Retirement planning doesn’t stop just because the markets are volatile. Investors need to plan ahead and position their portfolios to perform strongly in both bull and bear markets. This often requires careful analysis, diversification, and nerves of steel.
Sadly, surveys show that investors remain woefully unprepared for retirement.
Fidelity Investments finds that 55% of Americans are in danger of not being able to cover essential expenses such as housing, healthcare and food during their retirements due to a lack of savings and investments.
The good news is that there are a number of stocks available that can help people achieve a comfortable retirement. With that in mind, we offer the following seven retirement stocks to buy now or you’ll be kicking yourself later.
Retirement Stocks to Buy Now: Kimberly-Clark (KMB)
Personal care company Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) is neither new or exciting. Most of its products are decades old and have changed little over the years. KMB is not ChatGPT. However, Kimberly-Clark is the type of solid, blue-chip company that benefits investors both in the lead up to and during retirement. In business continuously since 1872, Kimberly-Clark makes tissue and hygiene products under brands that are household names such as Huggies, Kleenex and Cottonelle. Again, its offerings are not cutting edge. But they are reliable consumer staples.
By some estimates, a quarter of the world’s population (roughly two billion people) uses at least one Kimberly-Clark product each day. The company’s diapers, toilet paper and paper towels remain necessary and generate strong sales in good and bad economic times.
This has ensured that Kimberly-Clark delivers predictable financial results and has been able to raise its dividend for 49 consecutive years. The stock has risen 60% in the last decade and it currently has a dividend yield of 3.55%.
Texas Instruments (TXN)
Another household name that many investors may have forgotten about is Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN). Remembered fondly for its line of calculators, Texas Instruments today is a leading semiconductor company. And it has managed to outperform in a sector that has been decimated in the market downturn of the past year. Over the last 12-months, TXN stock has declined only 2.5. Rival Advanced Micro Devices’ (NASDAQ:AMD) stock has plunged 34% in the same period, while the share price of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has dropped nearly 18%.
Unlike most other semiconductor companies or technology firms for that matter, Texas Instrument pays a decent quarterly dividend. TXN stock’s dividend yield is currently 2.88%. In the past five years, the share price has gained 55% and it has risen 420% over the last ten years.
While the Dallas-based company, which has been around since 1930, is often overlooked, it has successfully transformed itself into a leading manufacturer of semiconductors and integrated circuits for the global marketplace. This is a steady-Eddie tech stock that is a great retirement investment.
MCD is the kind of stock that lets investors sleep soundly at night. Popular the world over, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) hamburgers, fries and soft drinks rack up strong sales in any type of economy. This explains why MCD stock rose 8% over the last year while the benchmark S&P 500 index sank 10%. At $266 a share, the Chicago-based restaurant chain’s stock is now up 50% in the past five years. Constant innovation, menu diversification and celebrity endorsements has enabled McDonald’s to stay ahead of its competitors.
The latest news out of McDonald’s is that the company is piloting a fully automated, takeaway only restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas where literally no humans will work. Analysts are saying that if the concept catches on, it could revolutionize the quick service restaurant industry as we know it.
The reduced need for employees could also tremendously boost McDonald’s bottom line. Beyond the company’s constant focus on improvement, investors should also like that McDonald’s pays a dividend that yields 2.27%.
General Mills (GIS)
In keeping with the blue-chip theme of this list, we come to General Mills (NYSE:GIS), the Minneapolis-based food company that is well-known for its line of cereals that include Cheerios, Chex and Cocoa Puffs. The company also makes Betty Crocker baking products and Blue Buffalo dog food. As with the other companies on this list, General Mills is a reliable stock that grows steadily over the long-term, performing well even during times of macroeconomic distress.
Over the past 12-months, GIS stock has gained 13%. Its share price is up 30% in the last five years. Also like the other stocks on this list, General Mills pays a rock solid dividend that is great for investors in retirement. The stock’s dividend yield is 2.8%.
This is the 34th year that General Mills has paid a dividend, making this stock a safe choice for investors who want a secure retirement.
Ichan Enterprises (IEP)
This stock is all about the dividend. Investors looking for a reliable stream of income during their retirements should consider taking a position in Ichan Enterprises (NASDAQ:IEP), the holding company of famed investor Carl Ichan. The company’s stock currently pays a quarterly dividend of $2 per share, which equates to a yield of 15%. That makes Icahn Enterprises one of the highest yielding dividend paying stocks in the S&P 500 index.
Plus, IEP stock is relatively affordable at $54 a share. The stock is also stable and not prone to big price swings. It is up 3% in the past year and down 10% over the past five years. However, it is the shares’ high dividend yield that should entice investors who are looking to build a retirement nest egg.
The company owns stocks in a range of industries, with a high concentration in energy and healthcare names. Among its top holdings are Cheniere Energy (NYSE:LNG) and Bausch Health (NYSE:BHC). Carl Ichan has a strong track record when it comes to investing.
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
The products and services of defense contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) always seem to be in high demand, and the demand for its offerings have surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. However, while Lockheed Martin primarily manufactures and sells military equipment to the U.S. Defense Department, the Bethesda, Maryland-based company is also a leading technology company that owns some of the most sophisticated and innovative intellectual property in the world.
LMT stock has been a consistent winner. Its share price has increased 15% in the last 12-months, is up 30% over the past five years, and has gained 380% over the last decade.
LMT is a great long-term holding and a wonderful retirement stock. As with the other stocks mentioned in this article, Lockheed Martin pays a strong quarterly dividend. Specifically, it has a yields 2.67%.
With its state-of-the-art weapons, fighter aircraft, and information security technology likely to remain in high demand, Lockheed Martin is certainly a retirement stock to buy now.
Retirement Stocks to Buy Now: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A / BRK.B)
It’s difficult to talk about retirement stocks without mentioning Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A/NYSE:BRK.B). The holding company of famed value investor Warren Buffett has all the that investors should look for in a retirement stock.
The company owns bedrock blue-chip businesses ranging from the Fruit of the Loom underwear company to the Dairy Queen restaurant chain, has a massive portfolio of stocks that include classic businesses such as American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), and has delivered huge returns to its shareholders over the long term.
In the last decade, Berkshire Hathaway’s Class B stock (which is the one most people can afford) has gained 230%. It now trades at $310 a share.
Over the last 20 years, the shares have risen 545%. Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio of stocks and businesses is constructed so that the company’s share price tends to outperform during market downturns. As a result, it’s unsurprising that, in the last year, the shares are little changed.
If there’s one valid criticism of BRK.B stock it is that it doesn’t pay a dividend. That’s because Buffett prefers to reinvest profits into the business. But with the kinds of returns offered by Berkshire Hathaway’s stock, investors can likely look past its lack of a dividend payment.
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Although the seven stocks we outlined above are great for retirement planning, there's a simpler way.
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Originally published on InvestorPlace.com
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in NVDA. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.