The 7 Best ETFs for Retirement Investors

Mutual funds almost go hand-in-hand with retirement investing. And why not? The modern mutual fund predates exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by more than six decades. Most 401(k) plans hold nothing but mutual funds. So it's reasonable to link one with the other.

But don't sleep on exchange-traded funds. As you'll soon find out, while many of the best ETFs out there are tactical strategies and great trading vehicles, some of them are dirt-cheap, long-term buy-and-hold dynamos that can give investors what they need in retirement: diversification, protection and income.

Many (though not all) ETFs are simple index funds - they track a rules-based benchmark of stocks, bonds or other investments. It's an inexpensive strategy because you're not paying managers to analyze and select stocks. And it works. In 2018, the majority of large-cap funds (64.5%) underperformed Standard & Poor's 500-stock index - the ninth consecutive year that most of them failed to beat the benchmark.

Today, we'll look at seven of the best ETFs for retirement. This small group of funds covers several assets: stocks, bonds, preferred stock and real estate. Which ones you buy and how much you allocate to each ETF depend on your individual goal, be they wealth preservation, income generation or growth.

Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF

Type: U.S. dividend stock

Market value: $24.3 billion

Dividend yield: 3.2%

Expenses: 0.06%

The conventional wisdom used to be

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