November Side Hustle

Retirement Planning Considerations for All Americans

One thing is sure for those who live to a ripe, old age. These folks are likely to need to slow down at some point and retire. For some, this will be forced upon them by an employer or by illness. Others will have more of a choice as to when they decide to walk away from paid employment. Regardless of when or why retirement comes about, it’s important to adequately prepare for one’s golden years with a bit of retirement planning.

Retirement Planning is a must!
Retirement Planning is a must!

According to one recent study from the Economic Policy Institute, the median retirement savings for all working-age families in the US stands right around $5,000. This would pay for a month or two for a frugal family, but it is well short of what one might need to save up for a comfortable retirement.

Those between 56 and 61 years of age are doing a bit better than the average, but their savings still only reach $17,000 on average. How can you achieve a better retirement? Here are some ways to diversify your finances so that when you hit retirement age, you’ll be able to subsist on something other than dog food. These statistics are some of the reason that I’m saving money in an IRA and building up passive income.

Social Security Should Be Part Of Retirement Planning

Just about every retiree in the US can count on some level of Social Security payment. While the payout to future retirees may be lower than what current retirees can expect, there should be some level of income for those who reach 62 years of age in the future. Social Security should not be your only source of retirement income.

The Social Security Administration recently noted that more than a third of current retirees rely on Social Security for 90 percent of their retirement income. This is scary. This means that you should start thinking about retirement finance as early as possible.

The average social security payment is a little more than $16,400 a year.  This is something, but it’s not going to be enough for most people to live on.

Remember Tax-Advantaged Accounts

The government makes it somewhat easy to save for retirement in addition to Social Security. There are a number of different tax-advantaged accounts that have names with a number in the 400s. These allow people to save for retirement while also cutting down on the amount of federal income taxes that they have to pay. Tax-advantaged accounts should be an important part of any worker’s retirement planning strategy.

The 401k is probably the most familiar of these retirement accounts, but you can also access tax-deferred accounts if you work for nonprofits or governmental agencies. These accounts are  403b and 457b plans. Some employers will actually offer both. The maximum that employees can contribute for each is $18,000 per year.

Use IRAs As Well

You don’t have to have an employer who sponsors a retirement plan for you. It’s also possible  save money each and every year on your own. As of 2017, you can save up to $5,500 each year ($6,500 if you’re above 50 years of age) in an individual retirement account, also known as an IRA.

There are two flavors of IRA accounts. The traditional format allow you to cut your taxable income in the current year, but requires you to pay taxes on the amount you save and any growth in the account when you access the funds. A Roth IRA does not come with the tax deduction in the current year, but it does allow retirees to withdraw contributed funds and any gains and income tax free.

These accounts come with a 10-percent penalty for accessing the funds before age 59 1/2. The penalty does not apply if your employer lets you go after turning 55. This penalty is in addition to the income taxes that you might have to pay.

Why My Retirement Planning Includes Dividend Stocks

I could sit back and plan to use pensions and Social Security payments for my entire retirement income. I could also wind up eating Alpo. That’s why I’m buying stocks to build up a passive income that comes in when I can no longer work or hit an age when I don’t have to work.

Stocks (at least a broad exposure to them) have tended to grow over time. They also throw off dividends and distributions that are real cash that real companies pay. These dividends tend to grow at a rate that exceeds the level of inflation over the long run. Therefore, my purchasing power should not go down on this part of my retirement income. It likely will for pension and Social Security income.

What does your retirement planning look like? What avenues are you using?

Sign Up For Updates

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November Side Hustle

Dividends: Passive Income From June 2017

The month of June 2017 is over. The summer is about half over. That’s not cool, but what is cool is the passive income that I get from dividends each and every month.

The end of the month is a great time to look back and assess where I am. I look at my dividends and where they stand in relation to the same month last quarter and the same month last year. This gives me a good idea if I’m making progress toward my goal of building up passive income. As I’ve noted many times, passive income is the best income.

I like dividends because they come in whether I’m at home or at work. They come in whether I’m awake or asleep, which means I can really earn money in pajamas. At home or on the road? It doesn’t matter. This passive aspect of dividend income is one that I really like.

I own some great companies, and these companies sell goods or serve clients around the world on a daily basis. I can take Christmas completely off, and I’ll still have dividends rolling in from these companies. In June, I earned from several companies and a couple of funds. Here are the dividends that I earned during the month of June.

Dividends For June 2017

Here are the specific companies and funds that paid me a dividend during the month of June 2017:

Kroger Co. (KR)                                                                                                 $2.40
Southern Company (SO)                                                                            $17.40
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)                                                                              $8.40
Realty Income Corp. (O)                                                                                $5.28

Total Dividend Income From IRA                                                            $33.48

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                                                   $1.96
Cohen and Steers Realty Shares (CSRSX)                                          $21.79

Total Dividend Income from 401k                                                          $23.75

Total Dividend Income for June 2017:                                            $57.23

This dividend income is the highest that I’ve earned thus far this calendar year, and I must say that I’m pretty happy with it. Of course, this much passive income would not go far, but it is another step in the right direction.

Year-To-Year Comparison

I like to look at my monthly dividend income and then compare it with the amount that I had a year previously. Again, this is a great way to show me if I’m on the right track.

In June 2016, the companies that I owned at the time paid me $18.82. It’s pretty evident from a comparison that I more than trebled my dividend income over the past year. I’m thrilled any time that I see such large increases on a year-over-year basis.

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely
My dividends continue to build slowly, but surely.

The companies and funds that I own have now paid me $206.64 for the year. This compares with the $61.60 that I had earned at this point last year. My passive income has increased by more than 200 percent in just a year.

Furthermore, I’m now on track to earn $454.05 over the next 12 months in my traditional IRA account. This would buy me about 22 hours and 45 minutes of freedom over the next year without taking into account the dividends I earn from my 401k funds. I track this based upon having to replace $20/hour. I’m getting up close to the two hours a month level.

I can’t believe how far this has come from the $0.64 I received from Apple back in August 2015. This was the first of the dividends that companies have paid me, and the amount has only gone up from there. How was your dividend income last month? I’ve updated my monthly dividend record to reflect my dividends from June 2017 if you want to check out my progress.

Disclaimers And The Like

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page or via the popup that asks you to sign up. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information. I’m long KR, O, SO, JNJ, CSRSX, and OIERX.

 

November Side Hustle

April 2017 Passive Dividend Income

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely

The month of April is not quite over yet, but my passive dividend income for April has all arrived in my accounts.  The end of the month is one of my favorite times, because I get to tally up the passive income that I earned from dividends over the previous 30 (or so) days.

April was the first month of the second quarter. This means that fewer companies tend to pay out, which hurts my income from my 401k fund. Regardless, all of the companies that I own continued to work making money for me.

Every share that I own is an ever-so-small slice of the company that issued the shares. In effect, I own 0.0000000001 percent of these companies (or some other such minuscule number). Regardless, I love the fact that they work on the other side of the world while I’m sleeping to make me money.

Regardless of what I do in a given month, I get paid. Of course, I have a regular job and work hard to supplement that income, but it’s good to know that I have a growing stream of passive dividend income. Here are the companies that paid me in April:

Passive Dividend Income For April 2017

Taxable Account:

Coca-Cola (KO)                                                                           $3.24

Traditional IRA:

Realty Income Corp (O)                                                          $2.11
General Electric (GE)                                                                $9.60

401k

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                        $0.01

TOTAL DIVIDENDS FOR APRIL 2017:                         $14.96

Yes, I earned a whopping penny from my 401k. Not terribly impressive, but better than nothing, I suppose.

Year-To-Year Comparison

Admittedly, not even reaching $15 might cause frustration for many people. However, when I look at this amount and compare it to the same month last year, I earned only $8.90 last year. This means that I increased my dividend income by 68% in just 12 months.

Increases of this size will not continue indefinitely, but they are pretty cool. They also help me build up my passive dividend income. They are important building blocks toward my goal.

I’ve now earned $105.31 so far in 2017. At this point last year, I’d earned only $33.27. This means that my passive dividend income is up 217% in just a year’s time. Pretty cool. Onward and upward.

I have to point out one thing, however. I sold all of my taxable investments over the past month, because, as I noted  previously, Loyal3 is shutting down. As this was my taxable investment vehicle of choice, I sold out and put the money into my Traditional IRA, hoping to cut my taxes for 2017 in the process.

This means that you’ll no longer see some of the common dividend payers on my reports previously. I wanted to let you know why.

I replaced my taxable holdings with more AT & T. This brings my estimated dividend income (not counting the 401k) to $398.90 for the next 12 months. I’m only one more purchase or one more dividend raise from crossing over the $400 mark. Again, pretty cool stuff.

How was your dividend income for April? Let me know in the comments. I’ve also updated my passive dividend income page so you can see the growth of my income over time.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

November Side Hustle

September 2015 Passive Dividend Earnings

I’ve been putting capital to work over the past couple of months in an attempt to really earn money in pajamas. Stock pay dividends on a regular basis no matter what I do. I could watch TV, sleep, and eat all day long, every day, and the ownership stakes that I’ve paid for in my companies would still pay out. Last month, I gave my first dividend earnings report. I earned a whopping $0.64 from a small dividend from Apple (AAPL). This month, a couple of great companies paid me for owning a small sliver of their operations. My dividend earnings  for September were:

WalMart (WMT): $0.69

McDonald’s (MCD): $1.29

These companies paid me $1.98, which adds up to just more than $0.03 per day. That might not seem like much, but with any luck that will add up to a dollar per day over the relatively near future. That $1 will then multiply to $2, and then $10 each day. All that’s needed is time and more capital to put to work. The best thing about this money is that it comes in without my doing any additional work than the work that I put in to get the initial capital to invest. It’s like a snowball that’s adding a little bit each quarter going forward.

With my earnings from August added in, I’ve now reached $2.62 in dividends this year. I’ve already earned my first dividend for October, as Coca-Cola (KO) has already paid out their third quarter dividend. I should also get a dividend from the Bank of Nova Scotia at the end of the month. October should be another record-breaking month, even though I’m not likely to pay for much more than the dollar menu at McDonald’s with my earnings. From this point forward, my income should start really picking up, though. Passive income is the best income.

November Side Hustle

August 2015 Passive Dividend Earnings

Earning passive income is really one of the best ways to earn money from the office, home, the store, or wherever you might be, because it comes in at all hours of the day no matter what you might be doing at any given time. Getting more and more passive income is one of my goals. I’ve started to buy stocks that provide me with dividends on a regular basis. I’m focused on stocks that have paid steady or increasing dividends over a period of years through all sorts of economic conditions.

In late July, I opened an account with Loyal3, which is an online source for purchasing stock. The platform is pretty cool because you’re able to become a partial owner in some really profitable companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, and McDonald’s without paying any fees. I’ve also recently opened another brokerage account with another outfit because Loyal3 only has around 60-65 companies from which you can purchase stock. If you want to branch out into a sector or company that’s not included, you have to do it with another broker. Regardless, one of my purchases from early in August paid a dividend after I bought in, so without further ado, here is my dividend income from the month of August:

Apple, Inc (AAPL)  $0.64

You’ve read this right. I earned a whopping 64 cents in dividends, which was a regular quarterly dividend of $0.52 per share. When multiplied by my 1.2313 share stake in Apple, you get 64 cents. This is admittedly a very small chunk of change, and many people might wonder why I’d even bother. However, I would argue that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Without the first 64 cents, the first $1,000 or $10,000 cannot be earned. Unless I put more money into Apple in the next couple of months, I’ll get another $0.64 in November. I also intend to build up positions in additional great companies with great products over the upcoming months and years while also adding to existing positions over time. I also intend to use my dividends to accelerate the purchase of additional stock. The goal is to have this regular income pay for some of my expenses when I hit retirement age in a few decades. The earlier I start, the more the admittedly small dividends will start to grow exponentially.

How many dividends did you get for not working in August?

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. This site is for informational/educational/motivational purposes. Be sure to contact a certified financial advisor or accountant before making investment decisions. 

November Side Hustle

Stock Purchase–AAPL

This week, I added another position toward my goal of earning money in pajamas with dividend stocks. My first purchase of $100 went toward WalMart Stock. My second purchase was a bit larger because I wanted to make sure that I was able to purchase a whole share of another company with my Loyal3 account. This stock is one of the biggest and most popular in all the world. I decided to buy some stock in Apple Computer. Of course, the best time to buy some Apple stock would have been around 1999, but I was not really into stocks at that point. However, with some money from previous birthdays still available to put to work, I decided to jump in now.

My goal is to earn additional money without actually putting in additional hours for it. Therefore, buying Apple would not have been on my radar had I started just a few years ago. In 2012, however, the company started paying dividends again after a long hiatus. The dividend has been steadily growing since its resumption. The current yield is not terribly high, as it is in the 1.7 percent range, but it has shown growth to the upside. The P/E ratio and the payout ratio for the dividend are both solid, and everyone knows that iPhones and iPads are all the rage with kids these days.

I put in a total of $150 into AAPL, and this bought me 1.2313 shares in the company. Currently, the dividend on this stock stands at $2.08 per share after a big 7-for-1 split last year. My current holdings should net me about $2.56 in dividends over the next year. When added to my anticipated dividends from my WalMart purchase, my current estimated dividend income for the next year should be right around $5.60. Both of these stocks could raise their dividends in the next year, so that increase would be added to my $5.60. I also plan to buy a few more positions in the near term, and I have some plans for utilizing some passive income to buy even more, which will give even more passive income. My hope is to increase my dividend income each year until I can replace a significant percentage of my expenses by retirement. They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, and I look at these purchases as the first two steps in my journey.

I’ll plan to give updates on any future purchases, as well as any income as it starts to come in.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial professional. The information on this site is for educational/informational purposes only. Investors in the stock market can lose money, up to and including all of their investment. Please consult a financial professional before making any investments in the market.

November Side Hustle

Earning Money in Pajamas with Dividends on Loyal3

Note: Loyal3 is closing down in May 2017. Therefore, this platform will no longer be available. It will be a good idea to choose another brokerage.

As I wrote in my last post, passive income is the best income. One of the best ways to get passive income that I noted in that article was through dividend stocks. These stocks are issued by companies who have created enough income and built up enough equity through their business operations to return some of the profits to those who invest in their endeavors. While reading up on dividend growth investing over the past few weeks, I stumbled upon recommendations for a website that allowed for fee-free investing. This site Loyal3.com allows investors to put in as little as $10 toward a number of quality stocks–without having to pay any commissions. I was intrigued to say the least.

I have some money that I’ve had laying that’s come from birthday and Christmas gifts over the last few years, so I decided to open an account and put it to work because it’s basically been earning nothing. I decided to buy $100 worth of WalMart stock last week to see how the site worked. The transaction went through today, and that $100 investment bought me 1.398 shares of ownership in Wally World. WalMart currently pays an annual dividend of $1.96 per share, which is split into four quarterly payments, so this will give me about $2.70 in dividend income over the next year. I chose WalMart because it’s the biggest retailer in the world, it makes lots of money, it pays a solid dividend that’s increased every year for around four decades, and it trades at a relatively low price-to-earnings ratio. As this went through pretty easily, I have decided to buy some more stocks on Loyal3 with the funds that I have available.

The Loyal3 site is pretty easy to navigate, and it only took a few minutes to go from creating an account to linking a bank account and telling the site what to purchase. The transfer of funds from my bank took from Saturday to Tuesday, and the purchase went through on Tuesday morning. The site only makes purchases in a couple of batches each day, so this is something to consider if you’re looking to purchase at a specific price as you can’t totally control the purchase price. I chose this “broker” because most other low-cost brokers are quite expensive if you don’t have a fairly large sum to invest. For example, I considered TradeKing with its $4.95 fee per trade, but for a $100 investment, I’d be starting about 5 percent in the hole before the stock moved up or down at all. It would take a purchase of $500 to make TradeKing or Scott Trade worth it, in my estimation. If I get a good nest egg going, I’ll probably open an account with one of these sites to further diversify without paying heavy fees. With Loyal3, I can buy fractional shares for as little as a $10 investment and it costs me nothing, as most well-established stocks are not going to shift in price by 5 percent on the vast majority of days.

There are some negatives that come with the Loyal3 platform. One is the afforementioned fact that the site utilizes batch trading, rather than up-to-the-minute trades. This can lead to some fluctuations in price, but as noted above, I don’t think that’s going to wipe out any advantage gained by avoiding paying a fee on a smallish trade, at least the vast majority of the time. Another negative is the fact that the site only has a relationship with slightly more than 60 companies, but some of these are among the biggest names around. Included are stocks like: WalMart, Apple Computer, Intel, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, and others. Each of these pay a good dividend that’s grown in recent years (sometimes for decades straight). Energy and healthcare companies are not get included.

However, for my current level of investment ability, I think that the Loyal3 platform should work well for my purposes.  I plan to spend the rest of the money I have available, purchase additional shares with some other passive income, and then reinvest any dividends that I get. The goal is to increase dividend income year-over-year to where I have a nice cash flow supplement when it comes time to retire. Dividends are definitely passive income, and WalMart is active in many countries around the globe, so this company is literally providing income (albeit a very small amount at the moment) while I’m in bed, which is one of the best ways to earn money in pajamas.

Disclaimer: I am not an investment professional. Therefore, this article is intended only for entertainment/informational purposes and is not an actual recommendation to buy any specific security. Stocks go up and down, and investors can and do lose money.