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Hi Milhouse, Your planning seems impeccable, I expect your transition into retirement to go well. I retire at the end of the month and have been doing the same work you have although mine has been in a much shorter time span. I read somewhere, and have taken to heart, the idea of planning income instead of Networth as the fear for some is that seeing their Networth decline is depressing so they under-spend in retirement.
I have been able to build an annual income stream using rental income, Private Real-estate REIT income and PE loans of 83K using just $1,075,000 of my investable assets. I am looking at adding 300k worth of dividend blue chip stocks to increase that to 95k. I then leave the other 1/2 of my investments in GIC's and balanced funds to grow for the future, large spends etc.. Do you ever consider more aggressive investing for your income? I just turned 56 and man am I looking forward to finally getting to do what I want every day! Good luck with your countdown!
 

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Discussion Starter #142
Congrats on your retirement! Enjoy for me, the first Monday you don't have to go to work. :D
That is a spectacular amount of income you are yielding from your investable assets with a nice chunk allocated for future growth/larger spends!
I have not considered more aggressive investing to optimize income production. It's due to a lack of awareness and knowledge beyond common income producing streams on my part though. That being said, I'd probably lean more towards trending to a less aggressive portfolio as I head into retirement.
 

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Congrats on your retirement! Enjoy for me, the first Monday you don't have to go to work. :D
That is a spectacular amount of income you are yielding from your investable assets with a nice chunk allocated for future growth/larger spends!
I have not considered more aggressive investing to optimize income production. It's due to a lack of awareness and knowledge beyond common income producing streams on my part though. That being said, I'd probably lean more towards trending to a less aggressive portfolio as I head into retirement.
Thank you, your day will arrive faster than you imagine!
Your assets qualify you an accredited investor, there are lots of alternatives now. My private apartment, retail and commercial REITS average a 6.3% yield and 12% overall return over the last 10 years. I can physically go and see the buildings, for me I see that as much less risky than the markets. It did take me awhile of dipping a toe in to get comfortable and I still will never put all my assets their (even though it's tempting at those yields) but I wouldn't leave all my assets in the markets either. Good luck on your path, and I look forward to watching your progress!
 

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Be careful with that "accredited investor" stuff. I'm sure there are some good opportunities, but also many horrible options.

Accredit investors do not necessarily run into anything better than standard, low fee investment opportunities that exist for people with less money.
 

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Discussion Starter #145
End of February 2020 Update

Savings and Investments
My investable assets: $1.606M. Down about $103.1k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $474k. Down about $20.4k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.080M. Down about $123.5k for the month.

Thud.
That’s the sound of falling back to reality. :D
After a great last couple of months, it seems like the markets were looking for any reason to correct. And correct they did with the uncertainty of the corona virus being front and centre.
February started out amazingly with my portfolio hitting a peak of around $1.775M by mid-month. And then the bottom fell out the last week of February. Peak to current trough is about $175k which is kind of insane since that’s like over 3 years of expenses for us. Taking positives where I can, the large cap CDN dividend growers are looking cheap with a great yield.
The missus portfolio obviously took a hit too with her bond heavy RRSP taking the least damage at <-2% and her equity index ETF heavy investment account dropping a bit over 6%.


Spending
February Spend: $6450
YTD Spend: $9630

February was more expensive than expected, coming in almost $500 over the top end of my estimate of $6000. The biggest chunk was our advanced property tax installment. The rest of the hit came from travel costs and repairs as expected, though 1 repair was somewhat unexpected. Taking all these major costs out, our spend would have been about $1500.

I’m hoping our March spend will be lighter but we’ve got another repair we’re working on and some more travel. Expecting a spend of about $2500 to $3000.

Comments, Concerns, Issues
Let the panic begin as people seem to be hoarding essentials at Costco to prep for corona virus armageddon.
Trying to find some travel deals.
The load at work has lightened up a bit but problems/issues seemed to have ramped up.
Got to focus more on health, losing weight, personal wellness.

Countdown to Retirement
25.5 months to go
It’s not a huge milestone but I’m looking forward to crossing the 2 year mark soon.
 

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Savings and Investments
My investable assets: $1.606M. Down about $103.1k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $474k. Down about $20.4k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.080M. Down about $123.5k for the month.

Thud.
That’s the sound of falling back to reality. :D
After a great last couple of months, it seems like the markets were looking for any reason to correct. And correct they did with the uncertainty of the corona virus being front and centre.
February started out amazingly with my portfolio hitting a peak of around $1.775M by mid-month. And then the bottom fell out the last week of February. Peak to current trough is about $175k which is kind of insane since that’s like over 3 years of expenses for us. Taking positives where I can, the large cap CDN dividend growers are looking cheap with a great yield.
The missus portfolio obviously took a hit too with her bond heavy RRSP taking the least damage at <-2% and her equity index ETF heavy investment account dropping a bit over 6%.


Spending
February Spend: $6450
YTD Spend: $9630

February was more expensive than expected, coming in almost $500 over the top end of my estimate of $6000. The biggest chunk was our advanced property tax installment. The rest of the hit came from travel costs and repairs as expected, though 1 repair was somewhat unexpected. Taking all these major costs out, our spend would have been about $1500.

I’m hoping our March spend will be lighter but we’ve got another repair we’re working on and some more travel. Expecting a spend of about $2500 to $3000.

Comments, Concerns, Issues
Let the panic begin as people seem to be hoarding essentials at Costco to prep for corona virus armageddon.
Trying to find some travel deals.
The load at work has lightened up a bit but problems/issues seemed to have ramped up.
Got to focus more on health, losing weight, personal wellness.

Countdown to Retirement
25.5 months to go
It’s not a huge milestone but I’m looking forward to crossing the 2 year mark soon.
I know lots of people on here are against private investments, but this month my Residential REIT increased in value by 22% while the stock market crashed. I bought stocks when they dropped Thursday and Friday and even SU today while at the same time I bought an equal amount of one of my REITS. I intend to be 50% rentals and private investments and then 50% Divy stocks and GIC's. I still have 200k to get into the market but I am buying at set prices through daily limit orders and don't care how long it takes. In the end the 50% in private investments will fund my required income though distributions, interest and rents and the other half is the backup plan. Three days into retirement and loving it keep planning Milhouse and I have no doubt you will get there.
 

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Tayls77:

For those of us in the steerage class, can you tell us how do you know your value increased by 22% (or the value at any given time)? Is the company ready to buy back your shares at that price?
 

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Discussion Starter #148
End of March 2020 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $1.478M. Down about $128.1k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $439.5k. Down about $34.3k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $1.917M. Down about $162.5k for the month.

Well, it could have been worse.
With COVID-19 ramping up in North America in March and leading to businesses and commerce shutting down for the precaution of social distancing, it led to an extremely volatile market with ridiculous swings daily. And of course, my portfolio wasn’t immune to the volatility and negative sentiment. But being down “only” $128k after that wild ride isn’t too bad. From peak (in mid-Feb) to March end, I’m down only about 14% (keeping in mind that number is propped up by new savings). There were obviously much worse numbers experienced during the mid-month freefalls. However, I’m not sure if we’re out of the woods yet.

Apart from nibbling at dividend growers to add to my non-registered portfolio, it’s been pretty steady as she goes. Still hoping to hit $40k in dividends from my non-registered portfolio this year even with companies announcing cuts, suspensions, and non-increases but won't get a better view until later in the year.

The missus portfolio was similar to last month with losses everywhere except cash savings which grew. Paper losses were lightest in her bond heavy RRSP of course. We’ll see if she wants to take advantage of the “sale”.

Spending
March Spend: $3380
YTD Spend: $13010

March ran over my upper band estimate of $3000 due to: Some unexpected medical expenses for the missus, buying groceries for each of our parents a few times so they didn’t have to leave the house to shop, and some charitable donations as my company was matching donations. A positive was that the repair we were anticipating came in lighter than expected.

April is another pricey month with house and car insurance premiums due. Expecting a spend of about $5000 to $5500. We’ve been cooking a lot but might try to do a bit more takeout to support our favorite restaurants.

At the quarter pole mark, spending still seems to be on track for about a $50k spend for the year. Currently, I don’t see our spend going down even with being at home so much since our going out/entertainment spend generally isn’t high anyways and we’re ending up spending on other things (ex Groceries for parents). However, depending on how things play out, our travel spend, which is a big chunk of our annual spend, might be way under estimate depending on what travel options there are in the fall. We did fit in some small trips at the start of the year though.

Comments, Concerns, Issues
I thought January dragged on forever. After a painful March on so many levels, it feels like we should be in fall by now.
Cashflow is still in good shape as both the missus and I are still working. Even got a nice little raise. Was told about it in February before everything blew up but I’m surprised it still went through given the state of everything.
At this point, while I’m not sure if I’ll hit all my target numbers by my retirement date/in my retirement year, I’m still pretty confident that neither the market turmoil or residual effects of the pandemic will delay my retirement target date, as it fast approaches.

Countdown to Retirement
24.5 months to go.
Recently passed the 750 day mark and will cross the 2 year mark this month.
 

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Discussion Starter #149
End of April 2020 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $1.555M. Up about $77.1k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $469.3k. Up about $29.8k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.024M. Up about $106.8k for the month.

Dead cat bounce?
After 2 of the largest down months since I’ve been keeping a monthly snapshot, my portfolio finally got a bit of a respite, jumping $77k which is that largest monthly gain I’ve experienced. Need a few more of those to get back to my original highs. I really don’t know what to expect in the months ahead as there’s a bit of hope with things opening up again but even though the markets are forward looking, it’s not opening up to the point of normalcy.

Both our portfolio grew in all categories. Apart from some small purchases, it was pretty quiet for me. April is a heavy dividend month for me but a few didn’t show up by month’s end and will add to May’s snapshot.

No changes for the missus’ portfolio. That said, it’s now only down about 3.5% YTD but keeping in mind that includes cash from income/savings and additional purchases.

Spending
April Spend: $4950
YTD Spend: $17960

Was able to keep April’s spend to the lower end of my estimate. House and car insurance were the big spends this month taking up over just under 2/3 of the total. We downgraded some of our car insurance options since we don’t drive much nowadays with both of us working at home. Once we start going into the office again, we’ll consider upgrading our coverage. Our grocery spend has been higher than expected due to us eating at home more, food inflation, and buying some groceries for our parents. We’ve been doing a bit of takeout but a few of the experiences haven’t been the greatest with some pick-up times scheduled over an hour with additional wait times after we get there and some of the dishes being subpar even after taking into consideration degradation driving the food home. Next to no spend on travel and entertainment as expected.

May should be a relatively light spend month. I expect a spend of about $2500. However, we got lazy and didn’t complete our taxes. Will try to finish them up this weekend and submit. I’m going to end up owing a few thousand. I typically don’t count that as part of our spend numbers but it will impact my cash savings numbers.

Comments, Concerns, Issues
Work has been pretty busy. However, I spoke too soon about my raise. While it showed up in my compensation profile, it got put on hold. :D
The weather is getting nicer and days getting longer in Vancouver. Looking forward to spending more time outside for walks.
Looks like a spring trip is out of the question. Trying to figure out if a trip in the fall is in the cards but it seems too soon to say still. We likely won't book anything until closer to departure even with more flexible cancellation policies.

Countdown to Retirement
23.5 months to go.
Approaching the 100 week mark in May.
 

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Hey Milhouse, congrats on passing the 2 years to go mark. Just wondering how set in stone your retirement date is with all the uncertainty that COVID-19 is bringing to the markets. Are you at all tempted to defer retirement a bit to offset some of that uncertainty?
 

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Discussion Starter #151
Hi Mookie. I'd say I'm 75% sure that I'm sticking to my retirement date. Part of the uncertainty is that while my company isn't doing too badly all things considered, I suspect there will be layoffs in the fall after the full impact of Q2 is known. If they package me out, that would be my end point as I suspect the severance would cover me to close to the cashflow I would have earned the last 16-18 months to my original target.
I am concerned about the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to the markets and my portfolio. However, the dividend side has been pretty resilient so far. Only 1 restaurant royalty fund that makes up a small part, suspended it's distributions while 2 others only missed/deferred their expected increases. I'm still on track to hit my dividend target this year. What would make me seriously consider delaying my retirement date is if significant (risk of) cuts to the dividends occur that would force me to head into retirement way below my dividend target. That's the biggest uncertainty I'm concerned about. OTOH, I'm not as concerned about the indexing side of my portfolio as I feel I could hold off withdrawing or draw very little from it to give it an opportunity to heal.
Lastly, I have a pretty good relationship with my manager. I would consider staying on only a few more months if he asks me to/makes it worth my while.
 

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Discussion Starter #152
End of May 2020 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $1.609M. Up about $54.5k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $483.8k. Up about $14.5k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.093M. Up about $69.0k for the month.

Everyone’s rally caps must be working.
It was another solid rally month for our portfolios. No clue if the rally can be sustained because things are opening up now or if we’re in for another dip since the damage will continue without a vaccine or effective treatment.

Had gains across the portfolio except for cash savings since a chunk of it was used to pay income taxes. Cash savings will take another hit in June as I make my RRSP contribution, now that I know what my contribution limit is for the 2020 tax year. Will likely use it for an equity ETF purchase. Dividends in my taxable account are generally holding fairly steady.
The missus’ portfolio is recovering nicely with her bond heavy RRSP and balanced fund heavy TFSA pretty much at 2019 year end levels. Her equity heavy taxable account is only down about mid-single digit YTD.

Will do a midyear status check next month. We’ll see how June goes but all things considered, it hasn’t been too bad.

Spending
May Spend: $1980
YTD Spend: $19940

May was a relatively light spend month and came in a chunk under my $2500 estimate which was in part due to the fact there weren’t any large spends or repairs. Our grocery bill remains elevated and we’re still doing a bunch of takeout. We’re also buying stuff for our siblings and parents to save them a trip to Costco or wherever (and vice versa).

We submitted our taxes about a week in and had to pay a few thousand. I didn’t include this in our spend numbers.

I’m guessing June is likely going to follow a similar lighter spend pattern. However, they are starting to open things up in BC with the continued reasonable expectation of social distancing, masks, etc. So, we might be spending a bit more going out. Will estimate a spend of $2500 again for June.

Comments, Concerns, Issues
Pretty similar to last month.

Work is still pretty busy. But I still think there’s going to be layoffs in the fall.
The weather has been pretty nice so we’ve been enjoying nice walks in the extended neighbourhood. It kind of sucks that pretty much all the festivals and events we look forward to are cancelled this year.
Sounds like the missus is against leaving the country for a trip this year due to all the potential pitfalls: Insurance coverage, quarantine at the destination and return, how open the destination will be, potential hate for tourists, etc. Might do a road trip in the late summer.

Countdown to Retirement
22.5 months to go.
50 paychecks left if I’m lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #153
End of June 2020 Update and Midyear Status

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $1.598M. Down about $11.2k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $496k. Up about $9.5k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.092M. Down about $1.7k for the month.
The month was overall, relatively flat for me. My non-registered Canadian dividend focused account took a bit of a hit this month but was offset by increases in my registered index focused portfolio (RRSP, DC Pension, and TFSA). Also, the loonie gaining some strength resulted in my overall portfolio go up slightly in USD terms. I transferred cash to my RRSP account for my 2020 tax year contribution but haven’t decided what to buy.

The missus’ portfolio had small gains across the board and is officially positive for the year (with help from additional savings and contributions.)

My Portfolio2019 Actuals2020 To End of Q22020 Full Year TargetsEnd of 2022 Retirement Goals (Rough)
Cash (soft target)24.3k19.4k20k30k
Non-Registered835k779k922k1.1M
RRSP388k394k416k450k
TFSA103k107k115k135k
DC Pension293k299k322k350k
Total1.643M1.598M1.795M2.065M
Non-Registered Account Dividends35491197594000050000

With the hit I took in February and March, combined with all the uncertainty still, I’m not hopeful that I’m going to reach most of my end of year 2020 targets. That’s not necessarily the end of the world. While my non-registered portfolio is lagging the most, it’s allowing me to pick up more shares at lower prices through small purchases here and there and DRIP’ing. Also, because of the great year in 2019 and help from the general rally the last couple of months, I feel I’m still on track to hit my overall retirement year numbers based on continued contributions and my (conservative?) growth assumptions. Point of clarification though. My Retirement Targets are for end of year 2022, not at April 2022, the month I’m hoping to retire, since I just grabbed my forecasted 2022 numbers from my spreadsheet instead of calculating what the numbers might look like at the 1/3 pole mark for the year.

With all the dividend suspensions, cuts and deferred increases, I wasn’t sure if I was going to hit my $40k non-registered dividend target this year. However, I’ve been fairly unscathed with only one suspension to a restaurant royalty and a few expected increases that didn’t happen. I think I’m in good shape to hit my year end target with help from DRIP’ing and some additional purchases.
My TFSA is also lagging a bit because I "let" some Canadian content slip in there, contrary to my original plan.

Combined Portfolio2019 Actuals2020 To End of Q22020 Full Year Targets
Combined Totals2.129M2.092M2.292M

Spending
June Spend: $1980
YTD Spend: $21920

June was a light spend month with no significant one time costs. It could have been even lighter but with things opening up in BC, we’ve started to eat out and socialize a bit but keeping distance. So our eating out/alcohol bill crept up.

July will be, as usual, a heavy spend month because of our second property tax installment. On top of it, we might end up doing some repairs/maintenance around the house. Going to guess a spend of $5500 spend for the month.
2019 Actuals2020 To End of Q22020 Full Year Trend2020 Original Forecast
Food & Eating Out1380059001180014500
Housing & Utilities1189070601337014500
Transportation4710279036704950
Personal7780235047108000
Entertainment15402404002000
Travel96503480696012000-18000
Side Business200100200200
Total49570219204111054000-60000
*Full year trend is not necessarily double the first half spend due to large single annual spends in the first half of the year factored in (like car and house insurance).

Food & Eating Out: Our food bill is under budget because we ate out less due to the shutdowns. However, out grocery spend is definitely higher. There seems to be less sales and more price spikes like for beef.

Housing and Utilities: Housing and utilities costs are trending to where we expect it. This category (utilities, property taxes, and insurance) keeps going up faster than inflation and it’s difficult to try to limit the increases by various means. There were a number of repair and maintenance items we were expecting this year but it hasn't been too pricey yet.

Transportation: Both of us are working from home so fuel costs are way down. We still go for drives though. Normally, we fill up about 2-3 times a month. We're down to once a month.

Personal: With a lot of things shut down, there wasn’t a lot of shopping we could do. With things opening up, we might be spending more in the second half of the year, particularly during Black Friday and Christmas. We might as well use dollars we were expecting to use for travel to replace some items.
The missus has spent some dollars on health related stuff like orthotics.

Entertainment: Again, there’s not a lot of events going on. And our leagues were suspended/cancelled and we didn't get a partial refund.

Travel: We fit in a couple of small trips at the beginning of the year. We’ll try to fit in a small local trip in the last summer/early fall. However, I don’t see an international trip happening this year. Even a trip to the States looks sketchy.

Comments, Concerns, and Issues
Work is pretty steady as she goes right now. I'm starting to think more seriously how the next year and a half will play out, like how and when I'd tell my manager I'd be interested in a package and when I would actually let him know I'm (likely) going to retire, researching what happens to work benefits/perks, etc.
With nothing happening around town, I’m trying to get motivated to spend time getting in shape. It'd be nice to start getting back into the habit before I hit retirement.

Countdown to Retirement
21.5 months to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #154
End of July 2020 Update

Savings and Investments

My investable assets: $1.648M. Up about $49.2k for the month.
Her investable assets (excluding DB pension): $511k. Up about $18.0k for the month.
Combined investable assets: $2.159M. Up about $67.2k for the month.

July ended up as another nice recovery month with positive numbers across the board including my Canadian dividend portfolio which was the laggard last month. It finally gets me back to positive territory for the year and it’s looking good from a USD value perspective. I was also able to grow my cash savings even with the heavy spend as it was a 3 paycheck month. I’m considering plowing some of the cash into some bank stocks for my dividend portfolio.

The missus’ portfolio also had gains across the board breaking the half mil mark for the first time. She’s rebuilt a decent cash position again after making some index etf purchases earlier in the year.

Spending
July Spend: $6130
YTD Spend: $28050

We spent a ton in July. The biggest chunk was due to property taxes. We could have deferred payment to end of September but we didn’t see much advantage in doing that so we just paid during the original early July due date. The house maintenance/repair did occur but it was fortunately only half of what we were anticipating. We overspent a bit at Costco, since they had a sale on chicken and we just freeze the stuff, and on spot prawns which we just shared with our extended families. Our eating out bill was a bit high as we started eating out more. I also pre-loaded a loyalty card to earn some travel points. And the missus did an eye exam and got new glasses which was a chunk of change. We get reimbursed from her work benefits but I still add this stuff to our spend tracker.

August’s spend will likely be slightly higher than average too but not as outrageous as July. I need some new shoes and think I might end up getting new glasses which are also covered by the missus’ benefits. Eating out will likely continue to be high as we enjoy the patios around town. Guessing a spend of $3000 for August. Hopefully no more repairs and maintenance for a while. However, looking ahead, we might be spending a chunk during Black Friday to upgrade a few of our consumer electronics and wonky appliances. Hoping the deals this year will be good.

Comments, Concerns, and Issues
  • While I think my megacorp is in good shape overall, I think departments are still under pressure and struggling to hit budget numbers (controlling the spend side). My manager says we have a ton of work through into next year. But I still think layoffs are possible in the fall. Not sure if I’d be angling for one yet but unlikely.
  • I’m starting to exercise a little bit more. We’ll see if I can keep this going to retirement where I’ll hopefully have even more time to dedicate to this. Kind of a shame that as I rebuild my fitness that the spring/summer league I’m in has cancelled the season and my winter league team is likely going to fold.
  • Feeling a bit relieved and appreciative that the covid situation in Vancouver is at a level that is allowing people to have some degree of normality and to enjoy the summer.
  • No attention given to my side business. Might start revisiting it next year.
  • Go Canucks. :D
Countdown to Retirement
20.5 months to go
 
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