Elton John has discussed how he won’t be leaving all of his estimated £200m fortune to his children, as he wants them to stay grounded. A wise choice, to be sure.
Elton, alongside his husband David Furnish, spoke with the Mirror saying how while they wanted their children to be financially secure, they also wanted them to earn their own money.
Elton said: “Of course I want to leave my boys in a very sound financial state, but it’s terrible to give kids a silver spoon. It ruins their life. Listen, the boys live the most incredible lives, they’re not normal kids, and I’m not pretending they are. But you have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work. I came from a very working class family and was born in a council estate house. I earned everything I did from hard work and that’s the way they’ve got to do it as well.”
This perspective is probably not only tied to his upbringing, but also to the kids themselves. Elton went on to say how having kids brought his own lavish spending on things like yachts and designer wardrobes, back down to earth.
“Having children changed everything about my life. I’ve learned that the simplest things in life – like having a minute with them – are worth more than any painting, any photograph, any house or any hit record. Before we had the children we just had our lives, and would spend money because we didn’t have anything else to focus on. We have really toned things down because we have enough stuff. There is nothing else we need.”
While the couple are undoubtedly still working out the details, they seem to be taking some inspiration from Warren Buffett. As you may know, Warren is leaving half of his £53 billion fortune to charity and considerably less to his children.
David chimed in, saying: “Warren Buffet, the third wealthiest man in America, has a really cool model in that he leaves his children enough money so that they have a house, a car and all their basic needs covered and cared for so they never need worry. But it’s not crazy, silly, go-wild money so that they could be buying Picassos or private jets. Anything beyond the basic, they have to go out and earn it themselves.”
“If they want a Picasso, they have to go out and earn it. I think there’s real sensibility in that. The greatest joys, everything Elton and I have created, have come from hard work and that’s where your self-esteem comes from.”
Another inspiration for this legendary couple seems to be Sting, who also said this children wouldn’t inherit his £180m fortune. He likened the money to “albatrosses round their necks”.
Elton seems to agree with this philosophy, saying: ““I think what Sting said is very right, it’s a good idea. I came from a very working class family and was born in a council estate house. I earned everything I did from hard work and that’s the way they’ve got to do it as well. They have to do chores in the house – take their plates to be cleaned, help in the kitchen, tidy their rooms and help in the garden, and each time they do they get a little star to put on these charts they’ve made. They understand they need to do these things, and they enjoy it.”