Motley Fool: 5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Retirement Income







When the American Institute of CPAs surveyed hundreds of CPAs last year, 30% of them reported that the top worry of their clients is running out of money. It may be your worry, too, and it’s a reasonable one. After all, many of us will be in retirement for several decades, and that’s a long time to be getting by without a job.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to boost your retirement income, such as saving and investing aggressively, making use of retirement accounts, and working for a few more years. Below are five more strategies to consider.

A hand has just written the words more income, with an exclamation mark, on an index card.

Image source: Getty Images.

No. 1: Pay off your debts

A great way to enjoy more income in retirement is not to be sending off payments on loans you’re carrying. You definitely need to pay off any high-interest-rate debt you have, such as from credit cards, as soon as possible — no matter how close or far you are from retirement. It can also be good to pay off other debts, such as a car loan.




Aim to have your mortgage paid off before you retire, if possible, too. The average mortgage payment in America was recently $1,030, meaning that, on average, borrowers are paying around $12,000 each year — with many people paying much more than that. If you didn’t have to send off that $1,030 (or however much your mortgage payment is) each month in retirement, you’d have a lot more income to enjoy.

No. 2: Set up a pension-like income with fixed annuities

A good way to set up some income that’s guaranteed (as long as the underlying insurance company remains solvent, that is), is to buy one or more fixed annuities. Fixed annuities are generally preferable to variable annuities and indexed annuities, which often charge steep fees and sport restrictive terms. Fixed annuities can start paying you immediately or at a specified point in the future — and you can have their payments adjusted for inflation, too.

Below are examples of the kind of income that various people might receive via an immediate fixed annuity in the current economic environment. (You’ll generally be offered higher payments in times of higher prevailing interest rates.)


Person/People

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Cost






Monthly Income

Annual Income Equivalent

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

65-year-old man

$100,000

$545

$6,540

65-year-old woman

$100,000

$522




$6,264




70-year-old man

$100,000




$625

$7,500

70-year-old woman

$100,000




$599

Microsoft APAC

$7,188

65-year-old couple

$200,000

$923

$11,076

70-year-old couple

$200,000

$1,032


$12,384

75-year-old couple

$200,000

$1,188

$14,256

Source: immediateannuities.com.

No. 3: Set yourself up with dividend income

Another great way to set yourself up to receive income throughout retirement is to invest in some (or many) dividend-paying stocks. One great thing about that strategy is that you don’t have to sell off the shares of stocks for income — they just generate dividend income while you hold them — typically paid each quarter, though some companies pay dividends monthly or on some other schedule. Better still, healthy and growing companies will increase their dividends over time, offering an inflation-fighting edge.

If you have, say, $400,000 spread across dividend-paying stocks and the average overall yield is 3%, you’ll collect about $12,000 per year — a solid $1,000 per month. Dividend income isn’t guaranteed, so spread your money across a bunch of strong companies instead of just one or two. Just to give you an idea of yields offered by companies these days, below are a few well-regarded dividend payers:

Stock

Recent Dividend Yield

Nike

1.1%

Starbucks

1.5%

Intel

2.8%

Amgen

2.9%

3M

3.3%

Bristol-Myers Squibb

3.6%

Kellogg 

3.7%

Pfizer

4.2%

Verizon Communications

4.3%

AT&T

6%

Ford Motor Company 

6.7%

Source: Motley Fool. 

A dividend-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) can be a fine option, too, offering instant diversification. The iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY), for example, recently yielded about 3.4%. Preferred stock is another way to go. The iShares U.S. Preferred Stock ETF (PFF) recently yielded 5.6%. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) tend to offer meaningful dividend yields, as do master limited partnerships (MLPs) — read up on them before investing.

No. 4: Consider a reverse mortgage

Reverse mortgages are another possible source of retirement income, though they aren’t for everyone. A reverse mortgage is essentially a loan secured by your home. A lender will provide (often tax-free) income during your retirement, and you don’t have to repay the money until you no longer live in your home — such as after you move into a nursing home or die. It’s not all rosy, of course. You may not receive as much income as you’d think, for one thing, and your heirs will likely have to sell the home, unless they can afford to pay off the loan. Still, for some people, it can be a great income booster in retirement.

No. 5: Work a little in retirement

Finally, you might boost your retirement income simply by working some in retirement. You probably won’t be able to work until you’re 90, but in the early years of your retirement, if you have a part-time job, it can keep you from tapping your retirement coffers too much, allowing them to grow more. You might try to work part-time at your current job or just get a low-pressure job near your home. Working a $12-per-hour job for 15 hours per week will generate $180 weekly, pre-tax, or more than $9,000 annually. Other possibilities include a side hustle that, in retirement, would actually be your primary hustle — perhaps tutoring kids, walking dogs or cat sitting, making and selling sweaters, being a freelance writer or editor, or driving for a ridesharing business.

Retirees are often referred to as people on fixed incomes, but your income in retirement doesn’t have to be fixed, and it doesn’t have to be meager, either.

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Source: fool.com

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