Financial Freedom Target:  Age 50 – July 2018 Update

Financial Freedom Target:  Age 50 – July 2018 Update

Long-time readers of this site know we take a two-pronged approach to investing – as we work towards some form of financial freedom.

I like dividend investing in general because it’s tangible money I/we see flowing into our accounts.

Here is some information about dividends I presented during a Canadian MoneySaver webinar with my partners from 5iResearch some time ago:

Dividend Slide

When a corporation declares a dividend, the company’s retained earnings decrease and its current liabilities increase. When the cash dividend is paid, the corporation’s cash account decreases.  Dividend payments directly reduce a company’s earnings, so only stable, well-established companies tend to make regular dividend payments.

Here are some reasons, not all, why companies pay a dividend:

  • Reason #1 – it is core to company strategy. Potentially there are no current companies to acquire, maybe company debt is under control, and/or there is already a healthy stream of cash to begin funding new company products or services.  Thus, as part of company strategy to reward shareholders – the board of directors feels it’s simply one of the best things to do with company profits over time.
  • Reason #2 – the company is on sound financial ground. Most companies that pay a dividend, especially long-term (as in decades) have a stable business model.  You really can’t fake dividend payments for very long.  Companies that grow their dividend tend to have great cash flow – profits.  As an investor, it’s to your advantage to own shares in a company that makes large profits, consistently, with time. A reliable dividend is essentially one very good sign of business strength.  This is because unstable companies cannot divert profits directly to shareholders for very long.
  • Reason #3 – they want to attract investors.This is akin to company strategy.  Some investors are more speculative and like risks (note: this is not me).  Dividend-paying companies can attract a certain type of investor; one who prefers cash in hand versus the hope of capital gains.  Such investors like the idea of earning income from their investments the same way people go to work to earn an income – it’s dependable.  Over time the work is performed by their portfolio.  The portfolio will pay out MORE income over time if you reinvest dividends and/or you hold such dividend paying companies long enough whereby dividends are increased by the company every year or so.  Companies know there are investors out there who put a bias on income generated from their portfolio over growth.
  • Reason #4 – companies know investors like optionality. You see, in a perfect world, all businesses would allocate capital in a way to perfectly maximizethe return on that capital.  This would be done so reinvested money would go back into the business in way that pays off immensely for the shareholder (by increasing returns over time AND by continually reducing the company’s tax burden).  But you should know by now we don’t live in a perfect world.  This means shareholders have over time demanded a dividend – for the purposes of “optionality”.  That old link I provided above tells us shareholders like optionality – and dividends provide that optionality – to give investors the choice to increase or decrease their exposure to the business.  Reinvested dividends therefore, take advantage of that optionality, to increase exposure.  Dividends taken as cash, do not.

Dividends can therefore be one important part of an investor’s total return – our return.  Those returns are helping us reach our financial freedom target.

Easy Retirement

Financial Freedom Update

A couple of years ago, I got inspired to share more details about our financial goals here.  They are admittedly very lofty goals but like most things in life I figure if you don’t dream a little you’ll never realize your potential.

In that post I shared where I believe we might be at age 50 (5+ years away for me) with respect to realizing some early retirement goals.  The following is an update on that journey:

Projected assets by the end of 2023:

  • Principle residence = $600,000 (conservative value). This was part of my last update.  I assumed our house value (condo value) will be worth this amount in the coming years.  I believe it will be higher given the purchase price of the condo.  Regardless, we are not counting on our house for a retirement plan.  If the condo appreciates substantially in value over time – great.  If not, we will enjoy it anyhow as a place to live.  I’m optimistic we can be mortgage free in another 5 years.  If we do become debt-free in this timeframe I am very confident my wife and I can start part-time work going forward.  Debt is our biggest anchor now.
  • Defined benefit pension (mine) = $450,000 (estimated commuted value). This value was part of my last update.  Calculating commuted defined benefit pension values is not straightforward but for the sake of this post I’ll say my pension will be worth quite a bit more than that in 2023.  In my last update I told you I was very grateful for this pension; I still feel that way.  Based on my 2017 pension update, the pension should payout > $20,000 per year for life, indexed to 75% of Consumer Price Index inflationary costs, at age 65 with no reduced penalties.  I hope to work at my current place of employment for another 5 years, which should increase this pension amount.  However, nothing is ever guaranteed.
  • Defined contribution pension (wife) = $400,000 (max value). This value was part of my last update.  Her defined contribution (DC) pension plan is not as lucrative as mine but remains very valuable and we are also very thankful for it.  Assuming my wife will continue to work full-time for another 5 years; contributing to her DC pension, it might be close to this value.  We’ll see if markets are kind to her pension.  Market returns are never guaranteed.
  • Personal investments = $1,000,000 (big hairy audacious goal). We have recognized for the last decade that keeping a modest and consistent savings rate is our key to financial freedom.  This is not to say that returns aren’t important but I’ve learned throughout my investing career that time invested is far more valuable that timing your investments.  In fact, our boring approach to money management is working far better than I thought it would years ago.  For one, we max out contributions to our TFSAs every year.  Second, we strive to max out contributions to our RRSPs after TFSAs are filled up.  With any money left over, we kill debt by putting lump sum payments on our mortgage.

Financial Freedom Reflections and Going Forward

Years ago, in my 20s, I remembered playing with some newly minted financial calculators on this thing called the internet to see what it would take to realize such a far-off personal portfolio goal.  Using the super simple RRSP calculator from this page a 25-year-old (who knew far less about investing that he does today) who contributed $5,000 per year into their RRSP, for 25 dedicated years, earning 7% on average over that timeframe would own a portfolio worth $343,000 by age 50.

Assuming some couples might share the same saving and investing discipline, that means some couples might own close to $700,000 between their RRSPs by age 50.  Not trivial.

It’s cool to reflect upon those days and see where we are now.  We haven’t reached this RRSP value nor have we realized our big hairy audacious portfolio goal but we are getting there…slowly…thanks to years of good investing habits and decisions these calculators assumed we should have:

  1. Maintain modest, steady, monthly contributions to registered accounts (e.g., RRSPs, TFSAs) and don’t stop contributing.
  2. Make low-cost investment choices. Avoid high-fee products that will eat into your retirement nest egg and make other people wealthy (instead of you).
  3. Don’t tinker with the portfolio. I used to do that and have since stopped.
  4. Celebrate falling stock prices as a reason to buy more (not sell).
  5. Diversify assets beyond Canada’s borders to own equity growth opportunities from around the world.

My lessons to date can be summarized in one of the best financial books I’ve read over the years – designed for millennials – but investing principles are applicable to all investors.  By the way this is a FREE ebook!

I have no idea if we’ll actually reach these financial freedom targets in another 5+ years but we have an outside shot because we put a plan in place many years ago. I’ll keep you posted as we march towards this any financial freedom age 50 dream.

What saving and investing goals do you have?  What goals did you actually realize?  What path did you take and is it similar to ours?  Share in a comment.  I’d like to hear your journey and learn from it.

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.

54 Responses to "Financial Freedom Target:  Age 50 – July 2018 Update"

  1. Gruff403 (Semi retired at 56) · Edit

    Hi Mark. I’m a first time poster and thoroughly enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work.
    Here is a real life example of the beauty of dividend growth. In the mid 1990’s my wife received 80 shares of a boring old CM from her father as a inheritance gift. At that time CM was worth about $30 and paid a dividend of $1.20 annually. We had no idea what to do with them so collected the dividends ($96 per year) for a few years before discovering DRIPing which we immediately signed up for.
    Twenty plus years later those 80 stocks are now 180. The stock has appreciated from $30 to $120. Value of shares have grown from $2400 to $21 600. That represents an annualized return of over 11%. The dividend has grown from $1.20 to $5.38 annually and now pays us $968 per year. That represents an annualized return of over 7%. What I really like to focus on is what the current yields are on the original investment. We started at 4% ($1.2/$30) and now make almost 18% ($5.38/$30). Using the rule of 72 means that the original value of the stock will double very 4 years (72/18=4) and that time will shrink as the dividend continues to increase. We plan to never sell and in fact I will dip into my HELOC for cash before selling this. We will probably gift these to our kids as part of their inheritance but for now will continue to let it ride.

    1. Hey Gruff, great to hear from you.

      I really enjoyed your story/example – a great lesson for 30-somethings or even 40-somethings like me to stick to my dividend investing plan.

      “What I really like to focus on is what the current yields are on the original investment. We started at 4% ($1.2/$30) and now make almost 18% ($5.38/$30). Using the rule of 72 means that the original value of the stock will double very 4 years (72/18=4) and that time will shrink as the dividend continues to increase.”

      The Yield on Cost discussion has been debated many times but I do get where you are coming from – the longer you hold that investment the better the yield on your original purchase can look.

      All that to say, gifting shares to your kids is a great move. I provided some BMO shares to my nephews and I can only hope they stay invested for the next 50-60 years. They could end up with a pile of money just thanks to time in the market.

  2. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

    Don, the most important thing is you have a plan you’re comfortable with and that’s working for you. It’s obvious it is and that’s great.

    Thanks for the mention, for sharing details and best of luck.

  3. Thanks to Mark, Lloyd, and Rbull for the feedback and comments.

    I’ve certainly noticed that I have similar holdings and investing history and style to fellow retirees – Lloyd, Rbull, and Cannew.

    As an aside, we hold a total of 26 stocks, 2 ETFs, and a small position (1.6% of portfolio) in a low MER (0.87%) high yield bond mutual fund (PHN High Yield Series D from RBC).

    Also, BIP.UN, ENF, KEY, and PPL are additional holdings in what I call our “main group” holdings. I evaluated adding to them but decided not to as we were already a little over-weight in BIP.UN, am not too sure about what will happen with ENF with the roll-up into ENB, and didn’t like adding to KEY nor PPL as they have really run-up recently.

    I totally agree that there is not much diversification in our portfolio but we get more than twice as much dividend income as we need so we could handle major dividend cuts and still be more than fine. I think the potential for this with our current holdings is pretty much non-existent. Worst case might be that some of the dividend increases slow with the higher interest rates.

    Also, the stock price is a non-issue and I can’t ever see us having to cut into our capital. From my point of view, the only thing the stock price affects is how big the inheritance will be and whether we eventually start getting hit with OAS clawbacks.

    Things have obviously worked out incredibly well for us and we’ve been very fortunate with a number of things including our timing. I think a couple other keys are the dividend income/growth approach and always staying fully invested (so there never is anything remotely resembling market timing).

    All the best to all

    1. From the outside, seems like a good plan: 26 DG stocks, 2 ETFs, and a small position (1.6% of portfolio) in a low MER (0.87%) high yield bond mutual fund (PHN High Yield Series D from RBC).

      Overall, I think the ENF roll-up to ENB is good since it will simplify things (and reduce administrative costs).

      I’ve always written on this site having an OAS clawback situation to avoid is a very good problem to have.

      I think that’s one of the underestimated benefits of DG investing, you do not have to worry about market timing. Sure, if you want the money, selling at market highs are good but because you’re getting part of the total return anyway via the dividend you don’t have to worry as much.

      1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

        I’m not really a fan of the ENF/ENB switch. As I understand it the necessity is on the US side for tax reasons. They don’t need to change it for Canadians and if so should be offering more than a 5% premium- 1 ENF =.7029 of ENB. Typically these seem more like 20-30%. Plus the dividend payout will go down ~16.5% which doesn’t excite me. Simpler yes but seems the beneficiary is Enbridge parent not investors.

        I haven’t found details on when this is happening.

        1. It does look light on the premium for sure. If the beneficiary is ENB that should translate into long-term savings of ENB that get shared with ENB shareholders – no? This is only my speculation. I don’t have the cost savings to back up my claim but I’m assuming this is being done for tax/savings reasons.

          1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

            Over the long term it looks like a good move. Supposedly ENF won’t have easy access to capital or long term growth or viable dividend growth under current structure. not good.

            I just think the offer is kind of weak and we’ll take a little hit on the divvy-otherwise it’s the way to go.

            This is a pretty good analysis of the whole deal:


            Already own a good chunk of ENB but think I’ll keep it all. Otherwise I like what they’re doing right now, selling off some assets, getting debt under some control etc.

  4. Hey Gus

    Good stuff. You’re certainly doing very well for your age.

    I’ve been retired for just over 5 years and my wife and I live off dividend income (ie: no company pension). We are always totally invested (except for our cash wedge). All our investments are in Cdn dividend income/growth companies in 5 main sectors – telecom, banks, midstream, utilities, and REITs. We don’t hold any commodity related, consumer, tech, etc. We also don’t hold any bonds or GICs. Our investment approach is not for everyone but it works incredibly well for us. Our portfolio is much larger now than when I retired and we’ve obviously withdrawn a fair amount for our expenses.

    As an example of staying fully invested, we owned Enercare and it was announced on Aug 1 that it was being taken over by Brookfield. Anytime a stock of ours is being taken over, we sell immediately. This resulted in ~$125k to re-invest. I had a very busy Weds and “spent” it all. I added to 13 of our existing holdings (ALA, AQN, BCE, BEP.UN, BPY.UN, BMO, BNS, EMA, IPL, NPI, RY, T, TD) and started a position in FTS. Some of these have had their ups and downs but all have been fantastic long term holdings.

    As May said and I agree with, you have way more control with individual stocks than an ETF and you generally get better dividend growth. It seems like every dividend ETF has a couple companies that I don’t like.

    All of 14 of the above stocks have increased their dividends over the last year and might be worth your while to look into.


    1. Lloyd (58, retired (but farm a bit), married, rural MB) · Edit

      I’ve got most of those as well Don. CM v. BMO but no EMA or NPI. I also have BIP.UN, BAM.A, ENF, EIF, MRG.UN, EXE, NA, PWF, REI.UN, SLF, PPL and some e-series funds. Some of these were acquired when I was with an FA and just never got rid of them when I went self-directed. For sure at least a couple I would not buy. Everything is in either RRSP or TFSA, I have no real non-reg stock investments.

      I’ve been retired three years now and other than removing aprox 14-18K for tax purposes everything is mostly DRIPped.

      1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

        Great job Lloyd.

        You’ve got a very secure retirement and your favoured charities are going to be pretty happy!

    2. Don, simply amazing and I hope to accomplish the same from our portfolio.

      I will be posting my July 2018 dividend income update soon. Thanks to many of the same companies, like most dividend investors in Canada I suspect, with holdings like: AQN, BCE, BEP.UN, BPY.UN, BMO, BNS, EMA, IPL, NPI, RY, T, TD, FTS…and a few more, we’re earning more income every month by DRIPping and simply leaving the portfolio alone 🙂 Amazing when you think about it.

    3. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

      Nicely done Don G staying true to your plan and meeting your goals. Probably a good move to diversify that money, and add FTS, although BIP.un is a great holding.

      4 years into retirement we’re not able to be anywhere near all in with equities (let alone all Canada); even with my wife’s pension that makes up a good chunk of our income.If I keep hanging around this place long enough maybe that will change. LOL

      I own 9 of the stocks you mention, plus BIP.un and would like to own 3 more of them in time.

      1. Like Don, we hope to do the all equities approach but it will depend on our cash wedge, I figure at least $50k (one year of expenses) is required for that approach – bare minimum.

  5. Thank you so much guys for the replies, it’s greatly appreciated a lot of guys here have a great knowledge in investing and that helps a lot
    In the new year I’ll be adding about 20k in fresh money into my portfolio so i’m thinking of buying 4 canadian dividend stocks one in each sector perhaps .
    Again thank you so much for all the replies

    1. No sweat Gus. Again, my approach may or may not work for others. It’s really important you figure out your financial goals, risk tolerance, investing style, etc. to ensure you meet your objectives. That said, a constant dose of savings, keeping your fees low, diversifying the portfolio over time, and sticking with those elements will likely serve most investors very well long-term.

      1. Thank you and I hope that I’m really doing the right thing.
        One thing for sure is that I’m trying my best to invest as much as I can on order to retire either comfortably or early , I know I was like on and off on the investment side for many years but lately I got my goals straight but in real estate I’ve done really good mortgage free at the age of 41 and now I’ve got a rental as an investment.
        I guess u learn a lot from mistakes that u make in life but we have to learn and move on.
        Thanks guys for the time and effort.

        1. Gus, it’s impressive you are mortgage free at age 41. Well done!! For what it’s worth I’m 44 now, still have a mortgage but I’ve been investing for just over 20 years. I’m far from perfect but like I mentioned your savings rate, low-costs and willingness to stick with a collection of diversified stocks or funds you choose will be your key to success. Not dissimilar to the discipline you needed to kill debt.

          Happy to share some successes and failures here to help others.

        2. Great job Gus. Yeah you’re definitely doing it right. If we are mostly right with the important decisions and can learn something from the bigger mistakes good things happen.

          Being mortgage free early was a priority for us too.

  6. Mark,
    i know my question is off topic and i think i asked this before but it hasn’t sinked in yet in my mind i guess 🙂
    reading your blog and the people who post here you guys almost have the same strategy few low cost etfs that cover the whole market and a basket of dividend paying Canadian/Us stocks .
    what i still don’t get is why hold all these individual ones since a lot of dividend etfs hold these exact stocks under one etf for example XEI for Canadian and ZDY for us and ZDI for international , so it wouln’t be easier to buy one of each and enjoy a good income from them ? i know they have a slightly higher MER and holding an individual stock eliminate paying fees forever but beside that what other reasons for not holding these etfs ?.
    the reason why i’m asking is that every end of the year i add a good chunk of money in my portfolio but this year i’m thinking off adding couple of those dividend etfs to my ccp portfolio or should i add few good dividend paying stocks in it ? if someone can answer it would be really helpful.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. I believe people here are dividend growth investor, which means they want the dividend to grow by time. If you invest in an individual stock that has a history raising dividend year after year, e.g. TD, the chance dividend will keep going up is pretty high.

      It’s not the case with a dividend etf. Take xei as an example, it’s distribution fluctuate and did not have much growth ever since inception. It definitely does not fit the dividend growth investing rules.

      1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

        Good answer May especially for those focused on growers. For my accumulation years I didn’t focus on this, but now in retirement its an important criteria for my CDN equity side.

    2. Great questions Gus. I’ve written about why I don’t hold CDN ETFs that focus on Canadian stocks here:

      You’re right, the XEIs, etc. are good ETFs for income and some growth but I figure if I can own the same companies, avoid the fees, manage my own turnover, stock mix, etc. then I might beat the market and save more money in the process. For now, my CDN stock portfolio has returned 10% over the last 5 years. I’ll take that in the next 5 for sure!

      As for ZDY, I’m tempted to own it but I currently own VYM. Lower fees for the latter and holds 400 stocks.
      I’m also tempted to own IDV or an equivalent in the future but in the short-term I might be purchasing VXC for my wife’s RRSP.

      Because my plan is to largely “live off dividends” around age 55, ideally age 50 although some part-time work will be required at that age, I need to consider how to generate income from my portfolio vs. growth. As you know, income is tangible money I can use/spend and therefore draw down the capital on my own terms. I have to hope for growth.

      I’m not saying my portfolio is perfect nor without risk – but – I believe holding a mix of established dividend paying stocks and some low-cost ETFs for extra diversification will serve me well long-term.

      Let me know if you have further questions. Happy to organize those thoughts into a future blogpost.


      1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

        I look at this similarly on stocks vs etfs for CDN equities.

        I prefer VYM to ZDY for the same reasons, and higher yield, or even HDV. The monthly payout of ZDY may benefit some. I’ve been tempted by SDY.

        I’m surprised to read you are tempted by ZMI or equivalent with it’s 50% weighting to bonds and relatively high MER. Did you mean something else?

        My corp bonds keep getting called. 2 more yesterday. Hard or impossible to find similar yielding offerings right now. Kind of strange.

        FYI, I’m having the same issue as Lloyd with completing details in order to be able to post.

        1. Sorry, I meant to type IDV vs. ZMI – I have updated my comment! For modest MER I get access to ~ 100 dividend payers and >4% yield with IDV. Pretty secure income from IDV.

          ZMI might be a decent product for those that want little growth over time but steady income. It’s a fund of funds so it also costs more than the equity product IDV.

          Not sure what is going on with posting…sorry guys. I don’t think any of my settings have changed? I know there was a global website update a few days ago though so maybe it wiped some cached passwords on the user side? Mark

          1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

            Ahhh, that makes sense now. Yes, IDV is a steady and strong payer, but MER .49% is 4X more than the next highest I’m paying. Combined with VXUS I’m getting broad X-US global exposure with strong tilt to dividends. ZMI isn’t something I’d be remotely interested in- at least for now.

            Your site seems to be the only one I’m having issues with. Hopefully there is a fix somehow!

    3. Lloyd (58, retired (but farm a bit), married, rural MB) · Edit

      That’s a good point Gus. I’d opine that each one of us that are older found a process we are comfortable with. Not to say it is the best or it earns the most or it would work for everyone else. It isn’t always about getting that extra .0001%. We all have our own circumstances/priorities so trying to nail down a perfect one-size-fits-all procedure is not likely. If I had to make a suggestion I’d say keep reading, researching and don;t always believe what you read.

        1. Lloyd (58, retired (but farm a bit), married, rural MB) · Edit

          Ya, more so the comments. I think most of the bloggers are relatively honest due to the fact that if they are not they won;t have a successful blog.

          Have a nice long weekend Mark. (once you’re retired, they’re all long weekends) 😉

          Strange, it asked me to fill in the name/email to post. usually it’s already filled in.

          1. Fair point. I figure if I’m not honest or have little integrity on an issue, someone should call me out. As they should. I welcome my content and assumptions being challenged!

            All long weekends eh? Geez, I wish 🙂

            Best wishes.

  7. Mark, I think a market correction (within / during next 5 years) will change your numbers. But – you are doing a great job investing! and time will tell. With the two work pensions – you are diversified and total income (to live on) will not be a problem! Love the fact that you are honest and transparent! * Overall – I think you will be better off than most other retirees. Don’t forget to treat yourself and wife to some nice pleasures!

    1. Thanks Mike. We’ll see and you might be right about the bear market to come. The key thing to remember though is I’m not really focused on portfolio value but rather, what income my portfolio can deliver. I have a great deal of confidence if we can realize this goal ( AND be debt-free in the coming years we’ll be good for some form of semi-retirement.

      We’ll treat ourselves along the way since life is for the living 🙂

  8. Fantastic update! You are doing good and FIRE will be here for you in no time. How did you calculate the commuted value of your defined benefit pension? I contacted my DB plan and they basically told me they only calculate it if I need it and am divorcing lol! (Hopefully I will never have to get them to calculate that for that specific reason). I know Boomer and Echo has his on his statement but it’s not on mine.

    1. LOL. I didn’t calculate it GYM, I basically took a very conservative and rough guess. As you know, DB plans are tough to calculate but there is a general rule of thumb:

      “I talked to Rein Selles, one of Canada’s most respected Professional Retirement Planners (PRP). Rein believes that the retirement planning industry largely ignores the value and importance of pension plans as an asset. Rein uses a simple rule of thumb when it comes to valuating a pension or a stream of cashflow,

      “For every $100 per month of income, you have an asset worth $18,000.”

      If you have a pension that pays you $3,000 per month, that pension is worth $540,000. If you get $800 per month from CPP, then that is worth $144,000. $500 per month from OAS is the equivalent of $90,000.”

      I’ve also read this:
      In technical terms, the commuted value is your monthly accrued pension multiplied by 12 times the annuity factor. The annuity factor is based on many variables
      such as your age, average life expectancy, interest earnings, inflation and other actuarial assumptions. Generally the higher the current interest rate environment, the lower the commuted value.

      Cheers 🙂

  9. I am sure you will achieve your goal at age 50, most likely exceeding it. It’s so great both of you have DB plans. We have none. No rentals either. So we will completely rely on personal savings in registered and taxable accounts.

    Our plan is being financially ready to retire at year 2023, four and half years from now. We will see how job market and stock market treat us. Hopefully we can get there with a smooth ride. Meanwhile, we want to enjoy the time with the kids as much as possible. I have already booked three trips and looking for one more trip next year. I try not to think if I save the money how much more dividends it will generate.

  10. Great Plan Mark. Thinking longer term are you aiming for $2M by your 60th birthday? That would provide $60-$80K annually, largely inflation adjusted. Thanks for providing such a great platform for others to learn from.

    1. Well, I will be drawing down the RRSPs in our 50s so not sure we’ll ever get to $2 M net worth but that doesn’t matter since we don’t need to. In today’s dollars we need about $4,500 per month to live comfortably in a paid off home/condo with some travel. A very comfortable retirement will cost us about $6,000 to $7,000 per month in today’s dollars. If we can realize that, great, but time will tell.

      Essentially I will always work but I would really like to work part-time after my 50th birthday. That would give us some time and options.

  11. Lloyd (58, retired (but farm a bit), married, rural MB) · Edit

    I like the flexibility you’ve allowed yourself Mark. Having several options and various income streams makes it less stressful IMO.

    1. Thanks Lloyd. That’s the key I think, flexibility to work part-time after age 50 through age 65 or 70 or beyond. What that is or what jobs that might be I don’t know yet but I’ve started to consider that this year and it’s fun to think about.

  12. Good post Mark! We agree that by sticking with Dividend Growth companies one will obtain a growing Income stream which could provide them financial freedom. By concentrating on the income, not price, will make investing easy and keep one focused on what really matters: How Much Income am I receiving. Whether one’s income covers all their expenses or not, isn’t important, rather one will know (if one sticks with DG companies) that the income will be secure and continue to grow and you’ll find that price will also grow.

    1. Thanks cannew. I can’t see myself selling the many companies we hold unless something drastic happens with their earnings over time. CPX just increased their dividend by 7% – another example that buying and holding companies that make money will eventually make me money. I appreciate your support.

  13. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

    Very impressive update Mark.

    Excellent financial behaviour and great decision making are getting you closer to a fantastic retirement, and along with a nice lifestyle in the meantime. Nicely done so far and good luck with the debt too!

    Dividends, yeah I like ’em too.

    1. I guess I have more financial discipline than I know?! It (sometimes) doesn’t seem we’re doing as well as we could be since we spend money often on things we don’t need but I suspect with the condo move that will change, we’ll be forced to, and that makes me feel a bit better since I don’t like waste.

      I feel our biggest challenge is figuring out when we can work part-time, to cover basic expenses and the like, allowing the pensions to “sit” for some time to preserve capital and…because of our ages we cannot touch them until age 55 – including mine with major early withdrawal penalties. I suspect working full-time until age 55 is an option or even after age 55 until age 60 but I’m not sure I like it as much as working part-time around age 50 and beyond on my own terms. Time will tell!

      Thanks for the kind words and support.

      1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

        Ha, yes you do. With everything you’ve got going for you there will be many good future options available for you when it comes decision time.

        You’re welcome.


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