Making money while not doing anything is the ideal scenario, or so I thought until recently. For years I’ve been diligently saving and investing so I could never be told what to do for money again. 5am conference call with the East Coast? No thanks! Fly to Chicago in the middle of winter to see clients? Have fun! Come in before sunrise and leave after sunset? Yeah, you do that.
One of the most important tips I’ve shared about building sustainable passive income is treating the whole process like a game with multiple levels. Because interest rates have been coming down for the past 30+ years, generating low risk passive income is becoming that much harder every year. Earning $28,000 a year in dividends on a $1 million dollar portfolio is not exactly living it up! The investing world is counting much more on capital appreciation instead.
The problem with building passive income my way is that you start becoming completely oblivious to the income production because you aren’t utilizing the money. You have to follow the rules remember? I haven’t touched any principal or interest/dividend income since I started the passive income journey in 1999. I’ve become an over saver during retirement, which is not bringing me joy any longer.
The problem with over savers is that there’s this irrational fear that Doom is right around the corner. What if Google’s latest search algorithm changes cuts this site’s traffic in half? Less traffic means less income. What if eventual Woman Of The Year, Janet Yellen recants on her promise to keep interest rates low forever? We’re all depending on the bull run in real estate and stocks to continue. The “what ifs” never stop, so we continue to save for a rainy day that never comes.