The Obamas are worth 30 times more than when they entered the White House in 2008 — here’s how they spend their millions

Barack Obama has an estimated net worth of $40 million.

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Barack Obama has an estimated net worth of $40 million.
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Pool/Getty Images

  • Barack Obama’s net worth is estimated to be $40 million.
  • Aside from the six-figure pension he receives as a former president, Obama has made millions from speaking engagements and his best-selling books.
  • While Obama spends his money in various ways, he loves to donate to charity and take vacations with his wife, Michelle.

Former President Barack Obama is a busy guy.

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

These endeavors – along with the six-figure pension all former presidents receive – have significantly contributed to Obama’s estimated net worth of $40 million.

From the time he joined the US Senate in 2005 to the end of his presidency, Obama made $20 million alone from his presidential salary, book royalties, and investments, Forbes reported. And based on all the projects he has taken on in the short time since leaving the White House, we can only expect him to make many millions more.

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


The Obamas entered the White House with a $1.3 million net worth in 2008. That has since grown to an estimated $40 million.

Source: American University, CNN Money, GoBankingRates


From 2005 (when Barack Obama joined the US Senate) to 2016, the Obamas earned a total of $20.5 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.

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Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Source: Forbes


Obama earned $400,000 a year during his eight years as president, and he earns an annual pension of about $200,000 as a former president.

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Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Source: GoBankingRates


The lion’s share of the Obamas’ fortune came from books. From 2005 to 2016, Obama earned $15.6 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,” Forbes reported, citing tax returns and financial documents.

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Solaris Images/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


But Barack’s lucrative career as an author isn’t over. Last year, he and Michelle signed book deals worth at least $60 million.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Books aren’t the Obamas’ only foray into media — they recently signed a production deal with Netflix. While financial details haven’t been released, The New York Times reported that previous similar deals were worth tens of millions of dollars.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Source: New York Times


Since leaving office, Obama has also been paid as much as $400,000 for public speaking events.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Source: CNBC


All things considered, the Obamas could stand to earn as much as $242.5 million in their post-presidency life, American University estimated. But here’s how they’ve spent their fortune so far …

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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 $50,000 to $100,000, to pay for Malia’s and Sasha’s college education. Malia started at Harvard last fall.

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Pool/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


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 $8.1 million after previously renting it.

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Pool/Getty Images

Source: Washington Post


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

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The Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC.
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Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Source: Washington Post


In addition to their residence in Washington, DC, the Obamas still own their home in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood that they bought for $1.65 million in 2005. They took out a $1.3 million mortgage on the home. It’s valued at about $2.5 million.

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Getty Images

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


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.

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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 $3,034 to $4,318.

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.

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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.

Source: Business Insider


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

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Reuters

Source: Business Insider


While Michelle has donned expensive designer clothes like pieces from Naeem Khan and a Versace gown worth an estimated $12,000 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.

Source: New York Times, Business Insider


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

Source: Business Insider


Not all aspects of their lives are as lavish as their vacations. Michelle opts for a bag lunch, like turkey chili, over eating out, the former president’s chief of staff told People magazine. And she’s a regular at SoulCycle, which costs $36 a class or $900 for 30 classes.

Source: People


The Obamas also spend a significant amount of their money on philanthropy. From 2009 to 2015, they gave $1.1 million to charity, Forbes reported.

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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 organizations for children.

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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 $392,000 from 2009 to 2015.

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Pool/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


In 2015, Obama’s penultimate year in office, the Obamas donated more than $64,000, or about 15% of their income, to 34 charities, Time reported, citing tax returns.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Time


But none of this includes Obama’s biggest donation to date: his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize award in 2009, all of which he donated to multiple charities.

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Pool/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider