What will happen to Warren Buffett’s billions after he dies? Part of it can benefit every child on the planet.
That’s what The Wall Street Journal reported in a recent investigation into the future of Buffett’s wealth, which is worth $96.8 billion as of this writing. In 2006, Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO pledged to donate 85% of his company shares to charity, most of which goes to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Four years later, he vowed to redistribute 99 percent of his wealth to philanthropy during or after his lifetime.
Of Buffett’s $90 billion in Berkshire shares, $56 billion went to the Gates Foundation, $17.4 billion went to four family charities, and the remaining $18.7 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. dollar is unused — according to the Wall Street Journal, these numbers could rise if Berkshire stock continues to perform as it has historically. He reportedly hopes to spend billions of dollars within 10 years of his death.
After spending years trying to figure out where to put the money, Gates Foundation staff have bet on Buffett’s pledged stake and the remaining unpledged stake because of the Gates Foundation’s stake, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some grantees are exhausted.
One proposed solution is the establishment of the World Children’s Savings Bank. The exact amount allocated to each child was not disclosed, but a former staffer at the Gates Foundation told The Wall Street Journal that each child will receive thousands of dollars “on the shelf like a battle plan” to benefit from Will of the baby.
But Buffett, who turns 92 this year, hasn’t yet disclosed the nitty-gritty of how his wealth will be split after his death; estate planning experts told the Journal his pledge letter was a bit ambiguous. The investigation found that Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, a family charity that supports abortion rights, has been hiring staff and planning for a “massive influx of money” as high as $100 billion—meaning it may inherit some of the windfall the Gates Foundation has been anticipating.
Officials from the Gates Foundation and the Buffett Foundation didn’t respond to Fortune’s requests for comment, and Buffett told the Journal there were inaccuracies in its reporting. But, if the Gates Foundation does receive enough money to distribute a cut to every child, it would help even the world’s socioeconomic playing field and possibly provide parents with the financial safety net they need to have kids in today’s economy.
As the cost of living increases, it becomes increasingly unaffordable to pay for yourself, let alone pay for others. According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of non-parents aged 18 to 49 in the U.S. who say they are unlikely or not likely to have children has increased by 7% since 2018, reaching 44% by 2022, partly Above is the cause of financial problems. The average cost of raising a child in the United States is over $280,000.
This has led to a decline in the U.S. birth rate that has been going on for more than a decade, as more indebted and recession-hit millennials put off having children until they are financially healthy. Declining birth rates are a global trend in developed countries; in China, for example, the birth rate will fall for the fifth consecutive year in 2021.
As wealth inequality and wage gaps widen during the pandemic, more billionaires are starting to think of more creative ways to distribute their wealth. This includes the idea of a more equitable distribution of money, starting with children. It even made it to the Senate — the Democratic-backed American Opportunity Accounts Act, which would address the racial wealth gap by introducing a $1,000 baby bond for all newborns in the United States.
Buffett’s billions of dollars around the world could have the same impact if Gates’ employees pass such a global children’s bank program.