Even if they sold everything they're limited by regulations to a few percent per year. Since billionaires have maybe a few decades left to live its not even possible.

If they donated shares then the charity would have the same problem and give them back to not be accused of manipulating.

Assuming its in bank account there is a very low ACH limit (few thousand per day), and checks take time to order and have their own limit on what will fit in the amount box.

Is it even possible for billionaires to spend their wealth in their lifetime?

Here's an example that was given: Billionaire Chuck Feeney has finally given away his entire $8 billion fortune after making secret donations for decades.

It took 40 years to give away 8 billion, and its unlikely to be an actual donation because he probably still controls some part of those charities and has enormous connections built on that.

  • 2
    Could easily be answered with a simple search. Here's one who did it recently: insider.com/… There's also no real limit on how large an amount can go on a personal check. Here's one for nearly a billion. Note that it took two lines to write the amount: abcnews.go.com/Business/…
    – jamesqf
    Oct 5, 2020 at 2:03
  • But that took enormous time and effort to cash. And your other example was 1/10th the wealth of top billionaires
    – user103008
    Oct 5, 2020 at 3:03
  • 1
    @user103008 So make it 10 times that amount. Like he said, there isn't really a limit.
    – glibdud
    Oct 5, 2020 at 3:33
  • I havent seen the limit been tested. And in the exmaple you gave the guy is nearly dead.
    – user103008
    Oct 5, 2020 at 3:40
  • 3
    What does "Even if they sold everything they're limited by regulations to a few percent per year" mean? Oct 5, 2020 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


Almost everything you write in the question is nonsensical.

There are no regulations dictating how people spend their money. People can and do buy consumer items worth hundreds of millions of dollars (superyachts would be an example, private jets another), and nothing prevents them.

Likewise there is no restrictions on how much you give away. You may not get a tax refund on a very large donation, and you may even pay tax on a very large single donation, but you won't be stopped from doing it. Bill and Melinda Gates have given around $36billion to their foundation, taking less than 36 years to do it.