The 15 Best Dividend Stocks for Retirees to Own

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Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is the other Big Pharma leader in the Dow, and it has many targets for retirees. Some 20 years ago it became one of the most popular drug companies and stocks with the launch of Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction and Lipitor to target high cholesterol. Pfizer underperformed Merck in 2018, but its dividend yield is now 3.4%, as its share price is not as high as its rival.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is the top consumer products giant in the world. It has too many brands to even name, but some are Always, Bounce, Bounty, Braun, Cascade, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Gillette and Pampers. The company dates back to 1890 and had paid dividends for 128 consecutive years. At the start of 2019, it said that it has increased its dividend for 62 consecutive years. This is a top defensive company for investors when the stock market gets choppy as well, and its dividend yield now is almost 3%.

Service Corp. International (NYSE: SCI) is in the opposite direction of health care. This is the top death-care company in North America, with more than 2,000 funeral homes and cemeteries in 45 states and internationally. It has made multiple acquisitions over time and has a market value of nearly $8 billion. SCI owns crematoriums, cemeteries, funeral homes, end of life services and so on. With the baby boomers still having elderly parents and themselves now retiring in droves, there will be a long and growing client list for the next two decades or so. Dating back to the 1960s, SCI resumed paying a dividend, and that is now up to a yield of about 1.6%, with lots of earnings coverage to keep increasing its payout for years ahead. Remember, the great game of life is one that none of us get out of alive.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) is America’s top health care insurer. After making many acquisitions over the past few decades to cover millions of Americans’ health insurance, UnitedHealth is also quite well-known to retirees for its Medicare Supplement Plans offered through AARP. One drawback here is that UnitedHealth pays only a 1.4% dividend yield at the start of 2019, but in the past five years its shares more than tripled in price, and it is now even a member of the Dow, with a market cap of over $250 billion. It also now is more targeted as a health insurer with an easier model to understand than some of its peers, which are merging into health care conglomerates of sorts.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) is a top retail pharmacy destination in America and was the latest addition to the Dow after General Electric was kicked out of the index. It has more than 9,500 Walgreens and Duane Reade retail stores in the United States, with approximately 8 million customers using its stores and website daily. It also recently completed its acquisition of 1,900 or so Rite Aid stores, and it has almost 5,000 international locations under Boots and other brands. Walgreens dates back to 1901, and its current dividend yield of 2.5% or so has much room to grow in the years ahead.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is the top retailer in North America and globally, and it is deemed to be one of the few retail giants that can compete and thrive in a new online and multichannel retail world dominated by Amazon and a few other top players. Here are just a few statistics on what makes Walmart so great:

  • Nearly 270 million customers per week
  • Over 11,700 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce sites
  • Now at $500 billion in annual sales
  • And employing around 2.3 million people worldwide.

When Walmart raised its dividend in 2018, that was the 45th consecutive year of hikes. The company also has repurchased billions of dollars worth of its own stock. Its market cap is $280 billion, it is a member of the Dow and its dividend yield is about 2.2%, with lots of earnings per share cushion ahead to allow for more dividend hikes.