3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks: A Smarter Way to Boost 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.
The tried-and-true retirement investing approach of yesterday doesn't work today.
For example, 10-year Treasury bonds in the late 1990s offered a yield of around 6.50%, which translated to an income source you could count on. However, today's yield is much lower and probably not a viable return option to fund typical retirements.
The impact of this rate decline is sizable: over 20 years, the difference in yield for a $1 million investment in 10-year Treasuries 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.
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
As a replacement for low yielding Treasury bonds (and other bond options), we believe dividend-paying stocks from high quality companies offer low risk and stable, predictable income investors in retirement seek.
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.
Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA) is currently shelling out a dividend of $1.06 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.57%. This compares to the REIT and Equity Trust - Residential industry's yield of 3.61% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.61%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 21.95%. Check Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA) dividend history here>>>
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is paying out a dividend of $0.72 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 4.35% compared to the Banks - Foreign industry's yield of 3.06% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 3.51% over the past year. Check Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) dividend history here>>>
Currently paying a dividend of $0.23 per share, TowneBank (TOWN) has a dividend yield of 3.07%. This is compared to the Banks - Southeast industry's yield of 2.05% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 15%. Check TowneBank (TOWN) dividend history here>>>
But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?
Yes, that's true. As a broad category, bonds carry less risk than stocks. However, the stocks we are talking about - dividend -paying stocks from high-quality companies - can generate income over time and also mitigate the overall volatility of your portfolio compared to the stock market as a whole.
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.
If you're thinking, "I want to invest in a dividend-focused ETF or mutual fund," make sure to do your homework. It's important to know that some mutual funds and specialized ETFs charge high fees, which may diminish your dividend gains or income and thwart the overall objective of this investment strategy. If you do want to invest in fund, research well to identify the best-quality dividend funds with the least charges.
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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Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. (MAA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Toronto Dominion Bank (The) (TD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Towne Bank (TOWN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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