Wow, 2022 is brutal for investors. The stock market is officially in a bear market and inflation is still high. Our net worth decreased by almost 18%. This was the largest amount of decrease we’ve ever experienced (in dollars). It really is painful. However, our passive income is holding up pretty well. This is why retirees need to build a passive income stream. It will help you weather the downturns.
The last time I updated the quarterly passive income post, I asked you to check your asset allocation. Hopefully, you did and rebalanced before 2022. Many investors had too much of their net worth invested in the stock market. A downturn like this is very painful to investors who need to sell stocks. Fortunately, I diversified over the last few years. I sold some stocks and invested in several real estate crowdfunding projects. This move paid off in 2022. You can see how below. Everyone needs to diversify as they become more wealthy.
Overall, our passive income was great so far in 2022. All our investments are hitting their strides. Our FI ratio was also great at 137%. This shows that my early retirement is holding up well during the downturn.
*FI ratio = passive income / expense
Passive Income is The Key
Passive income is one of the keys to a successful early retirement. Once your passive income surpasses your cost of living, you’ve achieved financial independence. Money won’t be an issue anymore and you can do whatever you want. I retired before our passive income got there, but I had an alternate source of income – blogging. Luckily, early retirement worked out very well for me over the last 10 years. Our household income was good so we kept investing. That enabled our net worth to triple over this period and now we are quite comfortable financially. However, we are still working to surpass 100% FI ratio consistently.
Currently, we support our modest lifestyle with the combination of these income streams:
- Mrs. RB40 works full-time. She plans to take a sabbatical in 2022 and perhaps retire early after that.
- I blog for 10-15 hours per week.
- Passive Income – We generate passive income from the stock market, real estate crowdfunding, rental properties, and other investments.
*FI ratio = passive income / expense
The FI ratio is a simple way to measure progress toward financial freedom. Personally, I think 100% FI ratio is overkill because almost nobody stops working completely after early retirement. You’ll probably be okay with 80%, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.
From Q1 to Q3 2022, our FI ratio was 137%. I’m very happy with it. We traveled for 3 months during the summer and our FI ratio held up very well.
Our passive income is great this year.
I’ll quickly go over each category here so you can get an overall picture.
- Real estate crowdfunding – 2022 is our best year yet. This is because real estate crowdfunding projects pay out more when they exit. That’s when the sponsor sells off the project and shares the profit. A big project was completed in Q2 and we got a nice payout. These days I prefer to invest with CrowdStreet. You can read more details below.
- Dividend stocks – This year I’m purchasing more growth stocks. This will reduce our dividend income. It looks like Mrs. RB40 plans to keep working for a while so we won’t have to rely on dividends yet. I still like dividends, but I’ll focus on overall growth until Mrs. RB40 retires. For now, more income = more taxes. Unfortunately, growth stocks are doing horribly this year.
- Rental properties – Currently, we have 2 rental units. My goal is to consolidate down to just one unit, the duplex we live in. We’ll put it on sale when our tenant moves out. I will reinvest the money into real estate crowdfunding.
- Interest – This is just the interest from our bank accounts.
- Tax-advantaged accounts – Lastly, I count the income from our retirement accounts as a part of our passive income. Once Mrs. RB40 retires, we will be able to access these accounts via the Roth conversion – building a Roth IRA ladder.
Read on for more details.
Real Estate Crowdfunding Income: $22,738
I started investing in real estate crowdfunding in 2017. My experience has been mostly positive. There were problems, but I think this is a great way to invest in real estate. At this point in life, I don’t want to be a hands-on landlord anymore. Working with tenants can be super stressful. Repair and maintenance also take a lot of time and effort. Real estate crowdfunding is a lot more passive and the sponsors have the advantage of scale.
In 2022, I am investing with CrowdStreet. They’re the leading company in real estate crowdfunding and they have many commercial projects to choose from. CrowdStreet is great because you can diversify geographically. I’m not optimistic about the Portland real estate market so I prefer to invest elsewhere. Other areas of the U.S. have been much better investments.
Here is the spreadsheet of my RE crowdfunding investments. Also, some quick guidelines from my experience.
- Don’t invest in ground-up projects. You never know what will happen with the construction.
- Don’t invest in an office building, healthcare, or retails. Some will work out and some won’t.
- From now on, I’ll only invest in apartment renovations. The income is good and the chance of losing money is lower. The sponsor can always sell the apartment to generate some funds.
Real estate projects 2022
- CrowdStreet Washington apartment – This is a project in Puget Sound. They seem to be doing quite well.
- CrowdStreet Chicago office building – The property is under renovation at this time. The supply chain issue impacted this project and renovation is slower than expected. Also, the current environment is very challenging for office buildings. We’ll have to hang on and see how everything shakes out.
- CrowdStreet Senior housing – This is a fund to invest in senior living facilities. I committed $30,000 here and funded $27,000. The rest will be due at some point. This project hasn’t paid out yet, but it seems to be doing okay.
- CrowdStreet Senior housing – This is a project in North Carolina. I invested $30,000 in this new project. We’ll have to wait and see if it will work out.
- An apartment in Arizona – The borrower refinanced this project and returned 75% of the money invested. Now, we’ll just wait until the project is sold and collect the rest of the check.
- CrowdStreet Texas apartment – This project was finished and the money was paid out. The annualized ROI was 21%. That is excellent. CrowdStreet is the best RE crowdfunding company on the market right now. Their commercial projects are first-class and should weather the downturn pretty well. I’ll keep you updated on this. Check out their project by signing up for a free account at CrowdStreet.
Rental Property Income: $6,478
Currently, we have a small duplex and a 1 bedroom condo in our rental property portfolio. However, we are trying to consolidate our properties down to just the duplex. I travel more now and I can’t be a DIY landlord anymore.
At this point in life, I’d rather invest in other locations through RE crowdfunding. Being a landlord is a great way to build wealth, but I need to be a more passive investor in the future.
The duplex is around 2,000 square feet so it’s really not that big. Eventually, I plan to remodel the unfinished basement so we can have more living space. It’ll take us a while to get it done, though.
*New investors can start with this – How to Start Investing in Rental Property.
Dividend Income: $10,445
Dividend income is my favorite form of passive income. Investors own a small part of these public companies and they work for you. Recently, I changed my focus from dividends to total portfolio growth. Mrs. RB40 plans to keep working for a while so we don’t need the income. It’s better to delay paying taxes until our income is lower. When Mrs. RB40 retires, I’ll refocus on dividend income. If you’re a new investor, here is a helpful post – How to Start Investing in Dividend Stocks.
As for reinvestment, I don’t DRIP. I just accumulate the dividend and invest in a stock or real estate crowdfunding. This year I hoped to generate $14,000 from our dividend portfolio.
For new investors, I highly recommend Firstrade. Firstrade is an excellent discount brokerage that I used for many years. Recently, they lowered their trading fees to $0. That’s great news! Young investors can buy stock without having to worry about fees. Most discount brokerages also reduced their fees to zero last year. It’s a great time to be an investor. I remember paying $80 per trade when I started investing.
Robinhood is also pretty good for a brand-new investor. You can start investing with just a small amount. Even $100 would be a great start.
Tax-advantaged Income: $19,918
New investors should read these posts first.
- How to start contributing to a Roth IRA. The Roth IRA is the best way to go if you are young.
- What if you always maxed out your 401(k). See the magic of compounding in real life. The 401(k) is the easiest way to invest for your retirement. Don’t miss out on it if your company offers the 401(k).
The money in these retirement accounts isn’t easily accessible at this time (I’m 48), but they still count as passive income. Once we both retire full-time, we’ll build a Roth IRA ladder to access our traditional IRAs so we don’t have to pay the 10% early withdrawal penalty.
Q1 to Q3 2022 Passive Income
All in all, passive income in 2022 is going quite well. All our sources of passive income are gliding along even with the turmoils in the stock market. In particular, real estate crowdfunding is awesome. It really gave our passive income a big lift. I plan to invest in a new project every year to keep the income smooth.
That’s what I love about passive income. You don’t need to worry about how the market is doing if you have enough passive income to fund your lifestyle.
What about you? How is your passive income doing in 2022?
Real estate investment should do well over the next few years. We still have a housing shortage in the US and people need to live somewhere. Check out CrowdStreet if you want to generate passive income from commercial real estate. It’s way easier than being a landlord. Although, I’m not sure how the increasing interest rate will change things. It probably will be more difficult to exit a project because the interest rate is so much higher now.
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.
Latest posts by retirebyforty (see all)
- Make Your Partner Happier by Being Cheap - March 26, 2023
- 4 Ways to Avoid The 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty - March 22, 2023
- Goodbye SAHD FIRE, Hello Barista FIRE - March 19, 2023
- Don’t Stop Investing When SHTF - March 15, 2023
- Pack Your Bags for A 3-Year-Cruise - March 12, 2023
15 thoughts on “2022 Passive Income Update”
Your story is in the context of early retirement, right? Do you feel it is applicable to folks who are not retired and not particularly close to retirement?
I’m still in accumulation phase with at least 10 years to go. I still have high exposure to stocks (90/10) and I left my allocation in place, continuing to DCA into this. I don’t have to sell stocks any time soon, so I plan to continue with this until I hit 5-7 years out, at which point I will go more conservative to mitigate risk.
Yes, if you have good earned income, you should minimize passive income. You can work on converting your investment to generate passive income once you’re closer to retirement.
I started working on passive income about 2 years before retirement.
This post is a proof of concept. I’ve been retired for 10 years and my passive income has grown enough to cover our cost of living.
Wow! Your FIRE ratio is still high! That’s amazing. Real estate crowdfunding is doing really good.
Real estate did extremely well over the last few years. I’m not sure if it will perform as well in the future because the interest rate is higher now. Apartments are doing well because rent is higher, but it probably will be harder to sell. We’ll have to wait and see.
Isn’t real estate crowdfunding taxes as ordinary income vs dividends taxes at a lower tax rate?
The income from real estate crowdfunding is taxed as capital gain. So the same rate as dividends!
Glad to see your passive income is still doing well in this bear market. I agree, my porfolio may be down 20+ percent but my residual income is still the same as last year. Since I DRIP, I’m getting shares at bargain basement prices, and I dig that!
Looking forward to hearing how your real estate projects turn out!
That’s the big advantage of passive income. The downturn is a great time for reinvesting.
We’re in good shape in our early retirement even with the bear market just because of how we’ve structured our finances using the bucket strategy. That said, I’d like to build up more passive income as well. It’s admirable how well-diversified you are on that side of the equation. Hopefully, I can continue to do the same over the next several years.
Passive income is really great. It feels much better than selling our investments at this point in our lives. When we’re a bit older, I wouldn’t mind drawing down more aggressively.
PG&E gave a payout this past quarter for the first time in forever. It was large enough that we’re sending a check to the government for estimated taxes!
Oh wow, nice! Good job on sending an estimated tax check as well. I need to send in some ASAP.
Do you keep track of the total return of your Crowdstreet account? I’m curious how consistent it is. One thing I like about it REITs is that it doesn’t seem subject to boom and busts because it is so diversified.
Do you have REITs in your brokerage accounts? If so, do you split your real estate asset allocation between REITs and Crowdstreet (and your rental property)?
I do. It’s pretty good, about 13% annualized ROI so far. That’s including a loss on a small project.
But housing did exceptionally well over the last few years. It should continue for a while, but it might slow down someday.
Yes, I love passive income. Residual income from my print books, ebooks, and audio book have given me a great income for years. But my passive income is dropping because sales of my retirement books are dropping. This year I may still make about $100,000 CAN pretax from my books. Unfortunately, next year I may only make $50,000 to $75,000.
I may add that last year I earned around $47,000 in interest and dividend income and I will likely earn more this year from these sources. But I just have that money reinvested in my retirement portfolio and don’t use it for month-to-month living expenses.
I am 73 but I still don’t want to touch my healthy retirement portfolio of dividend stocks or my prosperity bank accounts (with around $350,000 in them). I like to live like a big shot off my residual income from my books and the meagre Canadian Pension Plan benefit of $660 a month. Because my residual income from my books is dropping, I am taking action by writing and self-publishing two new books:
1. The Book of Swagger — For Men Only! (People, Places, and Things That Have Swagger — And Some That Don’t)
2. The Little Book of Swagger (637 Swagger Tips for Swagger Guys)
Will these two new books make me money? I don’t know. I may even lose money but I have made money on all of the 17 books that I have written so far.
I may be 73 but I still intend to earn over $500,000 in pretax income in one year by working only 3 or 4 hours a day. I want to show people that someone like me over the age of 70 can do this. Yes, most people over 70 are way too OLD to do this. But I don’t think that I am. Yes, I could be wrong — but keep in mind that at 65 I made a pretax income of $339,000 from my books.