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.
In today's economic environment, traditional income investments are not working.
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.
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.
So what can retirees do? You could dramatically reduce your expenses, and go out on a limb hoping your Social Security benefits don't diminish. On the other hand, you could opt for an alternative investment that gives a steady, higher-rate income stream to supplant lessening bond yields.
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.
Going beyond those familiar names, you can find excellent dividend-paying stocks by following a few guidelines. Look for companies that pay a dividend yield of around 3%, with positive annual dividend growth. The growth rate is key to help combat the effects of inflation.
Here are three dividend-paying stocks retirees should consider for their nest egg portfolio.
Bank of America ( is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.24 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.33%. This compares to the Banks - Major Regional industry's yield of 4.44% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.7%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 4.76%. BAC Quick Quote BAC - Free Report) Check Bank of America ( BAC Quick Quote BAC - Free Report) dividend history here>>> Brixmor Property ( is paying out a dividend of $0.26 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 4.54% compared to the REIT and Equity Trust - Retail industry's yield of 4.37% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 8.33% over the past year. BRX Quick Quote BRX - Free Report) Check Brixmor Property ( BRX Quick Quote BRX - Free Report) dividend history here>>>
Currently paying a dividend of $0.76 per share,
Heartland BancCorp. ( has a dividend yield of 3.53%. This is compared to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 3.53% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 10%. HLAN Quick Quote HLAN - Free Report) Check Heartland BancCorp. ( HLAN Quick Quote HLAN - Free Report) 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.
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.
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.