If your father is one of the richest men in the world, you can assume that much of that wealth will flow your way, right?Not if you're Peter Buffett. And he says he's happy with the way his life has turned out.The 54-year-old son of famed investor Warren Buffett, head of the Berkshire Hathaway corporate empire, is a successful musician who has written songs for movies and advertisements and cut his own CDs.He was able to pursue a career in music after his father gave him inheritance money at 19 from the sale of his grandfather's farm. But more importantly, he was told that the gift -- stock then valued at about $90,000 -- would be the only money he would get.It reflects a credo that Warren Buffett has carried through his life: Give your children enough so they can do anything, but not so much that they do nothing."One of the key components of how hard I worked to make it is that I never expected another penny from my parents. He made that very clear," Buffett said. "I had to make my own way."Buffett dropped out of Stanford University and used some of the money to move to San Francisco and buy recording equipment to start his own studio. His father helped him set up a budget to help him stretch his dollars.Over the years, as his father evolved from a successful Omaha, Neb., businessman into one of the world's most renowned investors, Peter Buffett built his own music career. And despite Berkshire's incredible growth, he says he doesn't regret the fact that if he had stayed at Stanford and not sold those shares, they would be worth more than $70 million today. (In Fort Worth, Berkshire owns BNSF Railway, Justin Boots, Acme Brick and TTI.)Nor was Peter Buffett, or his brother and sister, surprised when in 2006 his father announced that he would give away 85 percent of his wealth, primarily to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Last week, Forbes magazine estimated the value of Buffett's fortune at $46 billion."We didn't feel entitled to my dad's wealth," he said.In 2010, Peter Buffett wrote a book about the values that have shaped his life. Life Is What You Make It tells his story as Warren Buffett's son and the importance of forging your own path and relishing work over money. Thursday, as part of Ursuline Academy of Dallas' Lunch with a View, he will appear at the Sheraton Dallas hotel for a concert and conversation, where he will play piano and share personal anecdotes.The Star-Telegram spoke with Buffett last week about wealth and work.Why are so many people hung up on getting rich in America?I think there are multiple things working at the same time. There is such a focus on consumerism and stuff and what you own. I look at 10-year-olds. When I was a kid, you would play and make stuff up and live in fantasy world. Now 10-year-old want iPhones and electronic devices. I think there's such a shift; what we own is who we are. It's always been that way, but it's gotten out of control. Consumerism is a drug.When rock stars first got wealthy, they flew around in jets, and we were like, 'Wow, that's the rock star life.' Now investment bankers are those people. When investment bankers become the rock stars, there's something wrong with that.Does your father agree with you on that?He would think more that way than you think. People always say, 'Gee, your dad must be disappointed you didn't go into finance.' Well, we actually have done the same thing. We do what we love.My dad would agree that it's not about following what everyone is doing. It's about doing something that you really love. It's about having a life you enjoy.There are plenty of wealthy people in the U.S., but there are far more people without a lot of money. What does your story say to the average American?At the beginning of my show, I say that people must think, 'Well, that's easy for you to say. You're a Buffett.' I'd like to believe that's true, but I did have three mortgages and had to dig myself out of a lot of stupid holes I dug.I would say that for the average person, it sort of reinforces what's in a person's gut, that it's not about having a giant house and a bunch of cars. It's easy to get sucked into believing that, but there are a lot of unhappy people with houses and cars. It reminds people that it really is about experiences in life, relationships you have and following something that feels true to you.There's new Census data that underscores the growing inequality in this country. We have more rich people but also rising poverty. How do you view that issue from your perspective?There are some, and maybe multiple, fundamental flaws in our system. I can't name then, I'm not an economist. ...Everybody gets up in arms about socialism and redistribution, but there has to be something done to create a world that is more equitable and can help people live full lives. There will always be inequality, but the level we have and the systemic nature of it is a real problem. Inequality is the symptom, not the real problem. The problem is what creates that.Your father has endorsed increasing taxes on the rich. There's even a proposal called the Buffett rule. Do you agree with that?Absolutely. I completely agree that somehow taxes are going to have to go up on people who have a lot of money, and loopholes are going to have to be closed for real. There is something like $21-plus trillion hidden offshore by various people trying to get around taxes ... Big banking organizations are helping that happen. That stuff has got to be shut down, and then we can have resources going into things like education ... Radical things need to happen.What did you think when you heard that your father was going to donate the bulk of his wealth to the Gates Foundation?We always knew, the three of us (Peter, his brother and sister). We just knew it. We didn't feel entitled to my dad's wealth. That aspect of it wasn't even a question. The first thing I did, when he decided to do it in 2006, I called him up and told him how proud of him I was. What a great thing to do while he was still alive and make a statement out of it ...The only concern, from my perspective, is having any single organization having to move that amount of money as Gates does.You're still in the will, though, right?Yes, I think. My sister and brother and I have the will, so we know what it says. There's no secret.. But I think people would be stunned at the zeros in front of the percentage of dad's wealth we're getting. But it's more than enough ... I didn't expect to get anything, frankly. That's how great my parents were ... they did a good job with us not feeling entitled. Our life was ours, and we had to make it.