2017 Dividend Recap

Nyhavn Christmas Market Copenhagen Denmark

Nyhavn Christmas Market – Copenhagen, Denmark

I’m about a month late, but I still wanted to share our 2017 dividend totals.  The numbers below represent dividends received from both individual stocks and Vanguard index funds in taxable accounts.  I do not track dividends in our retirement accounts.

For the year we earned $4,751.38, a 38% increase over 2016!

Below is a comparison of monthly and cumulative totals over the last few years.  The big jump this year was the result of a special dividend payout from an individual stock in February (PIP: $873.00) along with an overall increase in deposits to our index funds.  We also own a handful of non-dividend paying stocks, which are obviously not accounted for here.

2017 Dividend Totals

The list below provides a breakout of how much dividends were earned by each stock or index fund.  In the future, I’d like to reduce the number of individual stocks we own, with a preference to those that will provide steady dividend growth for years to come.  Some of the stocks are holdovers from purchases made many years ago and should probably be sold off with the proceeds used to help re-balance our portfolio.

I’ll get around to it one of these days!

2017 Dividend Breakout

It’s Moving Time, Again

York England

York, England

Yep, you heard it right.  In an unexpected turn of events, we’ll be moving again in less than two weeks!

This time, instead of moving a few thousand miles to another continent, we’re just moving about 6 miles down the road.  Toward the end of October, Mrs. DTG received a call from the base housing office offering us a house on base.  It was a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom in a coveted section of base housing.

The catch, we had to make our decision to accept or reject the offer within 24 hours!  With nothing to lose, we decided to look at the house and it really blew us away.  It felt so spacious and open!  This could be partially due to living in a British house the last 15 months where all the spaces are very narrow, cramped, and slightly awkward.  And the storage space – there were actually cabinets in the bathrooms!

Best yet, the house is about 100 yards from our two younger kids’ elementary school and a 3-minute bike ride from our oldest’s school.  This will save them loads of time over riding the bus to and from school like they currently do.  Not to mention, Mrs. DTG will be less than a mile from her clinic and I’ll be even closer to my teaching job.

Now don’t get me wrong, we really enjoyed living off base for the first part of our tour and felt like we built connections in the local community, especially with me playing for the local rugby club and our daughter attending British Reception (similar to US kindergarten, but for pre-K age kids) last year.

Still, after weighing all the pros and cons, we felt being on base would make our lives a lot easier and decided to accept their offer.  During the first week of December, we’ll be making our 5th move in the last 12 years.  Fortunately, this has given us a lot of practice and we’re getting good at it!

But first, we’re off to Paris for Thanksgiving!  We’ve been traveling like crazy the last few months and will be sharing some of our adventures soon.

Third Quarter 2017 Dividend Update

Edinburgh Castle Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

I can’t believe it’s been nearly two months since my last post!

For the few readers we may have left, all is well in the DTG household.  In early July I had an unexpected opportunity to go on active duty orders almost continuously through the end of September.  On one hand, this kept me extremely busy and left little time for blogging.  On the other hand, it gave us a huge income boost, which I’ll post about soon.

Fortunately, one income stream that is truly passive and doesn’t require any work is our dividends.

We’re currently crushing our 2016 pace, up 42% year over year!  This is partially due to one of our stocks issuing a special dividend in February.  Additionally, last month I added $30K to our Vanguard index funds, which will help our dividend income grow even quicker in the future.

To be clear, though, we do not actually use our dividends as income now.  Nearly all is being reinvested in the issuing stock/fund.  I’m also only including dividends in taxable accounts.

Year to date, we have earned $3,509.40 in dividends, surpassing our 2016 total of $3,434.62.  Our 2017 total should end up just north of $4,600.

The chart below compares our last three years of dividend income.  You can see we’re well ahead of the last two years.

3Q17 Dividend Tracker

This might be a stretch, but by reshuffling our portfolio and adding some more funds, we may even be able to reach our goal of $6K/year in 2018!

A Year of Ditching the Daily Grind

Los Gigantes Tenerife Canary Islands

Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tomorrow marks one year of ditching the daily grind.

My last day as a full-time employee in corporate America was August 5, 2016, and I can honestly say without any hesitation that the time since handing in my employee ID badge has easily been the best year of my life.  Even though I’d been looking forward to and planning for the day my creative and productive energies would no longer waste away in cubicle hell, the abrupt finality at the age of 34 happened mostly by chance.

My wife, who is active duty military, was reassigned to a base overseas and I was more or less forced to quit my job.  At least that’s how it appeared from the outside, giving me the perfect cover to implement my new career plan, one in which I’d never work a traditional full-time job ever again.

I had wanted this for years, but didn’t have the courage to give up a borderline six-figure salary, especially with three kids under 10 still under our roof.  Although we’d had a good handle on our money for years and I knew we could easily pull it off financially, it still didn’t seem logical. Continue reading

Our Top Tip for Moving with Kids

 

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham, England

We’re right in the thick of the U.S. military PCS (permanent change of station) season.  This means that military families all over the globe are packing their belongings and heading out to new and sometimes familiar destinations.

We were in their shoes last year, prepping for our move from Texas across the pond to England.

For most people, this is a crazy way to live.  But we couldn’t imagine it any other way.  We’ve become accustomed to and comfortable with moving every 3–4 years.  In fact, we look forward to and fully embrace each move.

So why do many find this lifestyle to be so bizarre? Continue reading