Passive Income Update – July 2013

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 07.09.2013 (3:00 am) | Write a Comment  (3 Comments)

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retirement2It was a fairly slow month, I guess it’s not a big surprise when you consider the fact that it’s summer, and no one has much going on. I am on the right track though. Why? I’m convinced that I want to carefully start investing on margin and build my own mini-Berkshire empire. It’s been tricky to save as much in the past few weeks so I’ll be putting more focus on reducing my spending to set more aside.

The reason I post this monthly update is both to keep myself accountable but also have a more public discussion about my plans and how I can become financially independent as quickly as possible.

As time goes by, my objective is to be able to live entirely off of these new income streams but also be able be diversified enough to be ok no matter what happens. In many ways, that is what’s behind my interest in dividend income. For now, I prefer to avoid using actual numbers (might change later on) so what I will do is express all of this data in %. The objective of course is for all of these flows to end up generating 100% of my current income. I also want to gradually make sure that my income producing assets are not all locked away in accounts that will only be available upon retirement. In terms of income, I will be using my gross household income. Counting the bonus would only make things more difficult to track and would not represent how I currently live on my finances.

For example, if my base salary is currently 100K, my objective is to make 100K of passive income on an annual basis. This could be done through a variety of methods which I will be exploring of course. A few people tried to figure out how much capital I have by looking at the USDP size. The main issue is that the USDP is only part of my dividend income. I also get income from my ETF holdings, etc.

My primary objective remains to generate 100K in passive income on an annual basis as soon as possible, ideally from a few different sources. My partner just wrote about how he hopes to retire at age 35 which you can check out.

June Updates

-I posted the latest USDP update, with another one coming later this week
Time to start investing on margin?
How to build your own mini-Berkshire empire

How Much Do I Really Need?

I am aiming for an income of 100K or so, before taxes as a first goal. To be clear, I feel like I need significantly less than that. Why? I’ve described how I am living off of significantly less right now (I’m paying taxes, paying my house, saving, etc). I also have the option, as discussed of retiring in a foreign location.

Overall, I feel like aiming for the same level of income as I am currently making is very very reasonable and I could easily live with less but why aim lower if I’m confident I can reach that 100K?:)

Why Am I Doing This?

I’m a strong believer in working with clear objectives but also holding myself accountable so writing about these objectives will without any doubt help me reach financial independence more quickly.

Current Passive Income Flows:

5.48% – Dividend/Investing Portfolio: I am currently generating a dividend yield of about 3.43%. This portfolio will be increasing over time. I use a bucket system which I will be writing more about but the main retirement components are a long term dividend portfolio (see the Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio) and an ETF portfolio (see BuildYourETFPortfolio for more details on how I build mine). I saw a slight increase here thanks to markets rising and a similar yield.

7.48% – Private Investment In My Online Company: I have discussed how my web company has been the best investment of my life so far. I’m happy to say that I was able to slightly increase my monthly income from the company even though it wasn’t expected. I certainly hope that will keep happening.

Total: 12.96%

It’s not spectacular by any means yet. That being said, I am 32 years old and do have a decent base (I could live with less easily).. I will continue to work on getting that total as close as I can do 100%:)

Passive Income Ideas

0% – Real Estate: I have started writing about adding real estate to my income flows. One aspect that I love about Real Estate Investing is how much of an inflation hedge it will represent for my portfolio. So I started looking into some aspects such as investing into residential or commercial real estate as well as the question of becoming (or not) a landlord.

0% – P2P Lending – I started exploring the idea and wrote my first post about it here🙂

0% – Annuity – No intention of buying an annuity for the time being

0% – Farming – I know it sounds crazy but I’ve started looking into it as you can see from my post a couple of weeks ago

0% – Other ideas – I could end up starting other businesses or projects will I’ll certainly keep you posted about.

What I Am Not/Will Not Include

Pensions: I do know that the government will be paying me a sum of money once I retire. However, given how poor government finances look like these days, I personally think it’s crazy to count on the government actually fulfilling its promises. It won’t happen. Yes, there will be money, but not anywhere what is currently being promised. Whatever I do end up getting will be a nice surprise.

I feel like I am being extremely conservative here. By not including my government pension and also not including the fact that lower revenues will mean less taxes to be paid, I’m overestimating the amount of passive income that is truly needed. That is more than fine by me. I’d also like to think that my house will be paid by then making my level of spending lower all things being equal.

My Long Term Passive Income Objectives

January 2014: $12,000/year
January 2018: $25,000/year
January 2023: $50,000/year
January 2030: $100,000/year

I love seeing that little blue line above the red one, it’s a very nice thing to see:) The trend isn’t as convincing but I do expect jumps to occur on year-ends as I receive a bonus from my day job. Hopefully that will happen in a few months:)

Do you have any questions or comments? I’d love to hear any ideas or how you’ve been managing on your end as well!


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  1. Comment by Ian King — July 17, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    Interesting reading. My view from ‘behind’ is that you need less when retired than you think. I was let go at 60 from a very well paying job in the computer business. Don’t let anyone fool you by saying over 60’s can still get meaningful jobs – they can’, nobody wants you as a new hire.
    In my case I got a year’s salary and benefits as a package and my retirement fund totaled about $425K just before the crash of 2008. I came out of the slump with about $375K. I had all my debts paid off by 2010 and lived off savings until my government pension kicked in. My dividend portfolio returns an average of 4.8% which helps out a lot. I estimate my ‘take home’ pay is now about 50% of my working pay, and we haven’t really cut back much on personal expenditure. I truly believe the key to retirement funding is to be debt free at 65 or before.

    However, my wife and I have had some eye opening experiences over the last couple of years. Mainly illness happening both to us and friends which has made us look seriously at how we spend our money now. In about 5 years I probably will not be able to travel abroad much so expenditure will drop on that front. In 10 years I will not be doing much local traveling either and will have downsized the home. So my take on retirement is to do the expensive stuff in your early 60’s because later years will probably be restricted.
    Some form of gov pension will be there and you need to supplement with investments.

  2. Comment by IS — July 18, 2013 @ 3:24 am

    @Ian – Thanks a lot for the feedback. I’d agree 100%. Once I retire, I hope to be able to do a bit of travelling but I’ll certainly do the bigger, more expensive stuff near the start just in case health or other reasons make it impossible later on. Best of luck with everything.

  3. Comment by Frank P. — September 20, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    A family I knew bought rural 10 acres, and live well there in a smaller and exercise were their added bonuses from relocating 20 miles from Baltimore, MD

    We are still looking for a small business to related to previous medical equipment Sales. Any thoughts?
    Also, I agree with your desire to avoid landlord headaches..

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