The Obamas are worth at least $70 million — take a look at how they make and spend their money

Pool/Getty ImagesThe Obamas are worth millions.

Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are a busy couple.

From speaking at events around the world to writing memoirs and signing a massive production deal with Netflix, the Obamas’ life after the White House has been full and very lucrative.

For her part, Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” was published in November 2018 and became that year’s No. 1 best-selling book. And Obama’s latest memoir, “A Promised Land,” sold nearly 890,000 copies within 24 hours of its November 2020 release.

These endeavours — along with the six-figure pension all former presidents receive — have significantly contributed to the Obamas’ net worth, which is at least $US70 million, according to International Business Times. The New York Post pegged their fortune much higher, at $US135 million.

From philanthropic efforts to vacationing where the sun shines to making long-term investments in his daughters’ education, here’s how the Obamas spend their fortune.


The Obamas entered the White House with a $US1.3 million net worth in 2008. That has since grown to at least $US70 million, according to International Business Times.

AP

Source: American University,CNN Money,International Business Times


From 2005 (when Barack Obama joined the US Senate) to 2016, the Obamas earned a total of $US20.5 million from his government salary, book royalties, investment income, and Michelle Obama’s income from her job at University of Chicago Hospitals before she became the first lady.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Source: Forbes


Obama earned $US400,000 a year during his eight years as president, and he earns an annual pension of about $US200,000 as a former president.

Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Source: GoBankingRates


The lion’s share of the Obamas’ fortune came from books. From 2005 to 2016, Obama earned $US15.6 million in advances and royalties from his books “The Audacity of Hope” and “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters” and royalties for “Dreams From My Father.”

Solaris Images/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


But Barack’s lucrative career as an author isn’t over. In 2017, he and Michelle signed book deals worth at least $US60 million to each write their own memoirs.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Michelle’s memoir, “Becoming,” was published in November 2018. As of March 2019, it had sold almost 10 million copies.

Richard Drew/AP Images

Source: Los Angeles Times


She’s also sold 25 different items of merchandise related to the book, including mugs that retail for $US20 and candles that retail for $US35.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Source: New York Post


And Obama’s memoir, “A Promised Land,” was published more recently in November 2020. It sold nearly 890,000 copies in the US and Canada within 24 of its release.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Source: AP News


Books aren’t the Obamas’ only foray into media — in 2018 they signed a production deal with Netflix, which is estimated to be $US50 million, according to The New York Post.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Source: New York Post


That includes a documentary film, “Becoming,” accompanying Michelle’s memoir. It released on May 6.

Invision/Chris Pizzello via Associated Press

Source: CNN


Since leaving office, Obama has also been paid as much as $US400,000 for public speaking events.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Source: CNBC


He reportedly earned $US800,000 for two speeches to Northern Trust Corp. and the Carlyle Group and a minimum of $US1.2 million for three talks to Wall Street firms in 2017.

Thibault Camus/AP Images

Source: New York Post


And Michelle reportedly rakes in $US225,000 per speaking appearance.

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Source: New York Post


Tickets to her 2018 book tour stop at Barclay’s Centre in Brooklyn ranged from $US307 to $US4,070.

Frank Franklin II/AP Images

Source: New York Post


More recently, Michelle announced plans to host an exclusive podcast with Spotify. ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’ looks at interpersonal relationships and debuted in July.

Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Source: The Verge


All things considered, the Obamas could stand to earn as much as $US242.5 million in their post-presidency life, American University estimated in 2017. But here’s how they have spent their fortune so far …

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Source: American University


The Obamas think long-term when it comes to their money. In 2007, Obama purchased Bright Directions age-based growth plans, each worth $US50,000 to $US100,000, to pay for Malia’s and Sasha’s college education. Malia started at Harvard in fall 2017, while Sasha started at the University of Michigan in fall 2019.

Pool/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider, Town and Country


The Obamas also made an investment in real estate. They needed a new place to live after leaving the White House, so they purchased an 8,200-square-foot mansion in Washington, DC, for $US8.1 million after previously renting it.

Pool/Getty Images

Source: Washington Post


At the time of purchase, it was reportedly the second-most-expensive home in the neighbourhood, right behind Jeff Bezos’ former textile museum turned mansion.

Harrison Jacobs/Business InsiderThe Kalorama neighbourhood of Washington, DC.

Source: Washington Post


In addition to their residence in Washington, DC, the Obamas still own their home in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighbourhood that they bought for $US1.65 million in 2005. They took out a $US1.3 million mortgage on the home. It’s valued at about $US2.5 million.

Getty Images

Source: Chicago Tribune,Cook County Assessor’s Office,Cook County Recorder of Deeds


In late 2019, the Obamas reportedly purchased a 6,892-square-foot house on Martha’s Vineyard for $US11.75 million. According to the report from the Vineyard Gazette, it sits on nearly 30 acres overlooking the Edgartown Great Pond.

Courtesy of LandVest

Source: Vineyard Gazette


The Obamas have also enjoyed several vacations since leaving the White House. They first headed to Southern California and eventually made their way to Necker Island, where Obama was spotted kitesurfing with Richard Branson.

Getty Images

Sources: Business Insider,Time


Obama also visited his home state of Hawaii and the island of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, where he checked into a luxury resort called The Brando. A night there in a one-bedroom villa can cost anywhere from $US3,034 to $US4,318.

Chris Carlson/AP Photos

Source: Time,The Brando


The Obamas have also been spotted on David Geffen’s yacht with Oprah, Tom Hanks, and Bruce Springsteen; at a wine tasting in Tuscany; and river rafting in Indonesia.

Antara Foto Agency/Reuters

Source: Business Insider,Time


The General Services Administration is required to provide a former president with enough money to cover travel and business expenses, so it’s hard to say how much of their own money the Obamas spent on their vacations.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photos

Source: Business Insider


We do know wardrobe isn’t included in the package of presidential benefits and perks.

Reuters

Source: Business Insider


While Michelle has donned expensive designer clothes like pieces from Naeem Khan and a Versace gown worth an estimated $US12,000 for special events as the first lady, she’s also known for her casual, relatable style. She’s often been spotted in affordable brands like J. Crew, Target, and Converse.

MediaPunch/AP Photos

Source: New York Times,Business Insider


Of course, she needs the perfect outfit for date night, which she and Barack always make time for. The couple was once spotted attending a Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert.

Elise Amendola/AP ImagesThe 2008 Inaugural Ball.

Source: Business Insider


Not all aspects of their lives are as lavish as their vacations. Michelle opts for a bag lunch, like turkey chilli, over eating out, the former president’s chief of staff told People magazine in 2017. And she’s a regular at SoulCycle, which costs $US36 a class or $US900 for 30 classes.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photos

Source: People


The Obamas also spend a significant amount of their money on philanthropy. From 2009 to 2015, they gave $US1.1 million to charity, Forbes reported.

Pool/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


During that time frame, they donated to charities focusing on African-American causes, veterans, disaster relief, homelessness and housing, and health. More than half of their donations went to organisations for children.

Pool/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


Obama donated all the post-tax profits from his children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing,” to provide scholarships for children of wounded and fallen soldiers. The donations totaled $US392,000 from 2009 to 2015.

Pool/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


In 2015, Obama’s penultimate year in office, the Obamas donated more than $US64,000, or about 15% of their income, to 34 charities, Time reported, citing tax returns.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Time


But none of this includes Obama’s biggest donation to date: his $US1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize award in 2009, all of which he donated to multiple charities.

Pool/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

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