Friday, 21 March 2014
Bill Gates: "Our Children Won't Be Left Billion-Dollar Trust Funds"
The Microsoft founder says most of his $76bn fortune will go to charity.
He is the world's richest man, with a personal fortune of $76 billion, but Bill Gates will not be leaving it all to his three children.
In a rare insight into his personal life, the Microsoft founder and his wife, Melinda, have opened up about how they are raising their family.
The couple, speaking at a TED conference in Vancouver, said their children will be encouraged to make their own way in the world without the help of billion-dollar trust funds.
Gates said that instead of money, they had given their two daughters and son a good education so they can learn how to rely on their own abilities rather than their parents' fortune.
'You've easily got enough money despite your vast contributions to the foundation to make them all billionaires,' conference organizer Chris Anderson said.
Gates responded by saying: 'They won’t have anything like that. They need to have a sense that their own work is meaningful and important.'
You've got to make sure they have a sense of their own ability and what they’re going to go and do,' he added.
We want to strike a balance so they have the freedom to do anything but not sort of a lot of money showered on them so that they can go out and do nothing,' Gates said.
He added that they have told their children most of the fortune would be left to their charity, which tackles poor health and poverty.
Melinda Gates also used the TED talks to give details about a trip to Tanzania she made with her eldest daughter Jen.
The mother and daughter stayed with a family in a rural area, which helped them better understand the barriers to education faced by girls in the country.
During her description of the trip, Melinda Gates showed slides of their time in Tanzania, as well as pictures of her children.
The couple rarely discuss their private life, but she said the children had agreed to their pictures being shown to show their support for the charity.
They added that their parenting style was inspired by philanthropist Warren Buffett, who has taken a similar approach with his children.
Like Buffett, the Gates have joined the Giving Pledge, which is committed to diverting wealth to philanthropy. The friends agree leaving a huge sum to their children was no good for their families or society.
**They are living such an exemplary life. May God continue to bless their beautiful hearts. I hope our Naija billionaires will take a cue from them.