By David Letke
As I am sitting here in my studio apartment in Merida, Yucatan, I realize just how lucky I am to be in the situation I am in. I read articles for years on Expats in Mexico, The Philippines, Portugal, and a host of other countries, on how much or little it takes to live in these places.
Sure, I, just like a lot of you, watched countless hours of you-tube videos, joined FB expat groups, and read or watched any and everything I could on the subjects to determine if and when I could make the dream a reality.
A little back history for you. I am 51 years old, own my own home free and clear in the US, and have no debt. I also have a monthly income from investments yielding an impressive 11%. My goal was to retire at 50. Why? Consider this, the first 18-25 years of your life are as a child doing what you are told and in school. Then the fun begins, you start working to pay the bills, buy that house, raise the family, keep up with the Jones’. That is the next 40 years of your life generally. Then, at 65, you can retire with Social Security from the government. The average check is in the $1400.00 monthly range. So, when you are able to finally enjoy life (or move to that exotic destination you have been dreaming about all these years), you only have that government “entitlement” called social security plus whatever else you put back for retirement.
Don’t forget though, you are 62 years old or older. Now you have health concerns. Face it, you are not as young as you once were. This is also not how I wanted to live out my Golden Years!
Now, how did a man retire at 50, support a home in the USA, and move to Mexico without the benefit of Social Security? A lot of research on investments, then investing in the right ones for me. This strategy is working for me, but may not be right for all of you. I spent 100s of hours researching, and still spend about 5-10 hours a week researching. Is it boring? YES! Do the
benefits outweigh my boredom? YES!
Let me start by saying, this is not a get-rich scheme. I gain nothing from this article. This is just how I did it. One man’s plight to actually have enough time in retirement to live a little and enjoy some of what life has to offer. I will give accurate, real examples later on. Another thing, if you go to a financial planner, they will not set you up with the investments I will show you, these are un-solicitable stocks by almost all brokers. I do have an investment broker, but I tell him what I want and he handles the trades for me, and keeps up with my selections, and makes sure nothing is looking to go haywire for me. Yes, an e-mail or pm to me will get you his number, no I will not post it in the article.
So, I started in 401K when I was 19 years old and have always participated at some level or another. I received a small inheritance from my great-grandmother when I was 17. My mom and dad invested it for me in safe blue chips. I received another small inheritance in 2007 when my grandmother passed. Then, the worst was another small inheritance when my parents passed. I did get their house, sold my house, and invested it all. Now, I no longer need to work.
I chose Merida, Yucatan to move to. It was not my 1st choice though, but love has a way of finding us when we least expect it and changes things. Originally, I was booked to go to Portugal, but a pm from a lady here turned into conversations, turned into more, so Portugal was put on hold and now here I am, and loving every second of it. Sure, I miss my kids, but I can go back anytime I want to see them, because of smart, albeit a little risky investing. I am heavily invested in the stock market. I don’t have a million dollars invested, but I get the same dividend checks monthly and quarterly that they do!
I started with GOOGLE and searched “stocks paying monthly dividends” and a list popped up. The research began. I then branched out the search to “stocks paying the highest % dividend” and the research continued. I opened a Robinhood account to play around with $5K. I also opened an E-TRADE account with $500 because they offer a different set of information.
I am not promoting either of these sites for anything other than the fact that between the 2, I get all the info I need to see how I am doing. All of my stocks at the brokerage firm are listed, as are E-TRADEs. Just a convenience factor for me.
The first thing I discovered in my research is that 2 of the safest options that pay the best dividends are REITs and the Energy sector. I figure everyone needs a place to live, and utilities for those places.
The first stock I purchased was PSEC, a REIT that is paying 8.5-10.5 % MONTHLY dividends. As I am sitting here at this moment, 3:09 p.m. Central time on a Friday 10/22/2021, PSEC is trading at $8.38 a share and the dividend monthly is $.06 a share or $.72 a share annually. That’s 8.59% return at today’s price! Not too shabby in my opinion, seeing as how the former investment options were 1.5% annually.
Now, if you are younger, make savings a part of your fixed expenses. Pay into it every payday, just like taxes and tithes, set the account to reinvest the dividends, and watch it grow. If you have money already, invest it and either live off of the dividends or watch it grow. Are there risks? The answer is yes, there are. There are risks with everything though. You just have to weigh whether the risk is worth the potential reward.
My next 2 purchases were in the energy sector. I got in on USAC and AM. Currently, USAC is trading at $16.95 and is paying $.525 quarterly dividends or 11.84% annually and AM is at $11.45 per share and pays $.225 quarterly or 7.77% annually. Tell me where you can get those kinds of returns in today’s economy?
This was the start of a beautiful retirement, and it didn’t take a million dollars to do it! With the cost of living here (living like a local, not a tourist or a bougie expat) I live comfortably on less than $1500.00 USD a month and I still take my girlfriend out for romantic weekends and nice dinners. On an average return of 11.5%, I only needed to have $160,000 invested to live here. I did that and some more so I could have a cushion.
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Next week, this article will be continued with specific information on 18 stocks that I have, the dividend payouts, frequency of payouts, prices as of the day, and an example of how to split up the risk some.
THIS IS NOT A SPECULATION ARTICLE, I AM CURRENTLY DOING THIS ON MY OWN AND THESE NUMBERS ARE FACTS AND CAN BE VERIFIED BY CHECKING THE NASDAQ FOR MY INFORMATION! THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A GUARANTEE OF ROI OR ANYTHING ELSE, AGAIN, THIS IS MY PLAN AND HOW IT IS WORKING FOR ME! TO BE CONTINUED!