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No savings at 50? I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 stocks to retire on a rising passive income

If you haven’t built up much in the way retirement savings at age 50, you need to start playing catch-up today. I think the best way of doing this is to invest in equities using your annual Stocks and Shares ISA allowance.

This allows you to invest anything up to £20k in the stock market before 5 April, with all returns free of tax. I would start by investing in a balanced portfolio of FTSE 100 shares to generate growth and income. These two could be a good place to start.

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Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) is a giant of a stock, with a market-cap of more than £92bn. Its three global businesses focus on pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare and spends around £4bn a year researching and developing a pipeline of new products, to keep the cash and profits flowing.

The Glaxo share price is now in revival mode, as I predicted this time last year, when I hailed it the ideal buy for uncertain times. It’s up around 25% since then.

Glaxo’s stock offers a solid dividend yield of around 4.3% a year, so the total return over the last year was closer to 30%. Despite that, it still looks a relative bargain, as its shares trade at around 15.3 times earnings, below the FTSE 100 average of 18.03 times.

Glaxo has frozen its dividend at around 80p in recent years, to pump more of its profits into R&D. Investors are now waiting to see whether that investment is going to pay off. The share price may not rise another 25% this year, but if investing for retirement, you have to look beyond that.

At age 50, you could hold this stock for another 30 years or so, and over such a lenghty period I believe GlaxoSmithKline will prove a rewarding investment for both growth and income.

Legal & General Group

Here’s another renowned FTSE 100 blue-chip stock I’d consider to generate a passive income. Asset manager and insurer Legal & General Group (LSE: LGEN) offers an even more generous yield than Glaxo, with a forecast income of 6.2% in the year ahead.

This is far above the FTSE 100 average of 4.34% and, crucially, it also looks sustainable, as it’s covered 1.8 times by company earnings.

The last 12 months have also been good for the Legal & General share price, which is up more than 20%. It’s enjoyed growth from the bulk annuity market, insuring risk on company pension schemes to ease the burden on employers.

The £18.62bn group has an incredible £1.2trn of assets under management, making it one of Europe’s biggest fund managers, yet trades at a bargain price of just 9.4 times earnings. You can buy the L&G share price for just half the FTSE 100’s valuation.

If equities have a bumpy year I’d seize the opportunity to load up on more L&G stock at the lower price, as part of your quest to build a portfolio of shares to deliver a rising passive income when you retire.

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Harvey Jones has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. 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.