Let These Stocks Help You Win the Rat Racehttp://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2012/05/11/let-these-stocks-help-you-win-the-rat-race.aspx Dan Caplinger
May 11, 2012
If you hope to retire someday, the news has never seemed gloomier. Everywhere you look, you see examples of how many people have no realistic hope of being able to retire with any financial security.
Rather than looking at those warnings as a cue to give up, though, you should use them as a rallying cry to take action. With the right tools, you can improve your retirement prospects and put yourself in a position to feel more secure about your financial situation for the rest of your life.
Storm clouds brewing
Dealing with all those threats is tough. But the starting point is saving and making the most of your investment opportunities. How you should proceed depends on your individual situation, but some general rules apply to many of those planning for retirement.
Late to the game
But finding the right mix of investments is challenging. You can't afford the super-aggressive risk levels that younger workers can take on, but you also need solid returns.
One way to split the difference is to go after dividend stocks with substantial payout-growth prospects. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) is a good example; with a yield of more than 3%, it rewards shareholders now. But with annual dividend growth of almost 15% over the past five years, those rewards grow every year -- and the company's prospects for expanding into the mobile realm give it a good chance at adding a growth kicker as well. Waste Management (NYSE: WM ) is another good example, with a 4%-plus yield, 9% annual dividend growth, and the huge potential that could come if it expands its U.S.-centric business overseas.
When time's on your side
Which direction you go to look for high-growth prospects depends on your approach. Some look to find up-and-coming