3 Top Dividend Stocks to Maximize Your Retirement Income
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.
Today's retirees are getting hit hard by reduced bond yields - and the Social Security picture isn't too rosy either. Right now and for the near future, Social Security benefits are still being paid, but it has been estimated that the Social Security funds will be depleted as soon as 2035.
So what can retirees do? You could dramatically reduce your expenses, and go out on a limb hoping your Social Security benefits don't diminish. On the other hand, you could opt for an alternative investment that gives a steady, higher-rate income stream to supplant lessening bond yields.
Invest in Dividend Stocks
Dividend-paying stocks from low-risk, high-quality companies are a smart way to generate steady and reliable attractive income streams to replace low risk, low yielding Treasury and bond options.
Look for stocks that have paid steady, increasing dividends for years (or decades), and have not cut their dividends even during recessions.
One way to identify suitable candidates is to look for stocks with an average dividend yield of 3%, and positive average annual dividend growth. Many stocks increase dividends over time, helping to offset the effects of inflation.
Here are three dividend-paying stocks retirees should consider for their nest egg portfolio.
DCP Midstream Partners, LP (DCP) is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.43 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.13%. This compares to the Oil and Gas - Production and Pipelines industry's yield of 4.75% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.57%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 10.26%. Check DCP Midstream Partners, LP (DCP) dividend history here>>>
Global Partners LP (GLP) is paying out a dividend of $1.57 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 6.49% compared to the Oil and Gas - Refining and Marketing - Master Limited Partnerships industry's yield of 5.82% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 8.7% over the past year. Check Global Partners LP (GLP) dividend history here>>>
Currently paying a dividend of $0.38 per share, NRG Energy (NRG) has a dividend yield of 4.35%. This is compared to the Utility - Electric Power industry's yield of 3.05% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 7.69%. Check NRG Energy (NRG) dividend history here>>>
But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?
Overall, that is true. But stocks are a broad class, and you can reduce the risks significantly by selecting high-quality dividend stocks that can generate regular, predictable income and can also decrease the volatility of your portfolio compared to the overall stock market.
An upside to adding dividend stocks to your retirement portfolio: they can help lessen the effects of inflation, since many dividend-paying companies (especially blue chip stocks) generally increase their dividends over time.
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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DCP Midstream Partners, LP (DCP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Global Partners LP (GLP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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