Does it pay to be a former president? Barack Obama’s net worth
Barack & Michelle Obama have done way more than just be Mr. and Mrs. President. Their variety of financial ventures have contributed a lot to their net worth.
Barack Obama himself has a net worth of $70 million, according to International Business Times. The New York Post estimates the number is much higher. Together, the publication estimates the couple possesses a combined net worth of $135 million.
Business Insider says Barack gets a six-figure pension for the time spent as president, but that’s just one source of revenue for the Obamas. Barack Obama & Michelle Obama have no trouble staying busy. Even after leaving the White House, the two have released books and done speaking events & other activities to earn money. There are so many ways the pair has earned their net worth.
Before and after presidency
According to Business Insider, Barack & Michelle Obama had a net worth of $1.3 million in 2008 when they first entered the White House.
Barack Obama became a U.S. senator in 2005. From 2005 to the time he left office for good in 2016, the Obamas earned $20.5 million. That money came from Barack Obama’s salary, book sales, investments, and Michelle Obama’s salary before she entered the White House as First Lady. Throughout his two terms as president, Barack Obama made $400,000 a year.
According to a 2017 estimate from American University, the Obama couple could earn up to $242.5 million. There are a number of ways they earn money.
Net worth from books
Barack Obama & Michelle Obama’s net worth comes partly from books they’ve written. According to Business Insider, Barack Obama made $15.6 million during the years 2005 to 2016 from his three books The Audacity of Hope, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, and Dreams From My Father.
Both the Obamas also released memoirs after they left the White House. Michelle Obama wrote a memoir called Becoming, which was published in 2018 and became the bestselling book of the year.
Barack Obama released a memoir called A Promised Land, which was released in November 2020.
Other media involvements
The Obamas have other media-related ventures besides books. The two signed a production deal with Netflix in 2018. The New York Times estimated the deal to be worth $50 million.
Part of the Netflix deal was the documentary Becoming, released in 2020, which accompanied Michelle Obama’s memoir. In addition to the documentary, the former First Lady also had a 2018 book tour. Michelle Obama hosts a podcast on Spotify called The Michelle Obama Podcast.
The Obamas also get paid for public speaking, which increases their net worth quite a bit. Business Insider says Barack Obama has been paid up to $400,000 for speaking at events. Michelle Obama makes approximately $225,000 for public speaking.
Investments & real estate
Part of where Barack Obama & Michelle Obama get their net worth is from the investments they’ve made. In 2007, Barack Obama bought growth plans for his two daughters in order to pay for their college education.
After the two left the White House, they moved to a mansion they bought in Washington, D.C. According to Business Insider, the two bought the house for $8.1 million.
How the Obamas spend their money
Since leaving the White House, the Obamas have been on several vacations. However, they also spend part of their net worth on people in need. According to Forbes, the couple gave $1.1 million to charity from 2009 to 2015. They donated to charities that helped African-American causes, disaster relief, homelessness, veterans, and more.
Barack Obama also donated post-tax profits from his book Of Thee I Sing. The profits went toward scholarships for children of wounded and fallen soldiers.
During his final year in office, Barack Obama & Michelle Obama donated about fifteen percent of their income to thirty-four different charities, according to Time. One of the biggest donations Barack Obama ever gave was in 2009, when he gave away his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize award.