How long does it take to get to $50000 per year in dividends?

When I defined what Financial Independence means to me (here), $50000 dividend dollars per year seemed good to me….how I came up with that number is listed in that link. I did not have any notion of how to get there apart from creating passive income streams (cash from bank interest + dividends from stocks). How I designed the passive income streams is explained here and here.

The next question for me now is: how do I get to $50000 per year OR roughly $4000 per month. This post will talk about the next steps for me.

Assumptions

  • Dividend Distribution Frequency
    • Dividends can be distributed with different frequencies i.e. monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, yearly. I have mutual funds with all the above frequencies.
    • So, for the entire portfolio, what distribution frequency should I assume?
      • Monthly is the most aggressive (most amount of money compounding) and Yearly is the most conservative (least amount of money compounding).
      • Most of my funds are either quarterly or less, one of them is half yearly and one is yearly.
    • So, I have decided to go conservative and assume a yearly dividend distribution.
  • Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)
    • If the dividends are re-invested into the same assets that produced the dividends in the first place, we call this the Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
    • The assumption is that I am going to use DRIP as I do not need to use the dividend money right away.
  • Dividend Tax Rate
    • Dividends are taxed at a different rate depending on the tax bracket.
    • I will assume that my dividend tax rate is 15%.
  • Average Annual Dividend Yield
    • I have assumed 3%….a reasonable, middle of the road dividend yield assuming a 2% to 5% spread.
  • Yearly Investment
    • I will assume a yearly investment of $12000 i.e. $1000 per month.
    • I will assume that I will not increase this investment money each year.
  • Investment Time Period
    • I will assume 10 years since my wish is to achieve financial independence in 10 years.
  • Tool used
    • I am going to use a wonderful dividend calculator from Dividend Ladder.
    • If I had known about this tool, I would have used this when I defined my goals…I just came to know about this recently.

Case 1: Base Case

  • Starting Principal = $225000
  • Dividend Distribution Frequency = Yearly/Annually
  • DRIP = yes
  • Dividend Tax Rate = 15% tax rate
  • Investment Time Period = 10 years
  • Average annual div = 3%
  • Yearly Investment = $12000
  • No increase in yearly investment every year.

When I put the above numbers into the Dividend calculator, I got the following results:

  • New Annual Dividend Income = $12725
  • New Principal = $424176

This is a far cry from the $50000 per year dividends I need to reach. So, which of the above parameters do I need to change to get the dividends closer to $50000 per year?

Case 2:  Add 5yrs to the 10yr FI plan

  • Starting Principal = $225000
  • Dividend Distribution Frequency = Yearly/Annually
  • DRIP = yes
  • Dividend Tax Rate = 15% tax rate
  • Investment Time Period = 15 years
  • Average annual div = 5%
  • Yearly Investment = $24000
  • No increase in yearly investment every year.

When I put the above numbers into the Dividend calculator, I got the following results, which is much closer to $50000 dividend dollars per year:

  • New Annual Dividend Income = $45483
  • New Principal = $909663

So, to get close to the $50000 per year, I need to do the following:

Contribute $24000 annually instead of $12000 as per Case 1.

  • If I buy a house, then this increase in money is impossible. If not, then this should be doable.
  • Bottom line is that for the next 15 years, $24000 per year => $360000 investment into passive income streams.
  • How this money is spread across 15 years I am not sure yet, but it is a target for me.

Work for 15 more years instead of the 10 years I had initially planned

  • This is not acceptable, but it seems like I have no choice.

Assume a dividend yield of 5% instead of 3%.

  • This is acceptable because….
  • Some of the funds I own distribute capital gains as well. This is also re-invested.
  • Some of the funds I own and federally tax exempt and one of the them is state tax exempt also. So, dividend gain of 3% and add no taxes to it, makes it equivalent to a higher yield.

Case 3:  Stick to the 10yr plan

Lets say I do not want to work an additional 5 years i.e. stick to the 10yr FI plan. If so, what numbers do I see?

  • Starting Principal = $225000
  • Dividend Distribution Frequency = Yearly/Annually
  • DRIP = yes
  • Dividend Tax Rate = 15% tax rate
  • Investment Time Period = 10 years
  • Average annual div = 5%
  • Yearly Investment = $24000
  • No increase in yearly investment every year.

When I put the above numbers into the Dividend calculator, I got the following results:

  • New Annual Dividend Income = $31632
  • New Principal = $632657

So, if I can adjust my need for money from $50000 per year to $31000 per year, then I can stick to the 10yr plan.

 Conclusion

It is very hard to see 10-15 years ahead in life. Who knows what can happen in future? But, assuming that things go well (touch wood), I will continue to aim for $50000 dividend dollars per year and contribute money trying to reach it. If I reach somewhere in between $31000 to $50000 dividend dollars per year, I would be happy. If it is tending towards $31000, then I may think of increasing the yearly investment or reducing dollar requirements in future.

So, the plan is to do the following:

  • Invest $24000 per year
  • Work for the next 15 years (5 more years than my plan for FI)
    • i.e. $360000 over the next 15 years
  • Assume a 5% dividend yield instead of 3% (the safe number)

Wish me luck to finish in 10 years instead of 15!

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