A few weeks back I was walking the dog when it dawned on me that a billionaire could give away $1 million each week for a year, and he (yes, HE) would still be a billionaire at the end of that year
And a billionaire is practically a pauper. If Jeff Bezos did this for 1,000 years—if he gave away $1 million every week for 52 weeks each year over the course of 1,000 years—he’d still have over $50 billion left, assuming he doesn’t invest his money at all, just keeps in a big hole in the ground. If you taxed his current wealth at 99%—something that, to the best of my knowledge, no elected or appointed official has ever come remotely close to suggesting—then he’d still be a billionaire, and could still give away a million a week for a year without stopping being a billionaire.
All “conservative” freak-outs about taxes and stifling innovation and redistribution of whatever aside, there’s literally no way to take it all away from Bezos or Musk or Gates or Zuckerberg or the Waltons or the Kochs, not in practical terms, not before they’d had time to make it all back on something as benign and boring as holding government bonds.
And as I walked the dog, I just thanked my lucky stars that we fought a revolution in this country to break away from all the old potentates and riyals and dynasties, to be sure there was at least one spot on earth where a man could live free and equal with all other men, not as some peon who could be ground under the foot of a clumsy giant whose piles of lucre blocked his ability to see where he was going and what he was doing. Humanity really dodged a bullet with this whole democracy situation!😅 Anyway, gotta go cook 25-cent Ramen for my kids!
But as I walked a little further, it dawned on me that what I was really saying was:
“If you have the luck and privilege to have your shit together enough to have some real portion of your wealth socked away in any decent retirement savings plan, then you can afford to give away at least 0.5 to 1% of your wealth every year and still be wealthy.”
And was I even doing that?
Nope, I wasn’t.
But, shit, now I’ve got a goal, don’t I? 💸
 For all practical purposes: Let’s assume this billionaire has his wealth invested in something as safe and stodgy as bond funds, which historically earn ~2–4% each year. If he gives away $1 million each week for a year, his nest egg will be reduced to $948,000,000, but he’ll earn $18–$37 million on that, bringing him back up to just shy of $1 billion. If he’s invested in something extremely safe, like an S&P 500 index fund, he’ll likely come out of the year ahead, having earned ~$75 million on the money he had left over after having given away $52 million.)