There's a lot of attention dedicated to saving money leading up to your retirement, but the topic of putting your money to work once you're finally there is too often ignored. And even then, many people view the stock market as too risky a place for their money in their golden years.

But if you know where to look, that's not necessarily the case. We asked three top Motley Fool investors to each pick a stock they believe retirees would be wise to consider. Read on to learn why they chose Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE)Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD).

Jar full of coins with a small plant growing out of it.


A trendy long-term investment

Steve Symington (Five Below): The irony of recommending Five Below as a portfolio candidate for retirees isn't lost on me. But as the parent of three kids under 10 years old, I can see why the teen-centric value retailer is thriving, despite today's difficult retail environment. Five Below is masterful in its ability to sustain its core business and capitalize on the latest trends enjoyed by today's youth.

Regarding the latter, during Five Below's latest quarterly conference call last week, CEO Joel Anderson stated that "years of experience managing trends from beginning to end is a key skill set of our merchandising organization."

Five Below stock stands within spitting distance of all-time highs after the company not only beat expectations for its fiscal second quarter, but also raised its guidance for the full year. Quarterly revenue climbed 28.7% year over year on comparable-store sales of 9.3%. And margins expanded even more quickly as the company scaled, driving earnings per share up nearly 70% over the same period.

Anderson credited the company's strength to "broad-based performance across our worlds, with notable contribution from the spinner trend." Slime and smiley-related products also drove sales higher.

Five Below still enjoys a long runway for growth. After opening 62 new locations in the first half of this fiscal year, it ended the quarter with 584. But over the longer term, management sees the opportunity to grow that base to at least 2,000 stores.

While you may not exactly love the spinner toys and poo emoji pillows that fill up your grandkids' rooms of late, Five Below stock can give you a way to consistently profit as these trends play out.

This "tech stock" pays big dividends

Rich Smith: (Cisco Systems): When you're thinking about stocks to own in retirement, tech stocks, like Cisco Systems, may not be the first to spring to mind. Then again, maybe they should be.

After all, what's the main thing you want to get out of your stocks after reaching retirement? Probably a steady stream of dividend income to supplement your Social Security checks and any pension income you're entitled too, right? Well, believe it or not, "tech stock" Cisco Systems is a great source of income.

Cisco's 3.7% dividend yield is nearly twice as much as the average stock on the S&P 500. And with Cisco devoting less than 55% of its profits to dividend payments today, the company has plenty of cash coming in to support its dividend and has enough room on its income statement to be able to boost dividend payouts in the future. More than "able" -- Cisco, in fact, has increased its dividend every year since it started paying dividends in 2011.

Analysts who follow Cisco stock believe the company is capable of growing its earnings at better than 10% annually over at least the next five years. With earnings likely to grow, and dividends still not much of a drain on those earnings, I see every reason to believe Cisco will keep hiking its dividend for years to come. That makes Cisco a good stock to consider today for folks who have reached retirement.

Drugmaker dividends

Cory Renauer (Gilead Sciences, Inc.): Recent retirees looking for a source of dividend income that keeps getting bigger should consider this beaten-down drugmaker. The stock offers a nice 2.8% yield at recent prices, and this is one payout I expect to keep rising for years to come. The company needed just 15.8% of the profits it generated over the past year to make the last four quarterly payments. 

This stock shot up a few years ago on the strength of drugs that essentially cure hepatitis C virus (HCV) after two or three months of treatment. Hepatitis C can be fatal, but millions of patients carry the infection for years before symptoms drive them to seek treatment. This has made finding a bottom for sagging hepatitis C antiviral sales difficult, but it looks like the worst is over.

In February, Gilead Sciences, Inc. expected HCV sales to reach between $7.5 billion and $9.0 billion this year. In July, the company raised that range to between $8.5 billion and $9.5 billion in response to better-than-expected rates of patients seeking treatment.

Even if HCV sales fall off a cliff, next-generation HIV antivirals could keep the bottom line rising on their own. Also, Gilead just dipped into its huge war chest to acquire Kite Pharma and its stable of cell-based cancer therapies. These might not become as successful as its antivirals, but they should keep the needle moving in the right direction throughout your retirement years.

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.