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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.

Retirement investing approaches of the past don’t work today.

For many years, bonds or other fixed-income assets could produce the yield needed to provide solid income for retirement needs. However, these yields have dwindled over time: 10-year Treasury bond rates in the late 1990s were around 6.50%, but today, that rate is a thing of the past, with a slim likelihood of rates making a comeback in the foreseeable future.

While this yield reduction may not seem drastic, it adds up: for a $1 million investment in 10-year Treasuries, the rate drop means a difference in yield of 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.

How can you avoid dipping into your principal when the investments you counted on in retirement aren’t producing income? You can only cut your expenses so far, and the only other option is to find a different investment vehicle to generate income.

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.

Going beyond those familiar names, you can find excellent dividend-paying stocks by following a few guidelines. Look for companies that pay a dividend yield of around 3%, with positive annual dividend growth. The growth rate is key to help combat the effects of inflation.

Here are three dividend-paying stocks retirees should consider for their nest egg portfolio.

BP (BP) is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.36 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.42%. This compares to the Oil and Gas – Integrated – International industry’s yield of 3.65% and the S&P 500’s yield of 1.62%. The company’s annualized dividend growth in the past year was 4.06%. Check BP (BP) dividend history here>>>

Cadence (CADE) is paying out a dividend of $0.22 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.31% compared to the Banks – Southeast industry’s yield of 2.04% and the S&P 500’s yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 15.79% over the past year. Check Cadence (CADE) dividend history here>>>

Currently paying a dividend of $0.12 per share, First Financial Northwest (FFNW) has a dividend yield of 3.24%. This is compared to the Banks – West industry’s yield of 2.5% and the S&P 500’s current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 9.09%. Check First Financial Northwest (FFNW) 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 advantage of owning dividend stocks for your retirement nest egg is that numerous companies, particularly blue chip stocks, raise their dividends over time, helping alleviate the impact of inflation on your potential retirement income.

Thinking about dividend-focused mutual funds or ETFs? Watch out for fees.

If you prefer investing in funds or ETFs compared to individual stocks, you can still pursue a dividend income strategy. However, it’s important to know the fees charged by each fund or ETF, which can ultimately reduce your dividend income, working against your strategy. Do your homework and make sure you know the fees charged by any fund before you invest.

Bottom Line

Seeking steady, consistent income through dividends can be a smart option for financial security in retirement, whether you invest in mutual funds, ETFs, or in dividend-paying stocks.

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BP p.l.c. (BP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Financial Northwest, Inc. (FFNW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Cadence Bank (CADE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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