Another long weekend to enjoy and we are busy going for our various personal care appointments & shopping for stuff that we need for the upcoming 2 week trip to West Coast USA. It’s going to be a short week for us since Mon is a public holiday and we will be flying off to San Francisco on Fri morning. Just a 3 day work week for us to get through before we can get away! Anyway, we are catching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 later and thought I will squeeze in a post in the meantime.
A regular end of the month update about our dividend income for Apr 2017.
- Phillip APAC REIT ETF S$ (BYJ): S$82
- Vanguard ETFs (World, US, Europe, UK, Emerging Markets and Asia Pacific): S$136
DIVIDEND INCOME FOR APR 2017: S$218
Due to the recent sale transactions, our dividend income for Apr 2017 is about 15% less than that for Apr 2016. We are expecting a big dividend income month coming up in May 2017, but it is expected to be less than May 2016 as well for the same reason. It’s frustrating in the short term to watch our dividend income progress stall and even take a step backward due to our portfolio restructuring efforts. Eventually, the increased income from the fewer but larger value ETFs should make up for this in the long term.
As we get older, I find we get more impatient with our wealth-building or financial progress. We try to look for higher returns on our limited capital and tend to underestimate the increased risks involved in doing so. I reckon it has to do with us spending more time in the workforce and building our careers. It leaves you tired, wanting a change and you eventually try to supercharge your savings & investments as a buffer to take a break. The slow and steady approach is not going to sell to someone who is trying to maximise his returns to get out of his current lifestyle. Because it means he still needs to spend more time working and planning a way out even if it is a more sustainable strategy.
These push and pull factors are affecting us more now. We have started discussing the possibility of having a kid next year but can’t seem to give up on our current lifestyles. We know we will need a bigger 3-bedroom apartment that continues to be relatively close to my parents-in-law but it would be an expensive endeavour given the area we live in. Plus we are not sure whether we should sell our current smaller 2-bedroom apartment to free up the home equity or we should try to lease it out as a rental property.
We are okay to slow down in our careers and give ourselves more time with each other, our families & friends. Especially if we have kids. But we enjoy the luxuries that we indulge in and we have not been successful at managing our expenses. Which means to make up for the loss of higher salary income, we will need more dividend and interest income. The thing about ETF investing is that it is slow but sustainable with market returns and decent dividend income. It takes a long time to see results, which conflicts directly with our plans for the next decade to achieve early retirement.
I guess this is what the journey to financial independence is like. Uneven, messy, conflicting priorities, a constant balancing act with many ups and downs. But this has always been my aim with this blog. It should chart all the successes we achieve, failures we endure, challenges we overcome and uncertainties that make us doubt. The issue is whether we are doing enough, too much or we should be doing more. And this is something that has been occupying my mind lately. Maybe we might have more clarity after our trip to the US. Time to get away.