I used to think this way, however I don’t think it’s realistic to live off dividends and never touch your capital in retirement. First of all, any RRSP savings will eventually be converted into an RRIF and face stiff withdrawal rates. Second, what if you want (or need) excess capital in one year to pay for a car, new roof, large vacation, etc.? You’d probably look to sell off some stock to access the capital. Finally, there’s the potential to work longer than needed in order to reach a target dividend income stream. It’d take a million dollars in capital to spin off $35,000 to $40,000 in dividends. Why wouldn’t you want to tap into that million dollars?
I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but I’ve come across a lot of “When do you know you’re ready to retire?” articles the last little while. — EDIT: Just this morning, Robb at Boomer and Echo has written a post on this very topic. — After reading a few of these, it struck me that I had never really considered the question of when I would reach my (financial) retirement threshold. It’s not just because retirement is so far away, or because I haven’t taken the time to make a specific goal. The reason is because, as a dividend investor, the answer is so obvious that almost no thought is needed.
As anybody North of the 49th will tell you, there are certain aspects of being Canadian that we all revel in.
Paying tax is not one of them.
With tax season just passed, it seems like a good time to take a look at the various ways the government pries your investment return dollars out of your wallet.
When I was first getting into investing, I invested a lot of money into a Mortgage Investment Corporation. It provided quite good monthly returns, and I can still remember being pretty pleased with myself that the investment was throwing off almost $500 a month. Tax time brought a cold shower, a slap in the face, and a wakeup call all rolled into one. Unlike taxes paid on working income, investment taxes are all paid once annually, at tax time. At this point, I don’t remember exactly what the tax hit was, but for a person of my modest income, it was substantial. Coincidentally, it was about that time that I became aware of a fact that has had a major impact on my investing practices since then.