There’s a popular Instagram account called RKOI, or Rich Kids of the Internet. On it, you’ll find plenty of envy-inducing photos of extremely wealthy teens indulging in the most extravagant lifestyles imaginable — private jets, luxury hotel suites, exotic vacations, and hanging out next to fat stacks of cash.
Bill Gates’ offspring could technically afford to be part of this crew — their father’s net worth is exponentially larger than anyone else’s. But there’s one good reason you probably won’t find the Gates kids posing on the hood of a Lamborghini for an RKOI photo op — their dad doesn’t want them to become ungrateful brats.
Bill Gates can afford to spoil his three kids beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. But he doesn’t want to. Here’s how he’s making sure his three kids stay (somewhat) humble.
Bill Gates made his fortune in technology
These days, tech millionaires and billionaires are commonplace. But when Bill Gates dropped out of college to start a software company with his childhood friend, Paul Allen, the idea of putting “a computer on every desktop and in every home” was a wildly optimistic concept.
Plenty of people thought they were crazy. But now, Bill Gates is the second richest man in the world, with a net worth of $106 billion.
Gates can afford to do whatever he wants and buy anything he wants for the rest of his life, and then some. But instead of hoarding the wealth, he gives generously to charity and tries to use his immense power for good. He also has a smart tactic to keep his kids humble.
Bill Gates doesn’t want his children to get lazy
When you have billionaire parents, there’s no reason to have any ambition in life. Just like the RKOI, the three Gates children — Jennifer (23), Rory (20), and Phoebe (17), could easily live off their parent’s money and never work a day in their lives. Except Bill Gates is refusing to let that happen.
Rather than let his kids revel in luxury, Bill Gates set up very small trust funds for his kids — only $10 million each. To most average citizens that seems like a huge amount of money. But in the face of a multi-billion-dollar fortune, it’s a very, very minuscule amount.
Gates wants them to work for their money
Some fans might find it strange that Bill Gates would force his kids to work hard if they don’t have to. But others praise this type of parenting, saying it’s much better for children to learn the value of money by earning it themselves.
“We want to strike a balance where they have the freedom to do anything but not a lot of money showered on them so they could go out and do nothing,” Gates explained during a TED talk.
Right now, the kids are still young and just starting to make their way in the world. But at least Bill and Melinda Gates know that they won’t become spoiled brats showing off their parents’ wealth on social media.
Instead, they’ll have to earn billions all by themselves.