The man in charge of the United States with the weight of the nation on his shoulders, and arguably the toughest job in America, also has decently deep pockets. President Barack Obama is not as wealthy as some businessmen and entertainers and he’s not even close to being the richest president in history, but if you add up his salary, book profits and the many perks that come with being the leader of the U.S., he’s doing alright.
Here’s what you need to know about the president’s money:
1. He is Not Considered Among The Richest Presidents
While most presidents were worth millions of dollars, some were much wealthier than others. It’s all relative to the time period and how much decades-ago money is worth now.
George Washington is considered the richest president, worth about $525 million in 2015 dollars. His salary was 2 percent of the total U.S. budget and the plantation he owned was 8,000 acres, according to 24/7 Wall Street. But certainly not every president was as wealthy as the first, in fact many went bankrupt, and Abraham Lincoln, for example, is worth less than 1 million.
Still, Obama is considered to be on the lower end of the spectrum with the other presidents who are worth a few million.
2. His Two Books Grossed $5.7 Million During Their Peak Sales Year
Much of Obama’s money comes from the books he writes, two of which were written before he was president. And his future post-presidency memoir? It’s expected to make $20 million, according to the Washington Post. Every publisher wants to get their name on the president’s autobiography and Obama’s will surely be no different.
In 2009, Obama’s book sales peaked and he grossed nearly $5.7 million, but by 2010, gross book revenues had dropped to $1.6 million, according to Forbes.
He also wrote another book in 2010, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters, published November 2010. Proceeds from that project go to the Fisher House Foundation for scholarships for children of fallen and disabled soldiers. In this book, Obama writes a letter to his daughters discussing some of America’s most influential and groundbreaking people, according to the Amazon description. “From the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children.”
3. His Salary as President is $400,000
The president’s annual salary is $400,000, but what is he doing with that money? Considering the president is provided with a home, transportation, as well as an expense and entertainment account, his current every day expenses are not like that of an average person. But even the president has to save money.
Obama has about $3.4 million in treasury bills and about $300,000 in college funds for his daughters, as well as $90,000 in a State of Illinois pension fund, according to Forbes.
During the 2013 sequester when many budget cuts took effect, Obama offered to put 5 percent of his salary toward the department of treasury. Although his salary could not officially be changed, he was able to write a check every month for that year, according to CNN. The White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said in April of 2013:
“The President has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury. He instructed his staff he wanted to do this when the sequester took effect.”
4. He Earns About $1.5 Million Toward His Pension Each Year in Office
Although Obama’s salary is a set figure, he gets money to put towards a pension as well, according to Business Week. His pension earnings were estimated at $1.5 million per year he is in office, but these figures were determined before his re-election so his amount of pension money could actually be more.
Obama also won’t just walk away from the White House with a pension, former presidents, as well as their wives, are provided with lifetime Secret Service protection, an office and staff, medical service at military hospitals for their families, and a state funeral when they pass away, according to the Congressional Research Service.
5. The Obama’s Have a $500,000 to $1 Million Mortgage on Their Chicago Home
The Obamas own a 6,200-square-foot, 6-bathroom, 3-fireplace home in Hyde Park, Chicago. They bought the property at $1.65 million in 2005 and reportedly have a $500,000 to $1 million mortgage, according to Forbes.
They also haven’t chosen to refinance the 30-year mortgage they took out in 2005, which has a 5.625 percent rate, according to Business Week. Obama said in August 2013 while he was encouraging people to refinance mortgages:
“I would probably benefit from refinancing right now. I would save some money. When you’re President, you have to be a little careful about these transactions, so we haven’t refinanced.”