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Tue Sep 15, 2020, 01:21 PM

The Billionaire Who Wanted To Die Broke...Is Now Officially Broke

If only all billionaires thought and behaved this way. Thought we could use a rare uplifting story from the billionaire class. Good man.

Charles “Chuck” Feeney, 89, who cofounded airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers with Robert Miller in 1960 amassed billions while living a life of monk-like frugality. As a philanthropist, he pioneered the idea of Giving While Living—spending most of your fortune on big, hands-on charity bets instead of funding a foundation upon death. Since you can't take it with you—why not give it all away, have control of where it goes, and see the results with your own eyes?

"We learned a lot. We would do some things differently, but I am very satisfied. I feel very good about completing this on my watch," Feeney tells Forbes. "My thanks to all who joined us on this journey. And to those wondering about Giving While Living: try it, you'll like it."

Over the last four decades, Feeney has donated more than $8 billion to charities, universities, and foundations worldwide through his foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies. When I first met him in 2012, he estimated he had set aside about $2 million for his and his wife's retirement. In other words, he's given away 375,000% more money than his current net worth. And he gave it away anonymously. While many wealthy philanthropists enlist an army of publicists to trumpet their donations, Feeney went to great lengths to keep his gifts secret. Because of his clandestine, globe-trotting philanthropy campaign, Forbes called him the  James Bond of Philanthropy.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2020/09/15/exclusive-the-billionaire-who-wanted-to-die-brokeis-now-officially-broke/#7351e3c3a2aa

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Reply The Billionaire Who Wanted To Die Broke...Is Now Officially Broke (Original post)
Sympthsical Sep 15 OP
moriah Sep 15 #1
wryter2000 Sep 15 #3
ProfessorGAC Sep 15 #6
wryter2000 Sep 15 #8
DFW Sep 15 #14
Hassin Bin Sober Sep 15 #20
DFW Sep 16 #23
oldsoftie Sep 16 #26
DFW Sep 16 #28
oldsoftie Sep 16 #30
Hassin Bin Sober Sep 16 #31
DFW Sep 16 #32
Blue_true Sep 16 #22
Miigwech Sep 15 #2
oldsoftie Sep 16 #27
LakeArenal Sep 15 #4
bucolic_frolic Sep 15 #5
yonder Sep 15 #7
dchill Sep 15 #9
Moostache Sep 15 #12
Mr.Bill Sep 15 #10
calimary Sep 15 #11
SWBTATTReg Sep 15 #13
groundloop Sep 15 #16
LisaM Sep 15 #15
groundloop Sep 15 #17
oldsoftie Sep 16 #25
TeamPooka Sep 15 #18
Pluvious Sep 15 #19
uponit7771 Sep 15 #21
Roy Rolling Sep 16 #24
NCjack Sep 16 #29

Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 01:30 PM

1. While $2 million in retirement isn't exactly "broke", I truly admire giving away 3750x that.

I mean, I wouldn't expect someone who had worked that hard to not want to sock some away to live decently on -- and for medical expenses, as out of pocket costs can be very high at the end of one's life.

But for a person who had accumulated that much wealth, he is a rare individual and more should seek to be like him.

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Response to moriah (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 01:41 PM

3. Medical expenses and nursing home care can be extremely expensive

I'm sure he has insurance, but $2 million isn't much for someone who had so much to begin with. I'd call that quite modest.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 02:29 PM

6. All Relative, Right?

$2 million, plus pensions is about what my wife & I have. So, we're more than ok.
But, we couldn't have given $2 million to charity, let alone nearly $8 billion. Yes, with a couple million they're going to be comfortable, and then some. We are.
But, he could have lived like an emperor, but didn't.
This guy did something both admirable & incredible!
Very cool!

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 02:39 PM

8. Agreed on all counts

The world needs many, many more like him.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 03:35 PM

14. I agree, as opposed to some

Some say that billionaires should be taxed out of existence. Those same people often seem to be of the opinion that they know better how that money should be spent than the person that earned it. Here’s a man who showed the world, as well as those few who could be called his peers, how it could be done best.

There can’t be hordes of people like him, because there aren’t hordes of billionaires. But even in that small elite, Feeney stands out.

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Response to DFW (Reply #14)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:33 PM

20. Won't anyone speak for the billionaires!

Apparently

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #20)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 03:10 AM

23. What, all 540 of them?

That's the approximate number of billionaires in the USA.

There are a few other people in the USA at least as worthy of attention, last time I was there.

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Response to DFW (Reply #14)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:20 AM

26. You dont have to look far; Post #15. Posted right after yours!

People just dont understand that you simply cannot pay for everything on the backs of only the very wealthy. There simply arent enough of them.
You know this, as you live ( I assume you still do) in Europe. Everyone must pay.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #26)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 09:18 AM

28. Yes, I'm still in Germany

Well, today, anyway. My work usually takes me to one of the neighboring countries every day, except for Luxembourg, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Spain, too, though I haven't been back down there since June.

Everyone does indeed pay. Here, the max (on paper 42%, but with add-ons it's in reality around 50%) tax kicks in at less than $100,000 of gross income, and there is a 19% value-added-tax on most everything to boot. When people tell you everything is free in Germany, the answer is that NOTHING is free. It is just paid for differently here. There are billionaires here, too, of course, an estimated 114 of the at last count (Germany has a little less than ¼ of the population of the USA). I saw an updated figure of 705 for the USA. Since I will never be joining their ranks in this lifetime, it's not a number I check on daily, if you know what I mean.

It would be easy to call for an NSDAP-style "Enteignung" of all of America's wealthy people (stopping with just the Jews is SO last century), but when you consider that even if you go full tilt on Bill Gates and take every cent he has, his estimated net worth of $115.6 billion will net every man, woman and child in the USA, say 340 million people, exactly $340 per person, since 34 is the square root of 1156. One off payment. Not even a dollar a day for a year. If we could wipe out need and misery THAT cheaply, I'll bet even Bill Gates would say, sure, here, take it all.

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Response to DFW (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 10:41 AM

30. You should make this an OP. SO many folks here just dont get reality & need to hear it.

And a lot of it really is just "Get the super rich".

Every time I mention the way Europe FUNDS their programs i get blasted. Yet they want the same programs

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Response to DFW (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 02:05 PM

31. Wow. Breaking out the "taxation is NAZIism" and invoking crimes against Jewish people.

I thought I’ve seen it all here. I usually only see this kind of shit when I stumble on a Prager University ad on YouTube.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #31)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 02:50 PM

32. No, Enteignung and full confiscation were Nazi tactics.

Also practiced by good old socialists like Nicolae Caeuşescu. I actually was invited by their government to see part of his stash (impressive! talk about a severe case of "you can't take it with you" ).

The far right doesn't have exclusive rights on the practice. Of course, saying that I am calling all taxation Enteignung is Trump-style polemics. I guess if he can get away with, why not someone on DU, right? You must watch Fox Noise more than I do, as it isn't available here anyway. Whatever floats your boat. I know the difference, and have elderly friends here, and some who fled in time who had it happen to them personally. Their stories help build up immunity to hyperbole.

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Response to moriah (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 12:21 AM

22. He did what I would do. Set aside an amount of money to get one through

the end of life, give what is left over after burial and estate settling to charity.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 01:33 PM

2. What a loser! What did he get out of it?

He has earned his wings and has justly earned the love of his fellow man.

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Response to Miigwech (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:21 AM

27. Todays winner!!

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 01:42 PM

4. ThanksChuck. And Mrs Feeney.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 02:03 PM

5. There's a great YouTube video of him

I'm pretty sure I posted it on DU about 3-4 years ago. He was from Ireland as I recall, and his fortunes were made largely in duty-free shops at airports worldwide - liquor sales iow.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 02:34 PM

7. What a perfect goal to strive for.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 02:47 PM

9. So would this guy be a "loser" or a "sucker?"

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Response to dchill (Reply #9)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 03:11 PM

12. Depends on which Trump answered you...

Donald? "loser"
Melania? "sucker"

Beavis and Butthead? huh-huh-huh...you said 'suck'

Ice Princess? "daddy said that makes you a loser"
Robot Boi? "its really simple, I read an article on it after I solved Middle East Peace with cash bribes..."

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 02:49 PM

10. Actually, I have the same goal.

And I have found a much simpler path to attaining it.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 02:54 PM

11. Kinda restores one's faith, doesn't it!

Angels among us.

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Response to calimary (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 03:20 PM

13. My faith is indeed restored in humanity. But we hear stories of giving on DU all of the time, and

how humanity is good to each other all of the time. It's just too bad that there are too many stories of selfishness and hatred in this world too. Take care!

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Response to calimary (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 03:51 PM

16. Well, it's a start anyway. At least there are some people who aren't greedy bastards.

I need to see more stories like this, it's just too depressing to be constantly wrapped up in tRump news.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 03:38 PM

15. It would be better if he'd been taxed on more of it, though.

We'd all be better off if these people were taxed more, and letting government programs (that have the capacity to offer large-scale relief if they are funded) do their jobs.

I'm sure he means to be generous, but when rich people pick and choose their charities, it doesn't give a reliable funding stream to government agencies, and some of the charities could be things most of us would never want our money to go to.

This has a noblesse oblige feel to me. Just pay more in taxes, guy.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #15)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 03:53 PM

17. I'm sure he paid plenty in taxes - his giving spanned around 4 decades.....

so there were many many years of him paying taxes on his wealth.

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Response to LisaM (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:17 AM

25. "some charities may be things we dont want our money to go to". Jeeze.

"OUR money". Well, it was HIS money, not yours or mine.
And ALL of our tax money goes only to things we want it to, right?

Chances are that his dollars were spent far more efficiently than government would have.
Here we have a man who gives away 99% of his money & yet its STILL not good enough

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:00 PM

18. I'm broker than him and I didn't have to work at it.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 10:30 PM

19. This is, IMHO, our true "purpose" in life

Help the Human race survive, thrive, and advance.

I fantasize about the future, where the race has conquered aging, outgrown its dark traits, and they teach about us early people who made it all possible. And marvel over how we could live with the knowledge of our inexorable mortality.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Tue Sep 15, 2020, 11:55 PM

21. K&R,

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:38 AM

24. My first serious job

My first job was at the Duty Free store in the New Orleans airport. I had no idea who owned it, but being able to roam anywhere around an airport was very cool.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 09:22 AM

29. Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Feeney!

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