I'd buy these ASX dividend shares for a lifelong second income

If you're after a second income, ASX shares are one of the best places to look.

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If you're after a second income, buying ASX shares is a great place to start. Most ASX shares pay out dividends, and many also attach franking credits to these payouts as well, further helping to boost shareholder income.

However, not all ASX dividend shares are equal. Some payout consistent dividends that tend to rise over time. Others fund volatile dividends that can wax and wane year to year, and can sometimes disappear entirely. Obviously, someone seeking a lifelong second income would prefer the former.

So today, let's discuss a few dividend shares that I think have the capacity to fund an ever-rising stream of passive income for their investors for potentially a lifetime.

3 ASX dividend shares to buy for a lifelong second income

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)

Chances are you'd be familiar with ASX big four bank share NAB. It is currently the second largest bank in Australia, only coming in behind Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA). Like most bank shares, NAB has a reputation for funding moderately consistent and high levels of fully franked dividends.

We did see a big blip in this bank's payouts over COVID. However, NAB looks to be well on the way to normalcy, with its payouts rising every year between 2021 and 2023. Just last week, the bank revealed a fully-franked final dividend for 2023 of 84 cents per share. That was a decent hike over the 78 cents per share investors enjoyed this time last year.

I can't envision a future where NAB doesn't continue to be one of the most dominant banks in the country. As such, I think this stock is a good bet if you want a consistent level of second income for life.

Brickworks Ltd (ASX: BKW)

Not too many ASX shares can boast of a 10-year streak of raising its dividends annually. And even fewer can tell investors that the last time they endured a dividend cut was 47 years ago. Yet that's what building materials company Brickworks brings to the table.

As its name implies, Brickworks is in the business of manufacturing bricks and other construction essentials. However, the company also has a significant property portfolio, as well as a large share in investing house Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co Ltd (ASX: SOL).

This company has proven that it has what it takes to deliver outstanding results for shareholders, in addition to providing them with a steady and rising stream of passive dividend income. So if you want a second income from ASX shares, Brickworks is another name to ignore at your peril.

Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF (ASX: VHY)

Our final share to consider for a second income isn't really a share at all. Rather, it's an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that specialises in investing in other ASX dividend shares.

Its portfolio is periodically rebalanced to ensure only the ASX shares that provide the highest but also the most sustainable dividend payouts to investors are present. In this way, I think it's a great 'bottom-drawer' investment to hold if you want to build a second income for life.

As of September 30, VHY held 75 individual ASX dividend shares within its portfolio. These include BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS), Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) and NAB.

Unlike most ASX dividend shares, the Vanguard High Yield ETF also pays out quarterly dividend distributions. That's a handy feature for an investor looking to build a consistent second income.

Bear in mind though, like all ETFs, VHY charges an annual management fee. In this case, you'll be forking out 0.25% per annum, or $25 a year for every $10,000 invested.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in National Australia Bank, Telstra Group, Wesfarmers, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Brickworks, Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited, and Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Brickworks, Telstra Group, Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited, and Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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