The 6 stages of my ultimate long term ambitions

As you get older and wiser, you begin to realize the alignment of your individual values, strengths and capabilities and how they fit together with your long term ambitions.

In turn, you carve out a life that most appropriately matches your skills and values.

Obviously, you have to factor in how you were raised, because that plays a big part in choosing what to strive for.

However, many people have broken through that boundary, having gone on to craft a life of their own.

Personally, I admire those people that do things differently.

I can never understand when someone tells me they wouldn’t know what to do with their time if they didn’t work.


You can’t think of one other single thing you’d want to do with your time?

What about starting a business, going back to school or spending more time with your family?

Take an art class, volunteer, start a blog or get in the best shape of your life.

There are endless opportunities once you reach FI.

In my case, I realized I wanted to be a full-time dividend investor back in 2012.

Here’s the 6 stages of my ultimate dream:

The 6 stages of my ultimate long term ambitions Click To Tweet

💰 Stage 1—Save a minimum of 10% while paying off debt simultaneously.

This is the stage I am currently in. I’m working a full-time job to pay off outstanding debt while saving money to acquire assets.

Although I plan on saving more than 10%, I set the minimum requirement to establish a bar.

The minimum amount saved is built around the idea that it can be increased frequently.

But most importantly, it’s important to me to maintain a comfortable life.

Although I’m saving on a regular basis, values matter.

In addition to choosing what to sacrifice, you have to be willing to eliminate the things in the way of FI.

📊 Stage 2 — Debt free — Increase saving rates — Continue dividend investing until portfolio pays out a minimum monthly average of $2500.

In the not so distant future, my debt will be paid off and I’ll be in stage 2.

In this stage, I’ll have even more cash flow to invest because my dividend income will be increased, my full-time income will be higher, and my debt will be gone, which will also free up additional cash flow.

Be that as it may, I’ll have my work cut out for me in stage 2.

In order to achieve $2500 in dividends a month, at a 4% rate, I’d need to have $700,000 invested in dividend paying stocks.

However, that number doesn’t factor in the dividend growth rate that great dividend stocks bring to the table.

For a dividend paying stock that doubles its dividend every 5 to 10 years, you may only require half the amount to reach $30,000 a year in annual dividend income.

🏡 Stage 3—Once the portfolio is generating enough dividend income to live off — Purchase a house with an office.

For anyone that knows me well enough, this is probably the most surprising stage in the process.

Though, it actually makes perfect sense because it provides an opportunity to acquire another asset that’s paid for by dividends.

For those of you that know about driping your investments, paying my mortgage with dividend income will be like drip investing into real estate.

Once I reach my dividend income goals, I will be searching for ways to perfect my finances.

🎉 Stage 4 — Reverse the crush — Retire from the 9 to 5 — Live off dividends and blogging in the new home I just purchased.

At this point, I’ll have reached my dreams and will be playing with house money.

I’ll have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in stocks. I’ll have a recently purchased home with a dream office to work from. On top of that, I’ll be free from the 9 to 5 and will be able to spend more time on blogging.

👨🏻‍💻 Stage 5 — 2nd Career — Grow dividend income and online business.

Stage 5 is where I can reach my full potential.

During this time, I expect to spend the majority of my time reinvesting and allocating money into new dividend stocks. Otherwise, I’ll be working on the blog.

This is the point where I can maximize how much cash flow is coming in.

🌴 Stage 6 — Realize the beauty of FI

Once I’ve built up the cash flow machine, it’s time to give back and enjoy.

In my current estimation, I don’t want to be much older than 40 to 45 by the time I reach stage 4.

Similarly as to what I experienced during my year off, I want to wake up each day and proceed to do what I want.

I want to be able to spend the day roaming around Castle Loma if I feel like it.

I want to wake up another day and plan an all inclusive vacation to Mexico.

Frankly, I want to have the kind of money that allows me to live somewhere warm for 4 to 6 months a year—I don’t take kindly to the cold weather.

Additionally, given a full 7 days off a week and enough cashflow to come and go as I please, I want to give back.

Basically, I could see myself focussing on charities for children and animals.

In conclusion, these are my long term ambitions and it doesn’t matter whether you like them or not.

To each their own as everyone has their own ambitions.

In relatable news, I plan on publishing the first dividend report since October 26, 2016 later this month.

This first report will represent the first step towards my ambitions.

Though it will not be a large amount at first, the plan is to aggressively dollar cost average into positions in order to increase dividend income each and every month.

Look out for the dividend income report later this month.

Question: Is it crazy to plan this far down the road? What’s your long term ultimate ambition?

  • Income Surfer

    Sounds like a great plan Graham. I look forward to watching your journey ! Life is too short to work on projects you don’t love anyway. We’re so glad we stepped away last year, it is just remarkable. June has a new road trip and meeting up with the people we love.

    Keep up the progress, because it sounds like you have a good plan

    1. Graham

      Thanks for supporting the long term plan, Bryan. I totally agree that life is too short for projects you don’t care about. It’s great to hear that you had such a memorable time stepping away. After experiencing my time off, I can definitely understand how remarkable time away can be.

      I’m looking forward to reading your Road Trip and Weekly Reads post. Have a great trip!

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