you need to retire on $5,000 per month until age 95 is found here.
Can this couple retire at age 55, with $800,000 in their RRSPs, navigating higher inflation?
This reader makes less than $45k per year and wonders if they can retire early, even on a lower income.
How much do you need if you want to spend more in retirement: what does it take to retire on $6,000 per month?
You can find more retirement essays from folks that have successfully “been there, done that” on this Retirement page here.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments below.
Hi Ricardo: Sometimes I do fun with figures and add things up. Your note gave me inspiration so I added up what I make per hour. This is a little rough but not counting the mutual funds which drip units into my account each month and are assigned a value I make $29.23/ hour. When I was laid off I made $12.00/ hour at work and the stock market gave it a bit of a boost but for the last 31 years it has all been the stock market. I may remind you that doesn’t include the TFSA or the RRIF. Like I said patience and time and you to will increase your cashflow.
Hi Ricardo: Just keep on investing and soon you will be well past $15.25 per hour. All it takes is patience and time. No use getting depressed over it. There are all kinds of things to make you depressed besides that.
Thanks for the words of encouragement Ronald!
I’m getting depressed.
How can I keep up with inflation if they keep raising the minimum wage?
I was/am hoping to get to $14.25hr (divs / hrs) this year and here they go and raise to $15.25hr
Soon will have diminishing resources due to mandatory withdrawals so I may never make it.
$14+ per hour, every hour, is very impressive my goodness!
Hi Mark: A while ago you asked what I was watching. Here is one that I started watching and then stopped. When I looked at it again it had risen in value so may be of interest to you. The stock is Olympia Financial Group (OLY-T). It used to be on the Venture Exchange but is now on the TSX. It is $88.35 and yields 6.11% with a dividend of $5.40 yearly. Unlike the banks and insurance companies it is off the beaten path but the yield and payout are tempting. Something to look at.
Interesting, thanks for that.
Hi Mark: Just in case you missed it Telus raised their quarterly dividend to.3636. This will probably start on 1 July/ ’23. For me it means a bump from $1404.00 to $1454.40. Not to hard to take at all. Part of the plan to get rich slow. In April there were a bunch of stocks that also raised their dividends so more rolling in all the time.
I did see that, great! A small bump in my income but all good!
My eighteenth year into retirement and I’m still building up our small dividend conglomerate of all-Canadian individual companies in the taxable account. Most months when we have the combined savings and dividends I add more to it. Whichever sector is lagging in the portfolio, gets the money.
We have global index ETF’s in the RRIF’s and TFSA’s, but combined, with each passing year they are getting smaller and smaller compared to the taxable account even though the TFSA’s are fully funded each year, and we only withdraw the minimum required per annum from the RRIF’s.
You’re doing well, Mark. Keep up the good work.
Thanks very much, coming along. I also like investing into lagging sectors. Buy low kinda thing and wait for things to turn around…
I keep VTI in RRSP and XAW in TFSA for now for some extra diversification. I hope to max out both RRSPs in a few months and then start saving for 2024 TFSA contribution room this summer and fall.
It is our hope semi-retirement comes in 2024. Been 20 years in the making. 🙂
Hi Mark: How much is enough? Too much is never enough. There are always things that pop up that one didn’t account for. Vacations, oil changes, car maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc. You may find your wife may not like you hanging around the house all the time. The good thing about being retired is you can do what you want when you want. If I was in better health I would be doing a lot of golf but with two bad hips that is being put on the burner for now until I have hip surgery. That is another thing. To get the best hip surgery you have to pay for it if you want it done fast. I do and have the money to pay for it. My brother plays hockey in the winter and goes to the gym and in the summer golfs and sails his boat on the St. Lawrence and in between times they go to Ottawa to see their kids and grandkids. He took early retirement at 60 and full retirement at 65.
Good stuff. I just want a bit more balance, that’s all. A bit of work and some more playtime/free time really. I’ll keep you and others posted in how I get there and what that means! 🙂
Very solid stuff Mark. You & your wife are on your way to FIWOOT.
I’m just writing about our April dividend income. We’ve set an all-time monthly record (+$5,200) and dripped over 110 shares. 🙂
That’s incredible. Very well done, Bob. You’re on your way to FIWOOT very soon in the coming years. I hope you do that too! 🙂