The world’s biggest billionaire winners, losers of 2018

Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

The world’s biggest billionaire winners, losers of 2018
When your clients say they want to invest like Warren Buffett, you can now point to other celebrity billionaires to emulate instead. Indeed, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index outlines who gained and lost the most in 2018 among the jet set. Overall, the world’s 500 richest people lost $451 billion this year, a sharp reversal from 2017 when they added $1 trillion to their fortunes.

Jeff Bezos laughs all the way to the bank as he adds $24 billion to his fortune in 2018.

Jeff Bezos laughs all the way to the bank as he adds $24 billion to his fortune in 2018.

So who to imitate? Think Jeff Bezos, not Mark Zuckerberg. The Amazon founder (and richest man in the world) gained the most for the second year running. His net worth grew about $24 billion to $123 billion, according to Bloomberg’s index. Lei Jun, founder of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, trailed only Bezos among the biggest gainers of 2018, adding $8.6 billion to his fortune. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg saw the biggest drop in 2018 as his net worth fell nearly $20 billion, leaving the 34-year-old with a relatively meager $53 billion fortune. China’s Wang Jianlin, Jack Ma and Ma Huateng made up three of the 10 biggest losers this year.

Social Security changes that could impact your take-home pay in 2019
The 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment in Social Security retirement benefits is one of the changes in the program that will affect retirees’ paycheck next year, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. The maximum payouts at full retirement age will also increase to $2,861 in 2019 from $2,788 this year. The retirement earnings test thresholds will also increase to $1,470 per month next year, meaning claimants who are still earning a wage income will see an uptick in their net benefits. More wealthy Americans can also see an increase in payroll taxes in 2019, as the program’s maximum taxable earnings cap will climb to $128,400.

Why now is the perfect time to look over your IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts
The holiday season offers a great opportunity for retirement savers to review their portfolio and make the moves that will enable them start the New Year right, according to this article from USA Today. For example, they should check their target asset allocation and rebalance their portfolio if necessary. Doing a Roth conversion is also recommended to those who want to boost their after-tax income in retirement, but they should get professional advice first. “You can no longer undo any Roth conversions after the year closes, so stay on top of the math and make any necessary adjustments before Dec. 31,” says an expert.

Baby boomers are overwhelmingly at risk of falling short in retirement
Based on an estimate from the Stanford Center on Longevity, some 30% of baby boomers have not saved for retirement at all and may not have enough time to hit their savings target, according to this article on Fox Business. To catch up on savings, seniors are advised to save aggressively and work longer. They should also adjust their lifestyle, consider downsizing and work on a part-time basis in their golden years.

Getting close to retirement? Here are six key considerations
Seniors who plan to retire next year should ensure they have enough savings to cover their healthcare expenses before making a decision, according to this article on CNBC. They should also develop a Social Security claiming strategy that will maximize their benefits, address the risks in their retirement accounts, and assess their income and tax strategies. “Many people have a few different types of assets, so they want to be smart about which they tap into,” says an expert.


Lee Conrad

Lee Conrad

Lee Conrad is Editor of Bank Investment Consultant.

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