Believe it or not, seniors fear running out of cash more than they fear dying.
Also, retirees who have constructed a nest egg have valid justifications to be concerned, since the traditional ways to plan for retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses. Some retirees are now tapping their principal to make a decent living, pressed for time between decreasing investment balances and longer life expectancies.
The tried-and-true retirement investing approach of yesterday doesn'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.
In addition to the considerable drop in bond yields, today's retirees are nervous about their future Social Security benefits. Because of certain demographic factors, it's been estimated that the funds that pay the Social Security benefits 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
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.
BankUnited, Inc. ( is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.27 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.02%. This compares to the Banks - Major Regional industry's yield of 3.7% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.68%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 8.7%. BKU Quick Quote BKU - Free Report) Check BankUnited, Inc. ( BKU Quick Quote BKU - Free Report) dividend history here>>> Comcast ( is paying out a dividend of $0.29 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.01% compared to the Cable Television industry's yield of 0% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 8% over the past year. CMCSA Quick Quote CMCSA - Free Report) Check Comcast ( CMCSA Quick Quote CMCSA - Free Report) dividend history here>>>
Currently paying a dividend of $0.7 per share,
Toronto-Dominion Bank ( has a dividend yield of 4.48%. This is compared to the Banks - Foreign industry's yield of 3.1% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 3.51%. TD Quick Quote TD - Free Report) Check Toronto-Dominion Bank ( TD Quick Quote TD - Free Report) dividend history here>>> But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?
Overall, that is true. But stocks are a broad class, and you can reduce the risks significantly by selecting high-quality dividend stocks that can generate regular, predictable income and can also decrease the volatility of your portfolio compared to the overall 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'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.
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.