Dividend-paying stocks can be a terrific way to fund your retirement. Strong, financially sound companies can grow their cash payouts to investors over time, thereby providing you with a reliable and steadily rising income stream.
If that sounds appealing, here are two outstanding businesses that are particularly well-positioned to increase the amount of cash that they pay to you in the coming years.
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is a wealth-building machine. Its more than 31,000 cafes generate hefty profits that it uses to open new stores, which, in turn, produce even more profit. It's a powerful formula that's helped the coffee king become a $100 billion enterprise, creating fortunes for its investors along the way.
Starbucks' more than $4 billion in operating profits over the past year allowed it to reward its shareholders with nearly $1.8 billion in dividends. The café giant has boosted its cash payout by more than 10% annually for 10 straight years. After its most recent dividend hike -- a 14% increase announced in October -- Starbucks' shares now yield nearly 2%.
Better still, investors can expect Starbucks to continue to raise its dividend in the years ahead. China and other international markets represent an intriguing long-term growth opportunity, and Starbucks is rapidly expanding its store count in these regions. Moreover, thanks in part to its digital initiatives such as mobile ordering and popular loyalty rewards program, sales at Starbucks' exiting stores continue to grow at an impressive clip. Add in a highly profitable packaged goods business, and Starbucks gives its investors many ways to win.
As such, it's exactly the type of stock that can help you achieve a comfortable retirement, both now and in the future.
Few businesses are as financially sound as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). With more than $60 billion in net cash and $50 billion in annual operating cash flow, Microsoft is a cash-generating powerhouse.
The technology titan's financial strength allows it to reward its shareholders with a fast-growing dividend. Microsoft has increased its cash payout for 16 consecutive years, most recently by 11% in September. The tech giant also announced a massive new $40 billion share repurchase program at that time. Microsoft's stock currently yields only 1.2%, but that's mainly because its shares have soared by more than 300% over the past half-decade. So in addition to a rapidly rising dividend, shareholders are likely to continue to enjoy impressive share price appreciation.
Like Starbucks, Microsoft gives investors many ways to win. Its venerable Windows franchise continues to crank out hefty profits, and the cloud-based version of its popular Office software is growing at a greater than 20% annual clip. Additionally, Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure business is expanding at an even more impressive rate. Add in a fast-growing professional social media platform (LinkedIn), a leading gaming platform (Xbox), and a popular line of mobile devices (Surface), and it's clear that Microsoft has the potential to increase its dividend for many years to come.
Moreover, Microsoft is the type of dividend stock that can allow you to sleep well at night, with the knowledge that your retirement funds are safely invested in one of the strongest businesses in the world today.