How to Maximize Your Retirement Portfolio with These Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks
Here's an eye-opening statistic: older Americans are more afraid of running out of money than of death itself.
And unfortunately, even retirees who have built a nest egg have good reason to be concerned - with the traditional approaches to retirement planning, income may no longer cover expenses. That means retirees are dipping into principal to make ends meet, setting up a race against time between dwindling investment balances and longer lifespans.
In today's economic environment, traditional income investments are not working.
Years ago, investors at or close to retirement could put money into fixed-income assets and depend on appealing yields to generate consistent, solid pay streams to fund a comfortable retirement. 10-year Treasury bond rates in the late 1990s floated around 6.50%, but unfortunately, those days of being able to exclusively rely on Treasury yields to fund retirement income are over.
That means if you had $1 million in 10-year Treasuries, the difference in yield between 1999 and today is more than $1 million.
In addition to the considerable drop in bond yields, today's retirees are nervous about their future Social Security benefits. Because of certain demographic factors, it's been estimated that the funds that pay the Social Security benefits will run out of money in 2035.
Unfortunately, it looks like the two traditional sources of retirement income - bonds and Social Security - may not be able to adequately meet the needs of present and future retirees. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in retirement?
Invest in Dividend Stocks
As we see it, dividend-paying stocks from generally low-risk, top notch companies are a brilliant way to create steady and solid income streams to supplant low risk, low yielding Treasury and fixed-income alternatives.
Look for stocks that have paid steady, increasing dividends for years (or decades), and have not cut their dividends even during recessions.
A rule of thumb for finding solid income-producing stocks is to seek those that average 3% dividend yield, and positive yearly dividend growth. These stocks can help combat inflation by boosting dividends over time.
Here are three dividend-paying stocks retirees should consider for their nest egg portfolio.
AbbVie (ABBV) is currently shelling out a dividend of $1.48 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.05%. This compares to the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's yield of 2.36% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.62%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 8.46%. Check AbbVie (ABBV) dividend history here>>>
Conagra Brands (CAG) is paying out a dividend of $0.33 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.62% compared to the Food - Miscellaneous industry's yield of 0% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 5.6% over the past year. Check Conagra Brands (CAG) dividend history here>>>
Currently paying a dividend of $0.24 per share, MidWestOne (MOFG) has a dividend yield of 3.08%. This is compared to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 2.66% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 5.56%. Check MidWestOne (MOFG) dividend history here>>>
But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?
It is true that stocks, as an asset class, carry more risk than bonds, but high-quality dividend stocks not only have the ability to produce income growth over time but more importantly, can also reduce your overall portfolio volatility relative to the broader stock market.
Combating the impact of inflation is one advantage of owning these dividend-paying stocks. Here's why: many of these stable, high-quality companies increase their dividends over time, which translates to rising dividend income that offsets the effects of inflation.
Thinking about dividend-focused mutual funds or ETFs? Watch out for fees.
You may be thinking, "I like this dividend strategy, but instead of investing in individual stocks, I'm going to find a dividend-focused mutual fund or ETF." This approach can make sense, but be aware that some mutual funds and specialized ETFs carry high fees, which may reduce your dividend gains or income, and defeat the goal of this dividend investment approach. If you do wish to invest in a fund, do your research to find the best-quality dividend funds with the lowest fees.
Pursuing a dividend investing strategy can help protect your retirement portfolio. Whether you choose to invest in stocks or through low-fee mutual funds or ETFs, this approach can potentially help you achieve a more secure and enjoyable retirement.
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AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Conagra Brands (CAG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
MidWestOne Financial Group, Inc. (MOFG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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