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3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks: A Smarter Way to Boost Your Retirement Income

Strange but true: seniors fear death less than running out of money in retirement.

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.

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 and probably not a viable return option to fund typical retirements.

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.

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).

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.

National Fuel Gas (NFG) is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.48 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.04%. This compares to the Utility - Gas Distribution industry's yield of 3.04% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.85%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 4.4%. Check National Fuel Gas (NFG) dividend history here>>>

Prosperity Bancshares (PB) is paying out a dividend of $0.52 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.11% compared to the Banks - Southwest industry's yield of 1.08% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 6.12% over the past year. Check Prosperity Bancshares (PB) dividend history here>>>

Currently paying a dividend of $0.08 per share, Paramount Group (PGRE) has a dividend yield of 5.11%. This is compared to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 4.65% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 10.71%. Check Paramount Group (PGRE) 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.

An upside to adding dividend stocks to your retirement portfolio: they can help lessen the effects of inflation, since many dividend-paying companies (especially blue chip stocks) generally increase their dividends over time.

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.


This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation

Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.

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National Fuel Gas Company (NFG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Prosperity Bancshares, Inc. (PB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Paramount Group, Inc. (PGRE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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