The death of Charlie Munger this week at 99 years old made me think again about the age old question: what is all that money for? Charlie Munger, who ran Berkshire Hathaway with Warren Buffett, gave over 75% of his assets away over many years. He never showed up in the list of the 500 richest people although he would have if he held on to his Berkshire Hathaway stock. Just this month he donated shares worth $40 million to a library and an art gallery.

Few of us have that kind of money and honestly, even doubling the money you have may not make you happy. At least that is what Warren Buffett said who still lives in a house in Omaha he bought in 1958. From the pictures, it is nicely updated and very livable.

Buffett, too, has a plan to give away most of his money. He also has created a trust to control Berkshire Hathaway for 10 years after he dies to give the management team time to show investors they can keep growing BH without the founders. Smart thinking.

Munger didn’t know how long he would live and started giving a lot of money away in 1996 when he was in his early 70’s. I suppose one could think, how many billions do I need? For the rest of us, maybe giving an extra $1000 is hard to contemplate. If it is not, than I suggest you give it before year end and get a tax break for your good deed. Have a plan around people or causes you want to support and put some effort behind improving this world in some small way. If you do it as a company/group effort, it helps bind the team, too.

It is said that you get more from the act of giving than the gift itself. Charlie said he won’t need the money where he was going. He was a big presence in the L.A community. He will be remembered for his intelligence, and his generosity.

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