Bill Gates Shares His Plans to No Longer Be One of the World’s Richest People

Bill Gates said that after his recent divorce and discovering that he’s going to become a grandfather for the first time, he’s realized just how unimportant being one of the richest men on earth is if he can’t use that money to improve the world.

The Microsoft founder shared his annual end-of-year thoughts on his Gates Notes blog in a post titled “The future our grandchildren deserve,” giving an update on the Gates Foundation as well as his personal life and divorce in 2021 from his wife of 27 years, Melinda Gates. “I turned 67 in October. It’s hard to believe I’m that old — in America, most people my age are retired!” he began the entry. “Although I don’t care where I rank on the list of the world’s richest people, I do know that as I succeed in giving, I will drop down and eventually off the list altogether.”

The fourth richest man in the world went on to share that while he’s “always viewed my philanthropy as a way to help reduce the awful inequities I see around the world,” after learning on Thanksgiving that his eldest child Jennifer is currently expecting her first baby with husband Nayel Nassar, his charitable efforts now have all-new meaning. “I started looking at the world through a new lens recently — when my older daughter gave me the incredible news that I’ll become a grandfather next year,” he wrote. “Simply typing that phrase, ‘I’ll become a grandfather next year,’ makes me emotional. And the thought gives a new dimension to my work. When I think about the world my grandchild will be born into, I’m more inspired than ever to help everyone’s children and grandchildren have a chance to survive and thrive.”

Gates then went on give updates about everything he’s working on with the Gates Foundation, his climate and clean energy initiatives with Breakthrough Energy, as well as his funding of Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS research. Some of the current global issues his foundation is working on are reducing the childhood death rate, helping countries prepare for future pandemics and the climate crisis, eradicating polio, and using AI technology to help mothers and babies in underdeveloped countries.

The tone of the billionaire’s post then turned increasingly personal, as he wrote, “With the pandemic, war in Ukraine, and downturn in the economy, the past three years have been some of the hardest in recent memory. Everyone in the world has experienced loss during this time — of loved ones, financial security, or a way of life.” He continued, “Because of my position, I’m insulated from many of these hardships. But I too have hit some personal low points over the past few years, including the death of my father and the end of my marriage. As I reflect on the past and look ahead to next year, I’m feeling grateful for the people in my life who support me in difficult moments. They remind me of what’s important, and they inspire me to be a better father and friend. Being wealthy makes my life much more comfortable, but not more fulfilling. For that, I need family, friends, and a job where I work on things that matter. I’m grateful to have all three.”

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