In the days of my youth, I despised dividends. My living costs were minimal, so I didn't need to supplement my earned income, and the taxes generated by dividends were an annoyance. I had a hard rule not to own any mutual funds in taxable accounts because of the unwelcome, taxable dividend and capital gain distributions.
Now I've reached that age where I'm looking at the future cost of property taxes, utilities, and ObamaCare, and realizing I'm going to need a whole lot more income than Social Security will provide. Dividends and interest now represent security. I've been re-investing dividends in my blue chip stocks to increase the annual income. And despite what I said last year about bonds, I've even begun buying some munis after this year's epic bond slaughter.
Nobody wants to have to eat into his principal to survive in his old age, but that's the reality for most seniors in the era of Bernanke's financial repression. Best prepare for it if you're still young enough to take action.