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3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks: A Smarter Way to Boost Your Retirement Income - September 01, 2020

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Believe it or not, seniors fear running out of cash more than they fear dying.

And retirees have good reason to be worried about making their assets last. People are living longer, so that money has to cover a longer period. Making matters worse, income generated using tried - and - true retirement planning approaches may not cover expenses these days. That means seniors must dip into principal to meet living expenses.

Your parents' retirement investing plan won't cut it 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 - currently under 2% and probably not a viable return option to fund typical retirements.

The impact of this rate decline is sizeable: over 20 years, the difference in yield for a $1 million investment in 10-year Treasuries is more than $1 million.

And lower bond yields aren't the only potential problem seniors are facing. Today's retirees aren't feeling as secure as they once did about Social Security, either. Benefit checks will still be coming for the foreseeable future, but based on current estimates, Social Security funds will run out of money in 2035.

Unfortunately, it looks like the two traditional sources of retirement income - bonds and Social Security - may not be able to adequately meet the needs of present and future retirees. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in retirement?

Invest in Dividend Stocks

We feel that these dividend-paying equities - as long as they are from high-quality, low-risk issuers - can give retirement investors a smart option to replace low-yielding Treasury bonds (or other bonds).

For example, AT&T and Coca-Cola are income stocks with attractive dividend yields of 3% or better. Look for stocks like this 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.

Federated Hermes (FHI - Free Report) is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.27 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.52%. This compares to the Financial - Investment Management industry's yield of 1.62% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.65%. In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.08 is flat compared to last year.

Farmers National Banc (FMNB - Free Report) is paying out a dividend of 0.11 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.77% compared to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 3.5% and the S&P 500's yield. Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $0.44 is up 22.22% from last year.

Currently paying a dividend of 0.57 per share, Heartland BancCorp. (HLAN - Free Report) has a dividend yield of 3.45%. This is compared to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 3.5% and the S&P 500's current yield. Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.28 is up 9.62% from last year.

But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?

The fact is that stocks, as an asset class, carry more risk than bonds. To counterbalance this, invest in superior quality dividend stocks that not only can grow over time but more significantly, can also decrease your overall portfolio volatility with respect to the broader stock market.

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

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.

Generating income is just one aspect of planning for a comfortable retirement.

To learn more ways to maximize your assets - and avoid pitfalls that could jeopardize your financial security - download our free report:

Will You Retire a Multi-Millionaire? 7 Things You Can Do Now


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:


Federated Hermes, Inc. (FHI) - free report >>

Farmers National Banc Corp. (FMNB) - free report >>

Heartland BancCorp. (HLAN) - free report >>

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