Bill Gates says he has no more personal use for money

Bill Gates is, without a doubt, a very wealthy man. The co-founder and Chairman of Microsoft is currently the richest man in the US and the second richest man in the world, with an approximate net worth of $63.4 billion. However, in a new interview Gates says that all that money doesn't mean much to him on a personal level.

In a chat with the Telegraph website, Gates says bluntly:

I’m certainly well taken care of in terms of food and clothes. Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organization and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world.

That organization is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has used its resources to help fund efforts to stop deadly diseases in third world countries along with efforts to improve education in the US. So far, the group has given out a whopping $28  billion. Gates says that 95 percent of his wealth will go towards the foundation and that the money will all be spent within 20 years of his and his wife' death.

Gates says there is no specific religious reason for wanting to help others with his vast wealth, saying, "... it’s about human dignity and equality. The golden rule that all lives have equal value and we should treat people as we would like to be treated."

Source: Telegraph | Image via Microsoft

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"The gratification of wealth is not found in mere possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application."
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

seems Bill is confirming this.

> Gates says that 95 percent of his wealth will go towards the foundation and that the money will all be spent within 20 years of his and his wife' death

I'm surprised nobody's commented on this.

When Bill started his foundation years ago, I thought his stated goal was sustainability--his idea being that if you just spend money until it's all gone, then you've only gained short-term benefits...whereas if there's a sustainable model, you get to keep helping people in perpetuity. This goes against what I clearly remember him saying. But I do remember him saying that most of his money would be the foundation's when he was gone.

If ever there was a relevant link, that was it. Thanks for digging this up.

I noticed however that this was from 2010. I wonder if he changed his mind over the years, or I just misremembered from some much older interview.

Nice. Even though Gates says he will donate 95% of his wealth to charity, with my calculation 5% of $63 billion is $3.15 billion that will remain for the kids. To think about how much money $63 billion is just mind boggling.

I don't know why people talk about Steve Jobs when there is an article about Bill Gates. Just because the man didn't disclose how much he donated, that doesn't mean he never did or was a selfish person. Completely pointless talking about him.

StandingInAlley said,
I don't know why people talk about Steve Jobs when there is an article about Bill Gates. Just because the man didn't disclose how much he donated, that doesn't mean he never did or was a selfish person. Completely pointless talking about him.

Jobs is on record saying he doesn't believe in charity. He was a very selfish, obsessed person. Why shouldn't he be mentioned. The general public thinks Jobs changed the world by selling shiny luxury overpriced electronics, while Bill Gates is often caricatured because he's 'evil Microsoft', yet he has saved millions of poor people who need the help.

Defcon said,

Jobs is on record saying he doesn't believe in charity. He was a very selfish, obsessed person. Why shouldn't he be mentioned. The general public thinks Jobs changed the world by selling shiny luxury overpriced electronics, while Bill Gates is often caricatured because he's 'evil Microsoft', yet he has saved millions of poor people who need the help.

it's as arbitrary as listing off the charity work of 100's of other ceo's... why aren't we talking about how much charity was given by the ceo's of exxon, ge, starbucks, amazon, walmart, dell, etc. etc...

pes2013 said,

Link to that quote please?

There is a quote, but Defcon took it out of context. Jobs believed in charity, he just had a different view on it.

CEO-author Walter Isaacson, who wrote Steve Jobs' eponymous, authorised biography, says the iconic co-founder of Apple Inc didn't believe in throwing his money away in charity and instead thought his products would help people live better.

"(While writing Steve Jobs) I asked him about charity. He said that he would be able to do more to reform education, for example, by creating an iPad that had interactive textbooks than by being a philanthropist giving his money away.

http://articles.economictimes....s-steve-jobs-apple-products

it's the destruction of wealth on people who could never understand or use it while simultaneously prolonging lifespans putting an even larger drain on already heavily limited resources. I can't think of a kinder way of helping end modern civilization.

And Steve Jobs, a selfish ahole billionaire who was opposed to charity in principle and never did a damn thing to help anyone, is idolized as a saint. What a sick world we live in.

Steve Jobs didn't believe corporations should give to charity. Corporations after all have one sole purpose: create value for their shareholders.

markti said,
Steve Jobs didn't believe corporations should give to charity. Corporations after all have one sole purpose: create value for their shareholders.

You don't understand. Bill Gates is giving away his own money, not the corporation money. Who was holding Jobs to do the same thing?

Defcon said,
And Steve Jobs, a selfish ahole billionaire who was opposed to charity in principle and never did a damn thing to help anyone, is idolized as a saint. What a sick world we live in.

Charity begins at home. He probably wanted to make sure his family was alright.

And how do you know he didn't donate privately?

Too bad he rejected my family's desperate cry for help. My dad has stage 4 cancer and we were being crushed by a motor home debt. But I rose above it and sacrificed a lot just to get us at a bareable level. Charities are nice, but man they don't do **** for people that really need help that don't have autism or diabetes or whatever bull****

Charities, always crying for more money, but when it's time to give, somehow, you never fit the criteria and are never a good candidate.

And when you question how many of those charities are managed, you start to see that the money don't often end where it's the most needed. People get paid to run those things....

"But I rose above it and sacrificed a lot just to get us at a bareable level."

I'm sorry for your problems but you don't sound like the kind of person this particular charity is trying to help. They usually say people become stronger overcoming hardships but... . I know a lot of charities don't give the money they recieve to those who need it (a reason I refuse to donate to the red cross), but someone who is planning on giving up 95% of his own personal wealth is a good person at heart.

Shadow 024 said,
"But I rose above it and sacrificed a lot just to get us at a bareable level."

I'm sorry for your problems but you don't sound like the kind of person this particular charity is trying to help. They usually say people become stronger overcoming hardships but... . I know a lot of charities don't give the money they recieve to those who need it (a reason I refuse to donate to the red cross), but someone who is planning on giving up 95% of his own personal wealth is a good person at heart.

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/

I don't see bailing out people from debt, individualized cancer treatment, autism or diabetes on their web site anywhere, so I think you're right. Also, I think the red cross are a bunch of vampires.

I wish I could say the same about money, right now, I have to be watching every penny that comes in and out. Kudos to Gates though for really using money to make key decisions that can have a lasting positive impact on the less fortunate.

I usually don't respond to these articles but, I saw so many poorly formed ideas about economics of poverty and general social policy, I had to respond.

1. @ rippleman the "distribution of wealth" will not change poverty. To reduce poverty we need to increase the meadian wage. What the richest people earn, have no direct affect on the poorest. This metric is only used by some Socialist movements with out any real data showing causation and only a weak coorilation. The whole poor to rich gap metric is a poor metric. This was the stratagy of a lot of socialist states and it resulted in everyone living in worse conditions not better.

2. @ DrakeN2k, while your argument makes sense, it is also false. The World Bank tried a similar tactic in Guyanna. They did manage to reduce birth rates, but they didn't manage to decrease poverty to any degree. If you want to decrease poverty in 3rd world countries you need to stop corruption, build critical infrastructure, and educate the populous. Growing GDP is the most effective birth control in the world. Statistaclly for most countries birth rates go down as PPP increases. Having lived in several 3rd world countries I can say with out a doubt corruption is the most difficult problem they have to overcome.

3. @ Colin McGregor, You have obviously never been to a third world country. Many countries, even those considered democratic, have laws against homosexuality which sometime includes hanging. On top of that there is often ingrained tribalism very similar to racism that permiates the very fabric of those societies. The US is VERY civalized, modern, and Libreral compared to most 3rd World countries. BTW, I don't think the Gays had it anywhere near as difficult time in the US as the Blacks. I don't remember hearing of any mass lynchings, segragation of facilities or anything like that for gays. Don't exaggerate the social stuggle of gays it only weakens the movement by being linked to provably false analogies.

No one has tried to segregate the gays because you can't pick them out as easily. You also have some very powerful people who are gay. That's part of the problem in regards to proving to those that don't care that discrimination exists. You can't point to concrete examples like people being forced to sit at the back of the bus.

Its good that they are helping the poor , but just say in Africa a child died due to X illness at birth. which was preventable. If you cure that child they will live on to develop malnutrition as most poorest people are. If you feed that child they will live on to have 7 children which is the TFR of some places. then 7 people need to be cured of X illness and fed to produce 7 more children.

The only way to make things better is to reduce the population growth , with family planning , is no point feeding a child witch nature cant support to let them have even more people nature cant support.

And think of the problems massive population growth is having now with sanitation , water supply , food supply. the % of the world with people is hungry has drooped , however the amount of people who are hungry is going up.

Lol. You think Bill and his foundation haven't thought of that? Their whole goal is to raise the poor up in all aspects. Help rid them of diseases, educate them. This includes agriculture, energy, planned parenthood. They have some of the brightest minds working for and with them. They have thought of everything. If you really want to know what they do, just watch Bill Gates many interviews and speeches that go over his foundations work, help give you a better understanding of what they do.

"... it's about human dignity and equality. The golden rule that all lives have equal value and we should treat people as we would like to be treated."

If only it were that simple. Its a vicious cycle. Even in todays society over in the US gays are still being treated the same as blacks were years ago. Instead of learning from that they repeat the cycle. One day when gays have 100% rights they will move on to something else. Its sad when there are 3rd world countries more civilized then supposed 1st world.

Gays will be lynched if they try to vote? Gays can't drink out of the same water fountain as heterosexuals? Try another analogy.

Gays are sometimes subtly ostracized much like blacks can be, I can live with that. "Even in todays society over in the US gays are still being treated the same as blacks were years ago." Ridiculous.

MorganX said,
Gays are sometimes subtly ostracized much like blacks can be, I can live with that. "Even in todays society over in the US gays are still being treated the same as blacks were years ago." Ridiculous.

how is it ridiculous? A citizen in the united states, a country that spouts BS about freedom for all has their freedoms stolen because government and some bible thumpers believe they are un-natural. How is that any different?

MorganX said,
Gays will be lynched if they try to vote? Gays can't drink out of the same water fountain as heterosexuals? Try another analogy.

ya they can use the same fountains, but how about the army to defend their country, how about marriage, can one kiss another in public without being reported or be on the news? So no I don't think ill try another analogy this one fits.

Edited by Colin McGregor, Jan 20 2013, 3:20am :

Wasn't aware that gays were being forced to sit in segregated areas, were having to pay a tax to vote, counted as only 3/5 of a person, were being denied entrance to state universities, and were frequently being beaten with batons by police and blown away with water cannons...

Lord Method Man said,
Wasn't aware that gays were being forced to sit in segregated areas, were having to pay a tax to vote, counted as only 3/5 of a person, were being denied entrance to state universities, and were frequently being beaten with batons by police and blown away with water cannons...

then open a newspaper or watch the news.

@Colin - people can believe what they want. You know this is way off topic so I'm not going to respond after this. They can't act on those beliefs if they break the law or violate civil rights.

FWIW, I can't remember the last time I saw heterosexuals engaged in PDA beyond hand holding. I do however see gays kissing in public all the time.

Black people got married all the time during slavery and Jim Crow (60s) So there is no analogy here. You're using racism against blacks to further whatever your agenda is and I do not believe it to be analogous. Control yourself in public and no one will think twice about you being gay, but gays seem to want to kiss in public a lot I guess. Blacks couldn't simply not be black. Your sexuality is actually none of my business and I'd rather not have you force it to be my business.

And I have not seen any of the things Method Man mentioned on the news, at least not in the US. It's actually cool to be gay in the US right now. Go figure.

even from non bible-thumpers, Lesbians got better treatment than Gays.
heck, even on porn sites Lesbians categories are lots more popular than Gays.

so, blaming on bible thumpers you missing others who did the same.

Colin McGregor said,
If only it were that simple. Its a vicious cycle. Even in todays society over in the US gays are still being treated the same as blacks were years ago.
Stop crying and certainly stop being a clueless ****. Gays are no more then human beings. You are not special nor are you entitled to anything because of your sexual orientation. You are also over exaggerating with your analogy. Sure there's cases to be made for abuse and discrimination but nowhere near as bad as you make it out to be.

I believe a that a guy should be able to marry a guy. A woman should be able to marry a woman. Love is love, you can't change that. An American should be able to own a 50 round clip, because someone has to protect us against those crazy mother****ers. We should be able to practice whatever religion we see fit, it's in our Constitution.

Beyond Godlike said,
Theres a perfect example of the irony behind the current-day bigots..no more sophisticated than the 50s/60s bigots.

I'm glad you think I'm a biggot when I literally think the same of gays as straights, just that neither can or should be able to marry anything other than the opposite gender. Why? It's not because I'm scared of or disgusted at seeing two people of the same gender being interested in each other, who love each other, or kissing/being intimate with each other. It's because I seriously believe that marriage is something that comes from God, not something that's an idea or right. Granted I don't really agree I should completely obstruct two gay people who want to marry that don't believe in God, but I wouldn't see their marriage as something legitimate either.

In a matter of fact, I feel I'm the hated one since I don't agree with gay marriage. Maybe it's because people have had bad encounters with others who actually dislike gays, but I'm often afraid to share my beliefs because I don't want to be thought of any differently than anyone else; I'd rather be thought of based on what my behavior says.

Here's one thing to think about before you go disagreeing with me. Would you rather be friends with someone with a more aggressive behavior who believes gay marriage is perfectly fine, or someone who's nice to everyone and treats them equally but believes gay marriage simply isn't a right? I'm perfectly fine with gay people and am friends with them, but guess what: I've never told them I disagree with gay marriage because I don't think it's relevant to our friendships and I'm afraid of their answers to this question.

rippleman said,
i wish all people with over $5,000,000 would take this same ideal.

5 million? that's not a lot at all. over my years of saving I have roughly just over 2 million in my bank and I can spend that in a week tops.

$5 million just seems to be an a number high enough to do anything and own anything you want in your lifetime. Distribution of wealth is key for any great society. The greater the spread, the greater the society. True that it takes billions what Bill Gates is doing, but i was meaning just a on personal level and not corporations and/or foundations like his.

rippleman said,
A person who has 1 trillion can also spend it all in a week also. Just because you can spend it, doesn't mean you need it.

of course I need it. I worked for it for a reason, I didn't work to help my bosses get rich I work to get me rich

rippleman said,
$5 million just seems to be an a number high enough to do anything and own anything you want in your lifetime.

5 million is nothing. Where i live in London thats barely enough to buy a decent sized 2 or 3 bedroom house + car and support a family for that long. It's certainly not enough to "do anything and own anything" not even close.

Colin McGregor said,

5 million? that's not a lot at all. over my years of saving I have roughly just over 2 million in my bank and I can spend that in a week tops.

Yeah 5 million isn't much at all. I was able to save 10 million make believe internet dollars last year and I could blow that in a day!

1Pixel said,

5 million is nothing. Where i live in London thats barely enough to buy a decent sized 2 or 3 bedroom house + car and support a family for that long. It's certainly not enough to "do anything and own anything" not even close.

Move to the country... you can retire on that amount of money.

1Pixel said,
5 million is nothing. Where i live in London thats barely enough to buy a decent sized 2 or 3 bedroom house + car and support a family for that long.

5 million gets you more than enough income on interest alone. With that much money in the bank you'll have no problem getting a very cheap mortgage for your house, a loan for your car and you'll have plenty to spend on your family without ever touching the 5 million.

Colin McGregor said,

5 million? that's not a lot at all. over my years of saving I have roughly just over 2 million in my bank and I can spend that in a week tops.

Gosh, I wonder how I'm alive if that's your perspective of "a lot". I never plan to be a millionaire and be totally satisfied with how much I have saved, given that I'm working at the same time. I don't even think I would save up over a million dollars if I could...

Enron said,

Yeah 5 million isn't much at all. I was able to save 10 million make believe internet dollars last year and I could blow that in a day!

Once again a swing and a miss by enron

paulheu said,

5 million gets you more than enough income on interest alone. With that much money in the bank you'll have no problem getting a very cheap mortgage for your house, a loan for your car and you'll have plenty to spend on your family without ever touching the 5 million.

Interest earned on an unsecured or even secured savings, after the interest earned is taxed as income, does not even come close to offset the compounding interest paid on a 600k mortgage @ 20 year amortization. Does not even make sense to borrow money for anything unless need more capital to start a business.

linsook said,

Interest earned on an unsecured or even secured savings, after the interest earned is taxed as income, does not even come close to offset the compounding interest paid on a 600k mortgage @ 20 year amortization. Does not even make sense to borrow money for anything unless need more capital to start a business.

I don't know how it is in the UK, but in Belgium a loan for a house is tax deductible. I think 5 million is enough to have a comfortable live without worries, but only if you are already a bit older and not planning on having anything left at the end, or if you are younger and keep working so you have a monthly income apart from the interest.

I just googled the tax deduction in Belgium for Mortgage loans and its not a significant amount. The bottom line is, if you have the money there is no point in ever borrowing. There is no advantage to it unless you can find an incredibly high return on savings, an incredibly low loan rate and really low taxes.

Enron said,

I guess you didn't like getting called out on a lie.

Who said it's a lie? And who are you to call any one out anyway?
£5m in the grand scheme of things is pittance. I will probably never have it without a decent lottery win but it really isn't all that much. Buy a house, pay the bills and that'd be gone pretty damn quickly.

That's a fantastic way to look at life. Helping people who really need the help. Not the people who sit at home and do nothing all day.

ThreadAbort said,
That's a fantastic way to look at life. Helping people who really need the help. Not the people who sit at home and do nothing all day.

And somehow Steve Jobs gained more popularity than BG...anyone whos a fan of Jobs really must have been missing something. The man was pure selfish greed.

ThreadAbort said,
That's a fantastic way to look at life. Helping people who really need the help. Not the people who sit at home and do nothing all day.

Agreed. I'd much prefer we encourage those who can to donate to good causes and help people that need it, than take their money from them and give it to people that don't want to work...

ThreadAbort said,
That's a fantastic way to look at life. Helping people who really need the help. Not the people who sit at home and do nothing all day.

Totally spot on. But his main problem are the ones sitting at home in poor African countries thinking that the vaccinations are meant to sterlize them. The fanatical religious groups and political parties create more problem. They don't want people to get educated.

Mr. Gates must be aware of this where he is fighting a loosing battle.

Beyond Godlike said,
And somehow Steve Jobs gained more popularity than BG...anyone whos a fan of Jobs really must have been missing something. The man was pure selfish greed.

Not really comparable. Bill Gates has been retired for a decade. He's had plenty of personal time (and money) to do good in the world.

Steve Jobs, whatever you think of him, was completely dedicated to his company until the day he prematurely died.

He didn't die prematurely. He was sick for quite some time, and he knew it wouldn't end well.

He could have stepped back, set up something similar in his/Apple's name and did some good with those billions.
Did he? No. He rather went 'nuclear' on Android.

Nice way to spend the precious little time he had........

fmanchu said,
Job's never revolutionized anything he took existing ideas and ran with it.
While I would agree he never truly invented anything to say he 'ran with it' would not do his vision justice. I am in no way an Apple fan but I feel it would be fair to say Jobs paved the way for where we are now in terms of mobile technology to a large degree. Not that he changed the world, but paved the way for sure.

He did have some remarkable accomplishments. I mean turning apple into a profitable business was amazing. Their refusal to innovate will be their downfall.

Beyond Godlike said,

And somehow Steve Jobs gained more popularity than BG...anyone whos a fan of Jobs really must have been missing something. The man was pure selfish greed.

You're the one making a comment crying about Steve Jobs' selfishness in a news story about Bill Gates' kindness.

Lamp0 said,

You're the one making a comment crying about Steve Jobs' selfishness in a news story about Bill Gates' kindness.

This times a million. I always wondered why the select few on Neowin turn just about every news post into an Apple or Steve Jobs cry fest.