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Great Dividend Stocks for Retirement Savers

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While you wait—and wait—for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, you can collect generous checks by investing in dividend stocks. And you don’t have to wander far to find attractive payers. Just look at Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Of its 500 member companies, 84% pay dividends, up from 75% a decade ago. On top of that, many of the index’s constituents are rewarding shareholders by boosting their payouts; so far this year, 169 S&P companies have done so.

To find the best dividend payers today, we divided the index into two groups: "High-yielders" are stocks with about double the S&P 500’s yield (currently 2.0%); and "dividend-growers" are companies that pay a bit less but have raised their dividends by at least 10% annualized over the past five years. Beyond that, we looked for firms with solid earnings outlooks, figuring that those companies were most likely to maintain and boost their disbursements. The result: a list of nine dividend-paying stocks worth owning now. You’ll probably recognize most of the high-yielders, but you may be surprised by some of the dividend-growth picks.

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