If I was retiring tomorrow, I’d buy these 3 unmissable FTSE income stocks

Harvey Jones is on the prowl for top FTSE 100 dividend income stocks. He thinks these three are unmissable buys, and is getting ready to pounce.

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I’m building a portfolio of FTSE 100 dividend income stocks to top up my State Pension when I finally retire.

That day is still more than a decade away, but if I was calling it quits tomorrow, I’d buy these three sares for long-term dividends and growth.

I recently bought a stake in pharmaceutical company GSK (LSE: GSK). It’s not the Dividend Aristocrat it used to be, when trading as GlaxoSmithKline, as CEO Emma Walmsley prioritises building its drugs pipeline over rewarding shareholders.

Three top dividend shares

The GSK share price hasn’t done much either, trading at similar levels to five years ago, despite climbing 9% in the last year. Yet I like to buy stocks before they recover, rather than afterwards. Today, GSK looks cheap, trading at just 10.56 times trailing earnings. That reduces downside risk and offers greater potential for share price growth (although these things are never guaranteed).

The forecast yield of 3.76% for 2024 is below the FTSE 100 average of around 4%, but I’m hoping for growth over time. Markets reckon GSK will yield 4.07% next year. The big risk is that Walmsley does not deliver on its drugs pipeline. It boasts a string of successful trials, but this is a tricky, long-term process.

No stock is without risk, though, and I would balance GSK by topping up my holding in FTSE 100 income share M&G (LSE: M&G).

I started building my position in the wealth manager last spring, after being alerted to its ultra-high yield. The share price is up 9.7% over 12 months but has fallen 8.8% in the last month. That’s despite full-year adjusted operating profits, published on 21 March, rising 27.5% to £797m.

Net client inflows and capital generation also climbed but investors were disappointed by a tiny 0.1p uplift in the total dividend to 19.7p per share. Given that the stock’s trailing yield is a whopping 9.45%, I’m not too concerned.

The risk is that markets fall from today’s highs, because if that happens the M&G share price could fall faster. Since I’m taking a long-term view, I can afford to take that on the chin.

I cannot ignore this yield

Finally, if I was retiring tomorrow I’d buy a stock I don’t hold, Asia-focused bank HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA). I’ve been wary of HSBC, given the importance of China to its profits, and rising tensions with the West.

Yet I can’t keep snubbing it because of geopolitical risk that may never come to a head. Especially with the shares forecast to yield 9.71% in 2024, even if analysts reckon that will fall to 7.85% in 2025. That’s still a handy income stream, and HSBC recently announced a $2bn share buyback.

The HSBC share price has been fairly solid, up 15.7% over the last year. Yet the stock looks cheap trading at just 5.9 times forward earnings.

Full-year 2023 earnings did take a hit from a $3bn impairment on HSBC’s stake in China’s Bank of Communications, but it still posted a 78% rise in pre-tax profits to $30.3bn.

China still has plenty of troubles due to government authoritarianism, tensions with the West and the country’s ageing population. Profits may fall when interest rate are cut. Yet given the income on offer, I’d buy HSBC anyway.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

HSBC Holdings is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Harvey Jones has positions in GSK and M&g Plc. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GSK, HSBC Holdings, and M&g Plc. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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