Bill Gates is seeing the world in a new light now that he has become a grandfather. His eldest child Jennifer, 26, announced the birth of her daughter in a March 4 Instagram post. But neither grandparenthood nor age — he recently turned 67 — is slowing down the Microsoft cofounder and cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who says he has no plans to retire. Gates promises to continue his goal of donating the majority of his wealth to fighting inequities in society and will measure the success of that effort by when his giving drops him off the list of the world’s richest people. AARP asked Gates to talk more about his short- and long-term plans and his hopes for his new granddaughter and her generation. Here are his written responses to AARP’s questions.
You shared in your 2023 Gates Foundation letter, “The Future Our Grandchildren Deserve,” that you were now looking at the world through the lens of becoming a grandfather. Your granddaughter was just born earlier this year. How has that changed your perspective?
Now that I have a grandchild, I’m thinking even more about the future — and I’m more inspired than ever to make sure it’s a place where everyone’s children and grandchildren have the chance to survive and thrive.
Becoming a grandfather has also given new dimension to my role as a dad. It’s thrilling to see the kids you raised figure out how they want to parent.
You’re 67 now, old enough to qualify for Medicare and collect Social Security, yet still hard at work. Your friend and fellow philanthropist Warren Buffett remains on the job at age 92. With all you’ve accomplished, what’s left? What is your top unrealized goal?
At home, I’m trying to be the best grandparent and parent possible.
At work, I’m still going full speed on the project I began more than two decades ago, which is to help reduce the inequities I see around the world by giving the vast majority of my resources back to society. On a typical day, I might spend the morning talking about ways to reduce childhood mortality with our amazing team at the Gates Foundation; lunch meeting with some of the Alzheimer’s researchers I support; and the afternoon learning about next-gen clean energy technology.