Your investments should work for you during your retirement years rather than you work for your investments. Some stocks require a lot of monitoring. Others, though, pay you regular dividends and don't require you to constantly watch them.
Three stocks that fit the latter category are Cisco Systems (CSCO -0.80%), CVS Health (CVS -0.33%), and Lowe's Companies (LOW 0.18%). Here's why these are great stocks to consider buying if you're retired.
Cisco Systems ranks as the world's largest computer network-solutions company. It was founded in 1984 and became one of the leading players in the internet boom of the 1990s. Through the years, Cisco has expanded into several new markets, including collaboration and security solutions.
For retirees looking for a solid dividend, Cisco has a lot to offer. Its dividend currently yields 3.75%. The company initiated its dividend program in 2011 and has raised its dividend every year since. The lowest dividend hike during this period was 11%, and the highest was a whopping 75% increase. Cisco appears to be in great shape for more dividend increases in the future, with the company using only 54% of earnings to fund its dividend.
Cisco stock also claims a low valuation, with shares trading at less than 13 times expected earnings. This is due, in part, to the company's relatively weak single-digit-percentage earnings growth in recent years. Cisco is projecting slow revenue and earnings growth over the next three-to-five years, also. However, there's no need for alarm. The company is transitioning to more of a subscription-software model. This shift will hold back revenue and earnings at first, but should position Cisco well for the future.
CVS Health operates 9,676 retail pharmacies, making it the largest pharmacy chain in the world -- at least for now. This status could change if Walgreens Boots Alliance gains approval to buy a significant number of Rite Aid's stores. In addition, CVS Health is the second-largest pharmacy-benefits manager (PBM) in the U.S.
The company has a great track record when it comes to paying dividends. That's especially true in recent years, with multiple large dividend hikes. CVS Health's dividend yield now stands at 2.54%. The company also has a low payout ratio of 37%, which should allow it to keep the dividend hikes rolling.
Like Cisco, CVS Health appears to be attractively valued. Shares currently trade at 12 times expected earnings. The company lost a couple of major contracts to rival Walgreens in 2016, which caused its stock to fall. However, CVS Health looks to be set for long-term adjusted earnings-per-share growth of around 10%.
Lowe's Companies runs 2,137 home-improvement and hardware stores across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It ranks as the second-biggest company in the home-improvement retail industry, narrowly trailing Home Depot in number of stores.
Lowe's has paid a dividend every year since going public in 1961. The company has increased its dividend for a remarkable 54 consecutive years, landing Lowe's a spot in the elite group of stocks called Dividend Aristocrats. The dividend now yields 2.13%. Lowe's should be able to keep its dividend hike streak going, since it uses only 44% of earnings to fund its dividend.
The stock currently trades at less than 15 times expected earnings. Wall Street analysts expect Lowe's to grow earnings by nearly 15% annually over the next few years, which makes the stock's valuation look even more attractive.