How Dividend Income Can Be Part Of A Strong Retirement Plan

The following is a guest blog post:

Retirement planning is more than just your savings and your social security compensation; you must look at every asset you have and make it work in your favor to produce the most capital and create the most comfortable retirement life possible—especially as you reach your retirement years and options for generating new income are difficult to come by. Dividend income paid from shares of stock can be a major facet of your retirement budget, if approached intelligently.

What is Dividend Investing?

Investing in a stock that pays a dividend is an excellent way to supplement existing retirement income (pension, 401k, social security, reverse mortgage, annuities)—and if you are not in need of a monthly payment (for simply owning a stock) you can reinvest your dividend payment to buy more shares. Clearly, you will not be able to live off dividends alone, but they are a strong (and smart) addition!

How to be a Successful Dividend Investor and Knowing the Benefits

1. Reinvest your dividend income into qualifying stock accounts. This should be straightforward, but there are two types of dividend accounts: qualified and unqualified. When it’s time to pay taxes, you will be thankful you invested in qualified accounts (most are qualified, so it makes it easy). Qualified accounts are taxed at the capital gains tax rate, which is 15%, but depending on your retirement income configuration, you might be in the 10-15% income tax bracket range and be able to pay zero capital gains tax!

2. Understand that dividend yield out paces inflation. This is one of the biggest benefits of channeling investment dollars into qualifying stock accounts, even if the market experiences inflation, you will still be paid while holding your stock and it will offset the hit of inflation. Do not be tempted to sell shares, look at your quarterly dividend cash flow and wait-out the market, if you can.

3. Study companies and track their history for consistent dividend growth or payout history versus cyclical payouts. To put this into perspective, think about major oil companies, these companies go in cycles, and if the market gets too bad, they may have to stop dividend payments. Consider long-standing stable industries that will fluctuate with the market but stay relevant. If you do your research and do not base investments solely on dividend yield, you will be on the right track.

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