How many Tesco shares would I need to give up work and live on the passive income?

Our writer explores how much he’d need to invest in shares of the UK’s leading supermarket to live on the passive income from dividends.

| More on:

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Young happy white woman loading groceries into the back of her car

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

To most people, the idea of giving up the day job to live off dividends paid by FTSE 100 stocks sounds like a pipe dream. However, it is theoretically possible, assuming I have enough money to invest.

For the purpose of this article, let’s imagine I bought Tesco (LSE: TSCO) shares and wanted to retire on the dividends they provided. How much would I need to invest? Let’s find out.

Living on dividends

The salary someone earns obviously varies from person to person. Therefore I’m going to use the UK median annual pay for full-time employees. And according to The Office for National Statistics, that was £33,000 for the tax year ending 5 April 2022.

Clearly then, I’m going to need to buy quite a few Tesco shares to be able to generate that amount of income. But just how many exactly?

Well, that will depend on the size of the dividend that’s due to be paid. City analysts expect Tesco to pay out 10.9p per share for its current financial year (ending 25 February 2024).

That gives the stock a dividend yield of 4.1% and means I’d need 302,750 shares to generate my desired sum. They would set me back around £805,000 as things stand.

The good news though, is that the Tesco dividend is predicted to increase to 11.9p per share next year. It means I’d potentially be getting a pay rise for doing nothing!

Instead of £33,000 in dividends, I’d be receiving around £36,000, if City forecasts prove to be accurate, which isn’t always the case.

Obviously, as with most income, there would likely be tax implications to consider based on personal circumstances.

Will I buy the shares?

Now, I’d never want to put all my eggs in one basket — pardon the pun — investing in just one share. If Tesco were to cut the dividend at some point, then naturally I wouldn’t be receiving the income I need to live on that year.

In the worst case scenario, the payout could be cancelled altogether.

Indeed, that is what happened in January 2015 following Tesco’s disclosure that it had overstated its profit forecast. It cancelled its dividend for the following fiscal year. So nothing is ever guaranteed, which is why I keep my own income portfolio well diversified.

In terms of the company today though, it does seem to be more sure-footed than it was back then. After failing to replicate its domestic success abroad — most noticeably in the US and China — it largely gave up its ambitious global expansion plans. The business is a lot more focused as a result.

Plus, there have been reports that the supermarket giant is reviewing its presence in the UK banking sector — a move that could lead to the sale of Tesco Bank.

I think this makes sense. It has a market-leading position it needs to continue defending in the increasingly competitive UK supermarket space.

I don’t currently own the shares, and don’t plan to buy any, as I believe there are better income stocks around for my portfolio today.

That said, Tesco is a fantastic company whose brand is extremely well-trusted. I imagine the tills will keep ringing for years to come, as will the flow of dividends to shareholders.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Ben McPoland has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Tesco Plc. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

More on Investing Articles

Long-term vs short-term investing concept on a staircase
Investing Articles

Should investors rush to buy Aviva shares before the end of the year?

The 7.5% dividend yield on Aviva shares is attractive. But Stephen Wright thinks a different FTSE 100 insurer is a…

Read more »

Investor looking at stock graph on a tablet with their finger hovering over the Buy button
Investing Articles

2 UK stocks for value investors to consider buying before the end of the year

Exploiting cyclical downturns can be a great way for value investors to find stocks to buy at bargain prices. Stephen…

Read more »

Young woman holding up three fingers
Investing Articles

I’d earn £1,260 in passive income by investing a £20k Isa in these 3 ultra-high-yield stocks

I'm on the hunt for passive income and I reckon the following FTSE 100 stocks should help me generate it…

Read more »

Asian man looking concerned while studying paperwork at his desk in an office
Investing Articles

Could these beleaguered FTSE 100 stocks stage a turnaround?

Could these FTSE 100 stocks be primed for recovery after difficult times? Sumayya Mansoor takes a look at what could…

Read more »

Young black man looking at phone while on the London Overground
Investing Articles

Is this FTSE 100 giant one of the best income stocks out there?

Our writer takes a closer look at this medical business as a potential income stock for her portfolio, even though…

Read more »

Bournemouth at night with a fireworks display from the pier
Investing Articles

£2k in a Stocks and Shares ISA? One top stock I’d buy before the New Year!

Here's one US stock this writer thinks could grow for a long time to come and deliver attractive returns in…

Read more »

Front view photo of a woman using digital tablet in London
Investing Articles

How I’d invest £4k in my SIPP with the aim of doubling my money

Jon Smith talks through how he'd use dividend growth stocks to grow a SIPP pot consistently to achieve strong long-term…

Read more »

Stack of one pound coins falling over
Investing Articles

£3 a day vs £30 a day passive income plan

What’s the difference between a £3 a day and £30 a day passive income plan? More to the point, how…

Read more »