Let’s face it, the retirement savings rate in the US is pretty bad. Many Americans will never save anything and then a vast majority of those that will save, will not save enough. And of those that do save enough, some still will live scared they will run out of money or have no idea what they really own!
I don’t know about you, but I, in no way, want to be stressed about money my entire life…that is no way to live. We decided to shift our focus to collecting assets rather than bills. We want to build up our assets enough to allow us the freedom to retire, semi-retire, or work on any project we want to without being forced to work to just pay bills.
How do you know how much is enough?
I feel as though many people have a hard time figuring out what their goal for retirement is. My goal is not to have a big pile of cash or to save up to this very large number that a financial calculator spit out for me. My worry is that people see this large number that someone is telling them they need to save and it scares them. It seems so far out there that they shrug it off and never really get started, or they tell themselves “well, I’ll start next year” and they keep putting it off.
I know you’ve heard it before, but what’s the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
You just have to start, take small steps, and just get moving in the right direction!
What I finally realized is that I didn’t need some over the top large number in savings to retire. I only needed my assets to produce enough income to cover our expenses. If income is ultimately the end goal then why couldn’t I start building it now slowly and steady? When the income produced by our assets is enough to cover expenses then we would have the option of retiring if we wanted to. That could be 10 years from now or 30 years from now, depending on how serious we go after it. What it surely isn’t is an arbitrary age set by the government by way of social security, and it surely won’t be an age that I’m allowed to retire by an employer.
As of right now, the assets we are accumulating are dividend growth stocks. We are building a portfolio of companies that have a history of paying dividends and increasing those dividends every year. Will all of my selections turn out to be stellar investments that get talked about on CNBC and be all the rage? Far from it, but if together they accomplish our goal, then that’s all that really matters, right?
As of right now we own shares of 17 different companies, you can see them all HERE. And I keep a “want list” of about 80 companies that I would like to own a piece of, we will accumulate them slowly as time goes on.
I truly believe that for most people there are 3 basic ways to become wealthy: 1. Build your own business; 2. Own shares of other great businesses; 3. Real Estate. We have started our wealth building with ownership in other businesses.
Who paid us in September:
Chevron (CVX) – $21.55
Gilead Sciences (GILD) – $4.81
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $16.60
Realty Income (O) – $10.66
Ventas Realty (VTR) – $13.18
Southern Company (SO) – $26.74
Stag Industrial (STAG) – $8.17
Care Capital Partners (CCP) – $7.18
BHP Billiton Plc (BBL) – $9.46
Total dividends received in September: $118.35
Another month breaking through the $100 mark, I like it. Our portfolio saved and invested $118.35 for us this month…that’s money saved that did not have to come out of my pocket. It is slowly building itself up to pay us more and more passive income as the years pass by. How cool is that? Here’s the graph of all of our dividend payments:
You may be wondering why our income this September is less than last September. BBL made the decision late last year to reduce the dividend they pay per share, dropping our payment from them by about $30 for the month. Investing involves risks, you just have to be aware of them and have a solid plan that pulls you through and closer to your goals.
Our total dividends accumulated has climbed to $1,178.86
Like my father in law likes to say, “Onward and Upward.”
Are you building assets or are you just paying bills?
Thanks for reading,