The vast fortunes of billionaires are something the rest of us cannot possibly comprehend.
The likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have incredible fortunes that it is virtually impossible to spend all of.
The world of super-yachts, fleets of expensive cars, and having the means to avoid troublesome things like “tax” is the one they occupy.
They also have an incredible desire and hunger for success.
Bezos is thought to be worth an astonishing $134 billion.
The New York Times revealed in April Bezos has given away “just” $2.1 billion of his fortune.
Charitable causes would benefit enormously from such donations, but the amount remains a small percentage of his ever-increasing wealth.
Bezos spends his vast wealth on real estate, his private jet and his space exploration company, according to Insider.
However, that’s not to say all billionaires behave this way.
Some of the ultra-rich have signed up to the “Giving Pledge” established by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
So while, the economy is beneficial to the ultra-rich, ensuring they can still accumulate money faster than they give it away, there are some very large sums being given away.
Although some of the Giving Pledgers have left wills that leave everything to charity, very few want to give away their wealth before passing.
Giving it all away once you’re dead isn’t much of a sacrifice, considering that you can’t take it with you.
However, it can be done; here are three billionaires who gave their whole fortune away while they were alive.
Chinese billionaire Yu began at the very bottom: working as a prisoner in a labor camp and pulling a rickshaw in Shanghai.
Yu later made his wealth as a hotelier, beginning with a rent-by-the-hour flophouse for street hookers.
Despite these questionable beginnings, Yu swiftly went legit and accumulated a fortune of billions.
By the time he passed away in 2015 at the age of 93, he’d given every penny of his money away, leaving nothing to his sons, because he was worried that they’d turn into “privileged trust-fund brats”.
Feeney was from a middle-class background, but unlike the usual “self-made” billionaires, he never forgot where he came from.
Feeney earned his wealth by selling duty-free luxury goods, possibly ironic as he has always lived relatively simply.
As he was publicity-shy, Feeney kept his identity unknown for the first 17 years of charitable giving.
Now, at 89 years old, he lives in a two-bedroom flat with his wife and has given away his whole fortune of around $9 billion.
Scotsman Carnegie left his home country for the US way back in 1848 at the age of 12.
He made a series of shrewd investments in railroads, bridges and oil derricks in the 1860s.
His big success was Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Steel Company.
In 1901 – 121 years ago – he sold the company to J.P Morgan for a colossal $303 million.
This, in today’s money is nearly $10.5 billion.
Having accumulated this astonishing amount of cash, Carnegie set about spending it.
He built Carnegie Hall in New York, hundreds of libraries, and ploughed money into scientific research.
Carnegie was not seen as a nice man – he was said to take great delight in asserting his perceived superiority as he handed dimes to homeless people.
The conditions in his workplaces also left a lot to be desired, even for that period.
Nonetheless, he managed to give away his vast fortune before his death in 1919.