Weekend Reading – Financial freedom and get wealthy eventually updates

Weekend Reading – Financial freedom and get wealthy eventually updates

Hey Everyone!

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition, where I list some of my favourite finds from the personal finance and investing blogosphere.

In case you missed the last edition about the 4% rule, you can check it out here: 

Weekend Reading – Why the 4% rule doesn’t work for FIRE edition

As always, read on, share, enjoy and leave me a comment on the site!

You can also follow me like 8,300 other folks do on Twitter here.

Have a great weekend!


Weekend Reading – Financial freedom and get wealthy eventually updates

Impressive as always – Million Dollar Journey highlighted his Q3 financial freedom update.

In this article, I found his approach to navigating any negative sequence of returns risk interesting:

“There are a few ways to reduce the sequence of returns risk in retirement, namely, having the right asset allocation, having flexible spending, and having strategic cash holding to add a buffer in case of a market downturn. For me, I will be maintaining a significant equity portion of my portfolio in addition to having a significant cash position. Essentially use cash savings for day-to-day expenses and withdraw from the portfolio (dividends) annually to top-up the cash portion.”

It is absolutely our plan to keep close to 100% equities as we enter semi-retirement in a few years, as we work part-time. I/we also plan to keep a modest cash wedge of 1-years’ worth of expenses in cash throughout semi-retirement.

How much cash should you keep???

Related to this financial freedom update, from Sure Dividend, can an investor really get rich from dividends? I’m not sure about getting rich but I do believe investing in dividend paying stocks can be a get wealthy eventually strategy.

The same might be said for low-cost indexed funds of course. No stock selection required. No worries about major market underperformance. In some cases, with an all-in-one ETF, no re-balancing required!

Here are some of the Best all-in-one ETFs to own. I own a couple from my own list. I eat my own cooking!

Good podcast content here from The Maple Money Show once again. Guest Jim Yih from Retire Happy fame discussed DIY investing options with Tom Drake and why traditional financial advisors could still be a great choice for some investors.

I agree, to some extent. Not everyone is comfortable with investing on their own. I wrote about the four (4) traits all DIY investors need in place to be successful this week:

Should you become a DIY investor?

You need in no particular order of importance:

  1. The desire to learn and continue to learn.
  2. Knowledge in the subject matter.
  3. Time.
  4. The right temperament. 

With reams of financial information available, I would argue there is almost no excuse not to understand the basic elements that comprise 80,000+ personal finance books. I’ll summarize my FREE book for you:

  • Book introduction: Spend less than you make.
  • Chapter 1: Save and invest the difference. Invest in mostly low-cost products. Consider diversifying your investments.  
  • Chapter 2: Avoid active trading. Celebrate falling stock prices – buy more when stocks fall in price. 
  • Chapter 3: Disaster-proof your life with insurance, where needed, to cover a catastrophic loss.
  • Book conclusion: Rinse and repeat for the next 30-40 years. 

Please buy my book! Ha.

Bob Lai from Tawcan wrote about some of his potential early retirement withdrawal strategies.

From Bob:

“When we live off dividends initially (i.e. 40s and/or 50s), it is most likely that we will have income from either part-time jobs and/or our side hustles. So further calculations are required to determine maximum tax efficiency. And since our tax situations will probably change, we need to remain flexible with our early withdrawal plans.”

Chrissy from Eat, Sleep, Breathe FI shared her latest FI journey update. 

Congrats to Matthew Freeman – who is doing very well with building a dividend income stream. 

On Cashflows & Portfolios we covered 3 ways to prepare for the coming stock market correction. You know it’s going to happen at some point!

Great write-up by Dale Roberts about trying to make sense of the markets. 

Last but not least, a great decision-making framework to live by from Accidentally Retired: make it a “Hell Yeah!” or “No”.

Other great pages and reading material:

You can always find some great questions asked by readers on my FAQs page. 

There are also dozens of Retirement stories and essays you can learn from on that page.

All the best and stay well!


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.

17 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Financial freedom and get wealthy eventually updates"

  1. I did leverage a bit (HELOC to Stock) but not anymore. It wasn’t a large amount. I have been retired three years and the focus is now on trying to maximize income and strategically unwind assets in a tax free manner. My personal portfolio only generates 15-20% of our income with the rest coming from pension vehicles. Having a very high level of income security helps me sleep at night. There is lots of room for budget adjustments if needed and assets to liquidate. Not rich but we don’t need to be. Goal isn’t to build the biggest pile but to experience a full and rich life.

    Currently addressing the “when to take CPP” question? Have reached out to drpensions with a few questions. What a great resource Doug is. It’s a bit more complicated when you are early retired. Money decisions are math and emotion and that’s what makes them so difficult. Math says take CPP later but my emotions say take it earlier. There is not a wrong choice but rather the best choice for your circumstances. I’m in the fortunate decision of not needing CPP to be ok and the last three years have proven we’ll be fine. So my choice becomes add a smaller amount to cash flow now or a larger amount to cash flow later.
    By using current assets it may be possible to do both. Now the choice becomes which assets to draw down which led to house first idea.
    Here’s another thought: Many describe debt as a ball and chain, anchor etc. Many also believe they cannot retire until the debt is gone. These are mainly emotional thoughts. If you can mentally shift from kill debt before retirement to debt management in retirement, that can be emotionally liberating. Financial independence is about creating secure income and once you have enough to cover all your bills, including your debt, you are off to the races.
    The process of working to kill debt or the one more year syndrome, can also be a ball and chain. We all have to set our own goals and decide our own path while trying to balance out the math and emotion of money decisions.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Gruff. I plan to retire at 60 (I’m turning 54 this year) – so a little early, and if the investing Gods are kind to me, maybe sooner, but it’s 60 for sure. I know, as of today, I’ll retire with about $300,000 in debt between what’s left on my mortgage and a HELOC that I drew on during the COVID downturn to heavily invest in mostly dividend paying stocks.

      Depending on our choices, we will build or buy our “forever home” on or about retirement – today we live in suburbia and if we could, we’d move today! The budget for that home is anywhere between the equity we will have in our home, or that plus $200k (give or take). I also plan to maintain the HELOC in some form or another as an investment loan in retirement. The tax deduction on the interest, combined with the passive income we get from the dividend payments tells me that as long as it’s cash flow positive, and the underlying assets are solidly producing then I’m not incentivized to sell – but it will always be an option if things change.

      I am committed to not getting into the “one-more-year” trap. We’ll adjust our expectations if need be, even if it means transitioning to something between our current home and our “forever home” – such as renting for an interim period. My wife has even suggested buying a used camper van and touring across Canada for a year (I hope she plans on spending winter in Victoria, B.C. :p ). Then sell it when we’re done with that. Maybe not a 100% financially good choice, but the value of such a trip can’t just be measured in dollars and cents!

      Anyway, I think eliminating all debt before retirement, without consideration of net worth and understanding all the levers we can pull to accommodate debt, is not for us. I’d have to delay retirement by several years to be debt free, and while that might make our net worth improve incrementally, my mental net worth would take too big a hit.

      1. I hope to avoid the “one more year trap” myself in the coming years James! Let me know your secret if you have that figured out 🙂

        Well done overall, sounds like you’re trending to a great place.

    2. After running a few scenarios for clients on Cashflows & Portfolios

      ….I can attend this is a common question! (“when to take CPP” question?)

      It’s very personal. Doug @ drpensions is outstanding.

      I’ve found that these are not really money decisions for many folks, there is far more emotion than math involved to your point. Of course, there will always be some folks that must take CPP at 60. However, most retirees I’ve talked to are considering delaying CPP to 65 or even 70. This way, the personal investment risk can be transferred to CPP.

      As for debt in retirement, that’s also very emotional over math given historic low rates. I know of a few retirees that are fine with some leverage and debt since their retirement income needs exceed expenses. That is ideal but I can appreciate most retirees don’t have that type of luxury per se 🙂

      We’re hoping our (FI) financial independence will be very liberating. 3.5 years I think until part-time work!

  2. Hi Mark,

    Great collection once again. Sometimes it’s all the comments the various bloggers get that presents some amazing ideas.

    I love all the RIF this and RSP that, and don’t forget the pension credit, and then melt this but maximize that. Heh heh. Good thing I set aside all this time on the weekend for reading blogs!

    First month of each quarter is my best dividend month so I’m enjoying the DRIPs this month!


  3. Frugal Trade from Million Dollar Journey took the leap and retired now, wow! I have followed his journey in amazement. Took some courage to do so. I have been back and forth at retirement time for a while. At this moment, really cannot be sure when I will retire, hopefully not too long from now. The good side of it is: the longer I work, the more secure our retirement will be. As I am having the mindset that I don’t NEED to work, at least I will not stress myself by work for sure.

    1. Yes, he did. He’s still working a little bit here and there but certainly not full-time. He’s been very successful and someone I personally look up to!

      That’s the way it should be I think: “As I am having the mindset that I don’t NEED to work, at least I will not stress myself by work for sure.”

      I hope to be there in 3-4 years too!

  4. Thank you Mark for this great post, enjoyed and mostly enjoyed reading the “Life remains fragile” article , it’s so true that tomorrow is not guaranteed so we have to cherish the people and family and of course our community,as for investing I truly enjoy the ” income investing” strategy as I’m enjoying watching those drips coming every month and completely ignoring the share prices .

    1. Me too, love the dividend income rolling and enjoying life in the process. Thanks for following along Gus 🙂 Happy dividends to you too!

  5. Enjoyed Bob’s article on withdraw strategies. Let me add one not mentioned. The equity in your home.
    Everyone talks about unwinding RRSP and delaying CPP and OAS and if you have a large RRSP, I agree that’s a great idea. I have a smaller RRSP and am considering doing the following.
    Get a 5 year fixed mortgage for $50K at <2% amortized over 25 years. Cost would be about $212 per month. Home worth $400K.
    Take that $50 K and invest inside TFSA.
    Use the 50K as an artificial CPP early payout and let my real CPP value grow.
    I'll set it at $712. That brings $500 into cash flow (tax free) and $212 to cover the mortgage.
    The "tax" on the mortgage is the interest rate of sub 2%. There is no tax on TFSA withdraw.
    Meanwhile by delaying CPP, I decrease the reduction factor by 0.6%/month or 7.2% annually. That should increase my CPP by 36%. That's why we consider delaying right? Lock in that 7.2% annual increase plus inflation.
    By unlocking part of the equity in the home I created an artificial early CPP that I get to enjoy while the knees still work.

    In five years what happens:
    I activate my real CPP which is worth 36% more then if I took it at 60.
    I still owe about $42K on mortgage but I have options.
    I can pay down the mortgage with other assets or what ever is left over from my original loan. I can continue mortgage.
    House is highly likely to continue appreciation in value so the original $400K home is now worth $425 – $445.
    Total "tax" was about $4589 which is the interest on mortgage.

    My point is this. If your RRSP accounts are returning more then the cost of the mortgage, why not using home equity to delay CPP instead of RRSP that is fully taxed. You can lock in a stupid low low rate with a mortgage and at the same time guarantee a higher CPP down the road? I consider the house an asset just like my RRSP, TFSA and antique record collection.

    Just a thought experiment.

    1. That’s an interesting idea. Of course everyone’s situation is different. The general consensus for most people is that by the time you’re ready to live off your investment portfolio, you have paid off your mortgage already. But again, everyone’s situation is different, that’s why it’s called personal finance.

      In other words, you gotta do your own calculation to see the most tax efficient strategy.

    2. Interesting stuff and angle. Certainly I’m a fan of delaying CPP past 65 or even up to age 70. I think that 42% boost in CPP income is a very big deal.

      I recall you are borrowing to invest a bit right now, is that correct Gruff?


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