Billionaire Carlos Slim: People Should Only Work Three Days a Week

Saturday, 19 Jul 2014 05:21 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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One of the world's richest people has a suggestion for the rest of us: Work way less than you do right now.

Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim said during a business conference in Paraguay that it's time for people to have a "radical overhaul" in the way they approach work — and that means working just three days a week, The Financial Times reports.

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With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life,” Slim said. “Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied."

It sounds all well and good, but there's a catch, said the 74-year-old self-made billionaire. Even though people would only be working three days a week, those three day weeks would go on for many more years, so instead of people retiring at age 50 or 60, Slim said, they'd be working until they were in their 70s.

And there's another catch — instead of working a traditional eight-hour day, Slim recommends putting in 11 hours.

The move would create a more healthy and productive labor force, Slim said, and would allow people to keep earning as they move into retirement.

Slim's company, Telemex, recently started a new labor contract for its workers. It doesn't require three day only work weeks, but it allows employees to start working in their late teens and retire before they turn 50. If they want to work past then, they can come in and work for four days weekly and still take home their full pay.

Slim is worth an estimated $80 billion, about the same as Microsoft founder Bill Gates, according to Forbes, which ranks Gates in the No. 1 spot.

But even though Slim is at retirement age, that likely doesn't mean he's quit working or has even himself scaled back to three days a week, as he remains quite active in his holdings.

Last month he said he plans to sell off about a fifth of América Móvil  to avoid regulatory sanctions.

But he still makes time for another love beyond money: art. Slim opened a museum, the Museo Soumaya in March and dedicated it to the memory of his late wife.

His museum showcases just 3,400 of the 64,000 pieces of artwork Slim has collected through the years, reports Forbes. Entrance is free to the museum, which some 650,000 people have visited to date to see items ranging from Rodin and Dali sculptures to Thomas Edison's first phonograph.

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