July 2023 Dividend Income Update

July 2023 Dividend Income Update

Hey Readers!

Welcome to a new monthly dividend income update. 

For new readers, if you want to continue to follow this income journey please consider subscribing to my site.

How it started…

Based on some recent reader emails and questions, I thought it would be interesting to briefly trace back a few saving and investing milestones as part of this July 2023 dividend income update….

Years ago, we had this annual income goal – one that I keep posted on this page for reader reference:

It was earning $30,000 per year from taxable and TFSA accounts.

Fast forward into 2023, we’re investing beyond that milestone for semi-retirement. 

Backing up though, that number was chosen because for many, many years, that number/that income per year, without any debt to start semi-retirement with, would cover most of our basic expenses from our taxable accounts and TFSAs to help “live off dividends” in semi-retirement as we work part-time / scale back over the coming years from full-time work. 

That means income from our portfolio would cover basic expenses like food, shelter and taxes.  

Well, we have long since surpassed that income goal inside those accounts but probably more relevant, I’ve changed how we report any monthly dividend income updates on this site in 2023 to align with our portfolio drawdown plans – to provide more clarity. My main goal in sharing our portfolio drawdown idea is that it helps you plan ahead as well…

With higher inflation of late, looking back, $30,000 per year as a couple is not too much money to live from. Living in Ottawa is not cheap, even though we walk and bike pretty much everywhere. 

Yes, $30k per year will still cover our food (<$1,000 per month), shelter (condo fees and utilities) and property taxes every year, yet there is not much leftover to afford other items from this table!

Getting back to our drawdown plan this is largely what we intend to do:

  1. Work and earn part-time income in the coming years.
  2. Live off dividends from taxable accounts.
  3. Make slow, methodical RRSP withdrawals.

…to summarize our drawdown order is starting to look like this:

“NRT” = Non-Registered (N) then RRSPs (R) then TFSAs (T) as the last account(s) standing.

How it’s going…

With our drawdown plan largely in place, the desire to realize financial freedom also includes debt management.

Years ago, like many homeowners, we also had mortgage rates in the range of 6-7% (as in today) but thanks to a multi-decade debt management plan we’ve been chipping away at slaying the mortgage beast. With our current fixed rate at just 1.69%, we only have 8-9 months to go at the time of this post before we are mortgage-free.

As we approach working more on our own terms in the coming years, without debt, we figure the following income approach will serve us well:

Key Retirement Income Sources: NRT Drawdown

Income Sources

Income ages


Age / Income Notes

Full-time work / part-time work
Desire to work part-time as we get older; debt-free spring 2024
Non-registered (N) x2
“Live off dividends” from accounts in our 50s and 60s
RRSPs (R) x2
Make slow, strategic, RRSP withdrawals in our 50s and 60s as needed
TFSAs (T) x2
No withdrawals
Let TFSAs compound until our 70s, slow withdrawals in our 70s+
DC workplace pension > LIF age 55
N/A – Too young
DC pension plan turned into LIF at age 55, withdrawals age 55+
DB workplace pension age 65
DB pension plan kicks-in, pension income age 65+
OAS x2
OAS starts age 65+
CPP x2
CPP starts age 65+, or, we might delay CPP income to age 70 – TBD
Cash Wedge / Cash Savings*
As needed
Essentially an emergency fund for the coming decades, if ever needed

*Most of our cash savings will be held in a higher-interest savings account and inside my small corporation – for now.  

July 2023 Dividend Income Update

Well, time for our Projected Annual Dividend Income (PADI) update, from the ‘N” and “R” accounts:

July 2023 Dividend Income Update

Here are just some of the companies that paid us dividends in July 2023:

  • Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ)
  • Bell Canada (BCE)
  • Whitecap Resources (WCP)

To put this new monthy update into perspective:

  • That’s averaging $3,510 per month.
  • A reminder this is our projected income for the year, from taxable investing (“N”) and our RRSPs (“R”) – assuming no dividends get cut and/or no additional dividend increases occur and/or I don’t buy anything for the rest of the year with cash accumulating from dividend or distribution payments. 🙂  We believe dividend payments will be higher in our portfolio over time though… in the coming months since a few companies we own have not increased their dividends yet in 2023 (e.g., TD Bank, Fortis, among others).
  • Another reminder we don’t intend to invest any money inside our taxable accounts for the rest of the year. We are currently saving for 2024 TFSA contributions to be made in early January 2024. We are likely to buy more low-cost ETF XAW inside our TFSAs once again. 

Here is where things could be going in 2024:

July 2023 Dividend Income Update Chart

July 2023 portfolio changes

As I wrap this post, keen readers will notice that our income this month is only slightly higher than June 2023.

That’s because we received no dividend increases in July (unlike previous months).

That said, I also want to share I decided to buy more CBIL in our registered accounts instead of keeping idle cash, which only increased our projected annual income by an incremental amount. 

You can read some of the reasons why I believe owning cash alternative ETFs like *CBIL is smart over idel cash here:

Are Cash-Alternative ETFs Right for You?

*Your mileage may vary. 

I believe with more dividend increases to come in August and in the latter months of 2023, assuming no dividend cuts occur, we’ll see our projected dividend income trending higher.

Thanks very much for reading and I welcome any comments or questions you might have!


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.

16 Responses to "July 2023 Dividend Income Update"

  1. Hi Mark congratulations on a a great update here. I have been retired for 5 years and make just under 44K in dividends, and this has really helped supplement our spending. It’s a great spot to be. So smart to have a plan on getting $ out of RSP, to help manage best possible tax deduction rate.

    Just a quick comment on CPP. Depending on inflation of course, may be better to start January when age 64. Last year due to inflation govt increased CPP by 6.5 percent for those already drawing. That increase would not apply to those in waiting to draw ( there is a separate calculation). Taking it in January rather than getting the .006 monthly increase (7.2 percent year total), by waiting another year puts pensioner ahead as will get 12 payments with the increase between age 64 and 65. My friend did this… but need to mention thier birthday was in December. I am age 64 in December and will see if there is another significant increase this January, so could make sense for me to also start in January. I am just totally speculating… based on inflation continued this year, perhaps a 5 percent CPP increase for those already subscribed.

    1. Thanks very much, Brad.

      Excellent work on the dividends yourself!!

      Great comment on the CPP given higher inflation. Once you start taking it, you can take advantage of those CPI hikes. I think you’re right about another decent inflationary adjustment for CPP in 2023. Maybe more in 2024 to be honest as things calm down a bit over time. Just a hunch here too!

      Continued retirement success to you,

  2. Hi Mark: A very good update indeed. TRP is spinning off the oil pipeline business and advisors are leery of it because they are adding debt to the new company but all profits will fall to TRP. If this so then why the drop in price. It looks like a good one to buy. I have been out of commission for the last month. Back in June I got this phone call and couldn’t understand what they were talking about so said I’m not interested and hung up. 20 minutes later I get a phone call and it is my doctor and he said he said that he just received a call from the cardiologist and my heart is in bad shape and I have to go to emergency ASAP. I go and the doctor say’s they can lower my heartrate with medicine or shock it. He shocks it and afterward I have no energy at all and can barely make it to the car to drive home. I have been like that since then but around 6 -8 July I was getting ready for bed when I dropped a pill bottle on the floor and reached to pick it up but fell and spent 2 nights, a day and 2/3th on my back trying to get up. Finally a friend came to check up on me at the urging of my brother. He phoned the fire dept. and they got in touch with the paramedics and so I have spent the last month in PRHC trying to get my strength back and recovering from rug burn on my back. I’m home now and we are getting the place set up so I will be able to navigate. Money to be spent but nothing beats your health.

  3. Great update Mark. I’m contemplating some strategies for our June 2025 mortgage renewal.

    Looks like I might reach my BHAG of $50,000 in divvies across all accounts by the end of the year but it will likely be due to a potential job change and transferring out my DPSP to my self directed RSP where I’ll put it to work in dividend stocks as opposed to the mutual funds that money is currently “stuck” in.

    I’ll likely increase the goal, but we will see.

    1. James, earning $50k in “divvies across all accounts by the end of the year…” is very impressive.

      I hope you nail it!

      Keep me posted,

  4. Thanks for the updates Mark as while not totally the same, our paths and ages are close enough and our plans are close enough that I gain a lot by following what you do. Only difference is I chose a lot earlier to live with less on the barista/coast FI idea in FIWOOT and left work so that I could follow passions/ideas/projects while maing a small enough income to preserve my savings. I know you will be doing the same but because of the extra years put into working your FIWOOT will be more robust and have a lot of “fun” money options.

    Also, as shared I am going to use my TFSA over the next 2.5 years to pay my mortgage off in full. I know its an odd decision but I don’t want to renew my mortgage even if it is only for another 10 years at those higher rates. I will use your comment section to keep you updated, I plan to make my first lump sum payment in December. I already increased payment frequency to max allowed and increased that payment by allowed 15% top up. Using all the options my bank offers right now.

    1. Yes, very close to age – Chris. 🙂

      I enjoy following your updates as well. Nothing right or wrong, just your own/our own paths 🙂

      We’ll see about the “fun” money options. I have a plan but plans can change!

      Debt should be gone spring 2024. We’re close to saving for at least one of two TFSAs – to fund 2024 contribution room. We’ll need the fall to save more $$ for the other TFSA. Like I mentioned, likely to buy more XAW to offset my CDN stocks.

      Hey, do want is best for you… re: using your TFSA to pay off your mortgage.

      I wouldn’t want to be renewing debt at 6-7%. Been there, done that.

      Lots of good options (as you know) related to pre-payment privileges, etc. and best to use those mortgage features as you have them for sure….

      Hope you’re having a great summer,

  5. We got a 6% dividend increase announcement from Capital Power earlier this month, so I was quite happy about that.

    After all the hubbub this past week in the press regarding TRP, I’m slowly starting to learn the value of patience. Still own TRP along with three other pipeline companies, ENB, PPL and KEY, making up just over 14% of our taxable portfolio.

    Even in retirement, we’re still lucky that we can still afford to add the allowed amount to our TFSA’s each year. Started off well over a decade ago in a HISA, but now mostly invested in XDG.

    Slowly withdrawing the Government mandated minimum amount required from our RRIF’s. All invested in ZBAL.

    That’s about it. All easy to run. I try to keep things simple.

    1. Yes, I will need to account for that my friend in the August update 🙂

      Yes, patience needed for sure with pipelines of late. I do wonder how our country can operate without them? Maybe I am missing something? I continue to own ENB, TRP and PPL for those reasons.

      Putting RRIF $$ withdrawn into ZBAL seems very sensible, essentially you’ve created your own 60/40 stock/bond pension fund with ZBAL.
      Up 5% for the year.


      1. I agree, pipelines are going to be needed for a longtime yet. I bought more TRP on the recent drop and more ENB as recently as this morning. I just looked and coincidentally I am also 14% in pipelines across all accounts.

        1. I know a few DIY investors that are buying more TRP, PPL and ENB this year. Very beaten up. I get the higher interest rates but my goodness, if we don’t have these big-3 pipelines operating we’re in a huge energy crisis in Canada.

  6. Lloyd (63 fully retired now) · Edit

    One very minor correction, TD had a dividend increase in 2023. It was announced in 2022 but it was effective with the January 31 distribution. They will likely do the same for 2023/2024.

  7. Good morning Mark, enjoy reading your updates. My wife and I have been retired for 11 years and have been living mostly off of dividends. Between our Margin and TFSAs we have pulled $49,748.52 in dividends out as of the end of July. Every January so far we have topped up our TFSAs with the annual contribution and all funds we have withdrawn with RRSP withdrawals. Probably have only about 3 years left before they are depleted. We are holding off on CPP and OAS until we have to. We are 100% invested in equities. Just thought I’d share our story so far for any feedback.


    1. Denis, amazing.

      I enjoy comments like this as well!

      Seems smart (to me?) to avoid taking CPP or OAS until you need to, to defer those government benefits. Thinking at least age 65 for CPP x2; age 65 for OAS x2 here. Plans can always change!

      I know other retirees that are pulling out what they need from RRSPs/RRIFs, every year, for money not spent to fund TFSAs every year. Hard to beat tax-free dividends or income!

      Great work!!


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