Indeed, Gates’ notion of an “active” retirement is far more ambitious than most people’s careers. After all, he’s only 54 years old, and he still has an enormous fortune estimated at $50 billion to manage, even after pouring tens of billions of dollars into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Apart from his role as co-chair of the foundation and his side-gig at Microsoft, he also joined the board of Berkshire Hathaway (BKRA) at the behest of buddy Warren Buffett.
And as he has adapted to his new, post-Microsoft routines, he has more aggressively used the bully pulpit of being both the world’s most celebrated entrepreneur and its most generous philanthropist to influence the world in new ways. He’s always had the ear of the business world, but now he frequently meets with heads of state to lobby for more humanitarian aid for the developing world, and he visits CEOs to urge them to consider ways to serve customers there.