Kiplinger

20 Dividend Stocks to Fund 20 Years of Retirement

The conventional approach to funding retirement is to withdraw 4% of your savings in the first year, followed by "pay raises" in each subsequent year to adjust for inflation. Over a 30-year retirement, the thinking goes, there is little chance of running out of money if this retirement portfolio is invested in a mix of dividend stocks, a few growth stocks and bonds.

Today's world is different. Interest rates and bond yields have never been this low for this long, reducing future expected returns. And Americans are living longer than ever before.

Instead of facing the uncomfortable decision of what securities to sell or wondering if you are at risk of outliving your savings, you can lean on the cash from dividend stocks to fund a substantial portion of your retirement. Simply Safe Dividends published an in-depth guide about living on dividends in retirement here.

Many companies in the market yield 4% or more. And unlike with the 4% withdrawal rule, if you rely on solid dividend stocks for that 4% annually, you won't have to worry as much about the market's unpredictable fluctuations. Better still, you'll have a chance to leave your heirs with a sizable portfolio when the time comes.

Here's a look at 20 quality dividend stocks, yielding roughly 4% or higher, that should fund at least 20 years of retirement, if not more. They have paid uninterrupted dividends for more than 20 consecutive years, appear to have secure payouts and have the potential to collectively grow their dividends to protect investors' purchasing power.

AT&T

Getty Images

Sector: Telecommunications

Market value: $234.5 billion

Dividend yield: 6.2%

AT&T (T, $32.26) is featured on Simply Safe Dividends' best high-dividend stocks list and has paid a higher dividend for 34 consecutive years. But the company has undergone some rather dramatic business changes in recent years. From acquiring DirecTV to merging with Time Warner, AT&T has morphed into a true media conglomerate with 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships across mobile, internet and TV.

AT&T hopes to bundle together its unique assets to increase the value of its customer relationships, reduce churn and develop a sizable advertising business. It will take years to assess the success of management's chess moves, which have significantly increased the firm's debt load, but the dividend appears to remain on reasonably solid ground.

In fact, management expects the company's free cash flow payout ratio to sit near 60% in 2018, including all Time Warner integration costs. AT&T also believes it will return

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Kiplinger

Kiplinger3 min read
Vanguard Dividend Growth Reopens. Enter at Will.
Good news. Vanguard has reopened Vanguard Dividend Growth (VDIGX, $29.67), one of its very best funds. What's more, the fund is relatively low-risk, making it ideal for a bull market that is showing signs of age. Wellington Management's Donald Kilbri
Kiplinger6 min read
7 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying or Selling
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B, $198.31) Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett hasn't found much to his liking in 2019. The Oracle of Omaha bought and sold left and right at the end of 2018. He used the fourth quarter's near-bear market to snap up bargains and
Kiplinger8 min readTech
11 Best Laptops for Students, 2019
The return to school has always been an expensive proposition (all those little items quickly add up), but the laptop era - in which a trusted digital companion is critical for college, high school and even some primary-school students to keep up --