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3 FTSE 100 dividend stocks I predict will pay you for the rest of your life

The recent market sell-off may have left you nervously watching your pension fund. You may be considering selling some stocks, in case of further falls.

If your money is committed to the stock market for the long term, then I think shifting into cash is likely to be a poor decision. You’ll face extra trading costs and run the risk of missing out on a market recovery.

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At times like this, I stay fully invested and top up my holdings where possible. Over the long term, good stocks are likely to bounce back. In the meantime, I continue to receive regular dividend income.

Today, I’m going to look at three FTSE 100 dividend stocks that I believe could provide a reliable income for decades to come.

20 years of dividend growth

The special relationship between the UK and the US is of great importance to defence contractors such as BAE Systems (LSE: BA). But arguably, the biggest supporter of the BAE share price is the special relationship the company has with Saudi Arabia.

BAE has provided extensive support and equipment for the Saudi armed forces for several decades. Although the company is trying to diversify its international client list, the Middle East remains very important.

This won’t be an investment for everyone. But BAE’s financial performance has been good in recent years and I believe that strong defence spending will be sustained.

The group ended last year with a record order backlog of £48.4bn and reported strong profit growth.

BAE’s dividend has not been cut for 20 years and the payout has doubled since 2006.

The shares currently trade on 12 times forecast earnings, with a dividend yield of 4.2%. I rate BAE Systems as a buy for income.

Copper bottomed

Family-controlled businesses are rare in the FTSE 100, but Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) is one of two I want to look at today. This Chilean copper mining group is run with a conservative balance sheet. It boasts attractive profit margins and good cash generation.

ANTO shares rarely look cheap, but the threat of a US-China trade war has held back the share price over the last couple of years. As a result, I’m starting to consider this firm for my own portfolio.

Over the long term, I’m confident that the electrification of our transport infrastructure will help support demand for copper. I also trust that Antofagasta’s family ownership will mean that the group continues to be run sustainably, without excessive risk-taking.

With the shares trading on less than 15 times earnings and offering a dividend yield of 3.3%, I’m tempted to hit the buy button. I see this as a good quality mining play.

Food and fashion?

My final pick is family-controlled conglomerate Associated British Foods. This unusual group owns a number food businesses and fashion chain Primark.

Like Antofagasta, ABF shares rarely look cheap. But the company is continuing to expand and analysts expect earnings to rise by 12% in 2019/20.

ABF’s balance sheet carries minimal debt and currently shows a net cash position. I suspect that family owners aren’t keen to take the kind of financial risks we sometimes see elsewhere in the market.

Although the dividend yield here is just 2.3%, this payout has risen every year since at least 1997. For patient long-term investors, I think ABF could be a smart buy.

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Roland Head has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.