Image source: Getty Images.

You've made it to your 60s, the decade where most people transition out of the workforce. Congratulations.

Your savings-focused years are winding down and it's time to think more about the best way to allocate what you've accumulated toward funding a long, happy retirement. However, just because retirement is close at hand doesn't mean that it's time to completely abandon stocks in favor of less volatile investments like bonds and CDs.

In fact, a 65-year-old can expect to live for a further 19 years, on average. That's exactly the type of long-term time period that's ideal for investing in the stock market.

So, below I'll highlight a few market leaders -- Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Nike (NYSE:NKE) -- that could make for great investments in the years surrounding your retirement date.






Market capitalization

$68 billion

$159 billion

$91 billion

Sales growth




Net profit margin




Dividend yield




Sales growth and profit margin are for the last complete fiscal year. Source: Company financial filings and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

1. Costco

Costco recently passed $110 billion of annual sales to stay well behind Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) as the second biggest retailer in the world. Yet while it trails in total revenue, it's a market leader on just about every other metric.

The warehouse giant's comparable-store sales growth was 7% last year, trouncing Wal-Mart's 1% gain -- along with that of most other retailers. Wal-Mart recently celebrated the fact that its customer traffic rose by 1%, but Costco's been logging 4% gains in that metric for over four years.

Looking further out, investors can expect to reap benefits down the line as Costco builds out its store infrastructure, especially overseas. It isn't likely to pass Wal-Mart as the world's biggest retailer in the next decade, but it won't have to in order to keep up its market-thumping performance.

2. Disney

An investment in Disney provides a high level of diversification, which should help you sleep better at night without worrying about huge stock price swings. Sure, its media networks empire is showing signs of strain as ESPN subscribers trickle out of the system. Still, The House of Mouse is ideally positioned to weather the disruption of the broadcast TV industry. Its movie business is having a banner year, for example, with revenue up 35% and profit up a whopping 60%. That success paves the way not only for sequels and spinoffs over the next few years, but also for booming consumer products sales.

Beyond that, investors have every reason to be optimistic about the theme parks business, especially as its Shanghai, China, resort comes online. There are over 300 million people who live within a four-hour drive of that park, which is why CEO Bob Iger and his team are so excited to get it up and running this summer.

3. Nike

If you're looking for a mix of growth and diversification, consider footwear and apparel titan Nike for your portfolio. Revenue is up a healthy 6% over the last nine months, and profits are rising even faster, which has produced a gross margin of 46% -- just shy of a record for the company.

There are many reasons to believe this business will see market-beating growth in the coming years, but I'll highlight two of my favorites: innovation and advertising.

Image source: Nike.

Nike releases dozens of new products and upgrades each year across its many competitive categories. Recent examples include the Air Sole cushioning pads and the HyperAdapt automatic lacing system. These improvements promise to keep competition off balance while driving interest in the brand, which is why management is planning to keep up a "relentless flow of innovation."

As for advertising, consider that Nike spent nearly $1 billion supporting its brands last quarter and over $3 billion each year on what executives call "demand creation expenses" like marketing and branding events. That's roughly equal to rival Under Armour's entire revenue base, which underscores just how hard it would be to unseat Nike from its dominant market position.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.