Did Muhammad Ali Leave The Greatest $50 Million Estate Plan Of All Time?
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Heavyweight champion didn’t leave billions behind but after 35 years of effective retirement he could’ve done a whole lot worse. Passive income and street-level ambition overcome a lot of hard hits along the way to get the best realistic outcome given the shifts in generational scale.
Across his entire boxing career, Muhammad Ali probably didn’t even earn a fifth of Floyd Mayweather takes home for one fight, but he died a hero to many with a reported $50 million in the bank to support his causes and make life better for his nine kids.
It’s an amazing conclusion for a man who came out of nothing in an age where even a colossus at his peak felt rich on a couple million dollars, barely worked a decade and didn’t even believe in accepting compound interest to stretch the cash a few points farther.
But the fact that the cash held up for decades of increasingly frail health and unpaid philanthropy means that unlike a lot of his contemporaries, Ali didn’t need to work himself into the grave even if that was an option.
That’s not only a win. It’s a knockout swing in the name of millions of humble working people who still want to believe in the power of traditional retirement planning.
Good enough for the Greatest
We’re seeing a generation of celebrities pass away who just didn’t benefit from today’s stratospheric earning prospects. The notion of a Humphrey Bogart of Mickey Rooney earning $75 million per role or Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James pulling $60 million to $70 million a year would be unspeakable when Ali was coming up in the mid-1960s.
Today’s paychecks simply add up to 9 or 10 digits of wealth a lot more realistically than the paltry millions a heavyweight champion could bank on a title defense 50 years ago.
Back then, the only billionaires were towering titans of industry and it took generations. Now, quite a few hedge fund managers or Silicon Valley darlings can boost their net worth from zero into that range in a single tax year.
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