As an investor, you may ask if an allocation to dividend stocks in your retirement portfolio will help keep up with inflation. Examining stock returns during periods of high inflation may answer this question. Dividend-paying stocks may offer benefits such as stability through income return and inflation protection. While stock prices tend to be volatile, dividends may serve as a stable component of total return and may provide better inflation protection compared with bonds. Between 1974 and 1980 (high inflation period), the average rate of inflation was 9.3%, much higher than the historical rate of 3%. During this time, bonds yielded 7.9% from income, but prices declined by 2.7%, resulting in a total return of 5.6%—way short of inflation. On the contrary, stocks returned a total of 10%: 5.0% from dividend income and 4.8% from price return, outpacing inflation for this time period.