Here’s a revealing data point: older Americans are scared more of outliving wealth than of death itself.
And older Americans have legitimate reasons for this worry, even if they have dutifully saved for their golden years. That’s because the traditional ways people manage retirement may no longer provide enough income to meet expenses – and with people generally living longer, the principal retirement savings is exhausted far too early in the retirement period.
The tried-and-true retirement investing approach of yesterday doesn’t work today.
In the past, investors going into retirement could invest in bonds and count on attractive yields to produce steady, reliable income streams to fund a predictable retirement. 10-year Treasury bond rates in the late 1990s hovered around 6.50%, whereas the current rate is much lower.
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
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.
One approach to recognizing appropriate stocks is to look for companies with an average dividend yield of 3% and positive average annual dividend growth. Numerous stocks hike dividends over time, counterbalancing inflation risks.
Here are three dividend-paying stocks retirees should consider for their nest egg portfolio.
Ford Motor Company (F) is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.15 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.93%. This compares to the Automotive – Domestic industry’s yield of 0% and the S&P 500’s yield of 1.62%. The company’s annualized dividend growth in the past year was 50%. Check Ford Motor Company (F) dividend history here>>>
Federated Hermes (FHI) is paying out a dividend of $0.28 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.4% compared to the Financial – Investment Management industry’s yield of 2.19% and the S&P 500’s yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 3.7% over the past year. Check Federated Hermes (FHI) dividend history here>>>
Currently paying a dividend of $0.26 per share, Invitation Home (INVH) has a dividend yield of 3.01%. This is compared to the REIT and Equity Trust – Residential industry’s yield of 3.84% and the S&P 500’s current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 18.18%. Check Invitation Home (INVH) 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.
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.
Regardless of whether you select high-quality, low-fee funds or stocks, looking for a steady stream of income from dividend-paying equities can potentially lead you to a solid and more peaceful retirement.
This article originally appeared on Zacks
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