Here's an eye-opening statistic: older Americans are more afraid of running out of money 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.
Retirement investing approaches of the past don't work today.
Years ago, investors at or close to retirement could put money into fixed-income assets and depend on appealing yields to generate consistent, solid pay streams to fund a comfortable retirement. 10-year Treasury bond rates in the late 1990s floated around 6.50%, but unfortunately, those days of being able to exclusively rely on Treasury yields to fund retirement income are over.
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.
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.
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 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.
Acadia Realty Trust ( is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.18 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.75%. This compares to the REIT and Equity Trust - Retail industry's yield of 4.25% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.58%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 20%. AKR Quick Quote AKR - Free Report) Check Acadia Realty Trust ( AKR Quick Quote AKR - Free Report) dividend history here>>> Amgen ( is paying out a dividend of $2.13 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.54% compared to the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry's yield of 0% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 10.23% over the past year. AMGN Quick Quote AMGN - Free Report) Check Amgen ( AMGN Quick Quote AMGN - Free Report) dividend history here>>>
Currently paying a dividend of $0.14 per share,
Brookline Bancorp ( has a dividend yield of 4.01%. This is compared to the Financial - Savings and Loan industry's yield of 2.66% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 8%. BRKL Quick Quote BRKL - Free Report) Check Brookline Bancorp ( BRKL Quick Quote BRKL - Free Report) dividend history here>>> But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?
It is true that stocks, as an asset class, carry more risk than bonds, but high-quality dividend stocks not only have the ability to produce income growth over time but more importantly, can also reduce your overall portfolio volatility relative to the broader stock market.
Combating the impact of inflation is one advantage of owning these dividend-paying stocks. Here's why: many of these stable, high-quality companies increase their dividends over time, which translates to rising dividend income that offsets the effects of inflation.
Thinking about dividend-focused mutual funds or ETFs? Watch out for fees.
If you're interested in investing in dividends, but are thinking about mutual funds or ETFs rather than stocks, beware of fees. Mutual funds and specialized ETFs may carry high fees, which could lower the overall gains you earn from dividends, undercutting your dividend income strategy. Be sure to look for funds with low fees if you decide on this approach.
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.