When you're saving up for your eventual retirement, know that some stocks make better investments than others. In a retirement account, you want stocks that will not only produce decades of growth and income but also preserve your hard-earned savings when times get rough.

There are certain things to look for when evaluating a stock's potential as a retirement investment. Does the company have a strong track record of growth, as well as a history of doing well during recessions? Is the company in a business that will be around for decades to come? And does the company have a particular competitive advantage that should preserve its status as a great investment?

Here are 10 stocks that are great choices for retirement accounts and why they work so well.

Matthew Frankel owns shares of American Express, Berkshire Hathaway, Google (C shares), and Realty Income.. The Motley Fool recommends American Express, Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, Costco Wholesale, Goldman Sachs, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Costco Wholesale, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), Johnson & Johnson, and Wells Fargo and has the following options: long January 2016 $37 calls on Coca-Cola, short January 2016 $37 puts on Coca-Cola, short April 2015 $57 calls on Wells Fargo, and short April 2015 $52 puts on Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.