As people enter their 50s, many begin to look for safer ways to invest their wealth to ensure they have enough to support them through retirement.

For many, that involves selling their shares and stashing their money in a bank account. That can be a very smart play during periods of higher interest rates, but not so much when interest rates are low, as they are right now.

The official cash rate is sitting at just 2%, meaning that whatever return you get from the bank is likely to be dismal, at best. That is especially the case when you take taxes and inflation into account, as well as any other account-keeping fees…

Although buying shares does carry more risk than storing your money in the bank, there are ways to mitigate that risk. By maintaining a diversified portfolio and focusing on the well-established players offering solid dividend yields, investing in shares could be a great way to grow your retirement nest egg over the coming years (whilst also ensuring you generate a source of income from those dividends).

3 fully franked dividend shares every retiree should own

In contrast with the mere 2% return from savings accounts, shares in some of Australia’s best blue-chip shares offer growth as well as solid, fully franked dividend yields.

  1. Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)

Australia’s biggest telecommunications business generates solid cash flows from operations and has historically been reliable for those investors relying on its dividends. The shares are trading at a considerable discount to their 52-week high and offer a fully franked yield of 5.8%, or 8.2% gross.

  1. Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)

Wesfarmers, the owner of businesses such as Coles, Bunnings Warehouse and Officeworks, is one of most established businesses on the ASX, having opened for business more than 100 years ago. Despite its size, the company is still growing in the face of competition and offers a compelling 4.9% fully franked dividend yield, grossed to 7%.

  1. Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD)

Westfield Corp is the owner and operator of Westfield-branded shopping centres in the United States and United Kingdom, while it also has the potential to expand globally. Its strategy is to divest many of its regional centres, whilst investing heavily in its ‘flagship’ malls instead, which typically generate far greater returns.

As it generates its earnings internationally, it will also benefit when the Australian dollar eventually falls. The shares are currently trading for $9.81, giving them an unfranked yield of 3.3% (based on the current exchange rate).

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.