Anyone saving for retirement should take advantage of both 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts, Cramer says, because they enjoy tax-blessed status. Still, he thinks that IRAs are better.
That's because your investment choices for 401(k)s are quite limited, while IRAs let you invest any way you'd like. And to best capitalize on an IRA’s tax-preferred status, Cramer recommended high-yielding, dividend-paying stocks that offer as much safety as possible. Think master limited partnerships (also known as energy trusts), oil tanker stocks and real estate investment trusts.
Want a headstart on finding the best names in these groups? Then read on for Cramer's 5 Picks for Retirement Investing.
You can buy a master limited partnership that makes its money producing oil and gas, something like Permian Basin or BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust, but the safest of the energy MLPs for your retirement are the pipeline operators, Cramer says.
Companies like Enterprise Product Partners, which have far less exposure to the economy's volatility or even that of oil and gas prices. These pipeline companies are basically toll-road operators, or utilities, which means they can pay very consistent, very high dividends, Cramer says.
Another great MLP that Cramer recommends is Kinder Morgan Energy Partners. KMP right now is yielding 6.5%.
Oil tanker stocks are legendary for their huge dividends, Cramer says, as their managements love to aggressively return value to shareholders. His favorite is Nordic American Tanker, which he says has delivered the best return of any other company in the group.
If you want to get this stock at a discount, Cramer says, you should know that occasionally Nordic American will do an equity offering to pay for new ships. These offerings bang down the stock price and upset shareholders, but they almost always turn out to be a great time to buy NAT. Why? Because the new ships allow the company to increase its dividend by more than enough to offset the dilution caused by the creation of new shares.
The dividends from real estate investment trusts are taxed as ordinary income, which for most people means that they're taxed more heavily than the 15% you pay on regular dividends. Hence Cramer's recommendation that you put these stocks in an IRA, where the taxes are delayed for as long as possible.
Cramer offered two ways to play the REIT group. First, the iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate Index Fund, or the IYR, which has broad exposure to REITs that deal in mall properties. And the second is...
...or, lastly, investors could go with Federal Realty Investment Trust, one of the largest shopping center REITs in the US. Cramer also is a big fan of the company's chief executive, Don Wood. Click here for his latest interview with the CEO.