Here's How Much The Obamas Are Really Worth

In case you didn't know it already, the Obamas are rich! No, we don't mean rich as in they have a couple of million earned from their tenure in the White House. With some smart money moves and a lot of charisma, the Obamas may be a billion-dollar brand in the making.  Hey, if Jay-Z can become the world's first billionaire rapper, why can't his good friends, the Obamas, become super rich too? Since leaving the White House in 2017, the Obamas' wealth has continued to grow. Call it the Midas touch, because everything they've done since the end of Barack Obama's presidency has turned to gold. They've brokered deals with massive brands and can demand six figures simply for getting out of bed. 

Yet all that wealth and fame comes at a cost. Living large isn't cheap. The Obamas are hard workers and big spenders who make headlines for island hopping with billionaire types. The Chicago natives might have started off with humble beginnings, but this former first family has apparently grown accustomed to the finer things in life. Just wait until you see how much it costs to vacation with this crew! Pack your bags and brace yourselves, because here's how much the Obamas are really worth.

Barack Obama used to work two jobs to make ends meet

Once upon a time, Barack Obama was just another hard-working citizen holding down two jobs. In 2004, Obama earned $80,287 as an Illinois state senator and $32,144 as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, reported MSN. Okay, so Barry certainly wasn't toiling away at two minimum-wage jobs like a lot of Americans. He  enjoyed his side hustle immensely. "I loved the law school classroom: the stripped-down nature of it, the high-wire act of standing in front of a room at the beginning of each class with just blackboard and chalk..." he wrote in his memoir, The Audacity of Hope.

Obama was apparently popular with students and staff, but some argued that the future president was too accommodating in his classroom. "Some claimed he was a bit too diplomatic, and would sit on the fence with some issues, but I never found this to be true," former student Jesse Ruiz told The Guardian. "He always encouraged students to challenge everything, to stand up for what they believed in." 

Moving to D.C. and moving on up

The Obamas were already doing just fine before they moved into the White House after the 2008 presidential election. Barack and Michelle's careers were taking off and daughters Malia and Sasha were receiving private-school education. In fact, the family had already become part of the million-dollar club. According to the Obamas' 2006 tax return (via The Wall Street Journal), Barack reportedly earned $157,082 as a U.S. Senator and raked in more than 500K in book sales. 

While the rookie U.S. senator may have been nabbing more headlines at the time, his wife's career was certainly nothing to sneeze at. Michelle reportedly brought in more than $51,000 serving on the board of the controversial TreeHouse Foods and earned a healthy $273,618 as vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She resigned from the board of TreeHouse Foods in 2007 and left her job with the University of Chicago in 2009, because by that time, she was, you know, taking on a new position as first lady of the United States of America. 

Becoming president includes a nice little pension

As President of the United States, Barack Obama earned a $400,000 salary, plus an expense allowance, a non-taxable travel account, an allotment for entertainment, the ability to travel around in a limo, plane, or chopper, and a rent-free pad at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. According to CNBC, that kind of cheddar is "enough to put the president among the top 1 percent of earners in the United States." But becoming the leader of the free world is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to moola.

Did you know that all former presidents receive an annual pension for life, plus other perks? It's called the Former Presidents Act, and according to The Washington Times, that legislation hooks up Obama with $207,800 annually, plus medical care, staff, and Secret Service protection. According to the Houston Chronicle, the fiscal year 2018 budget included a $536,000 request for office space for Obama. Perks for former presidents have come under fire in recent years, considering the pocketbooks of most ex-presidents have plenty of padding. Do the Obamas really need free postage for life? Keep reading and decide for yourself.

The Obamas' speaking fees will blow your mind

Barack Obama is an influencer, and as you probably know by now, it pays well to possess that kind of pull. But while models and YouTubers are earning thousands per social media post, other celebrities can claim six-figures or more for an hour-long speech. Would you like Obama to speak at your conference or birthday party? Be prepared to shell out a cool $400,000 for the privilege. The former president has come under fire for cashing in on lectures for big business types. The New York Post called him "Wall Street's new 'fat cat'" in 2017, but Barry's spokesperson countered that "regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision and his record."

The former first lady also earns a pretty penny for her thoughts. In 2017, Michelle Obama was reportedly earning as much as $200,000 per speech, but following the 2018 release of her best-selling book, Becoming, Michelle launched a massive book tour that brought in beaucoup bucks. According to The Washington Post, her "Beyoncé-level sales" included ticket packages ranging from "$29.50 for perches in the nosebleeds to $3,000 for front-row seats." 

The Obamas are making it rain as writers

Considering everything that Michelle and Barack Obama touch (or say) turns to gold, it's no wonder they rake in millions as writers. According to a 2017 Forbes report, the former president "has made $8.8 million from his bestseller Audacity of Hope and children's book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters" and at least $6.8 million off of Dreams From My Father.

And then there's Michelle, who really shines bright like a diamond in this arena. According to NBC News, Becoming has become one of the best-selling autobiographies in history — and the former first lady reportedly received an advance of more than $60 million from Bertelsmann's Penguin Random House division. 

Rumor has it that the Obamas also may have negotiated "a joint deal at Penguin Random House worth a reported $65 million," according to Publisher's Weekly, and NBC News reported that the 44th president is also working on a memoir about his White House tenure. It seems the Obamas may be in competition primarily with themselves in the literary world. Oh, and by the way, this power couple also brokered a big deal with Netflix. According to Variety, the Obamas will "potentially work on scripted and unscripted series as well as docu-series, documentary films, and features under the multi-year deal."

The Obamas rub elbows with the world's wealthiest

When you're on track to become one of Washington's richest power couples, you should probably choose your neighbors wisely. If Michelle Obama wants to borrow a cup of sugar for her famed apple cobbler, she can do so from one of the richest men in modern history. When the Obamas decided to remain in D.C. after leaving the White House, they bought an eight-bedroom, nine-and-a-half-bath home in the city's Kalorama neighborhood for $8.1 million. According to The Washington Post, it was the second-most expensive home in the area — second only to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' $23 million mansion in the former Textile Museum.

"The historic neighborhood is home to numerous bigwigs in media, politics, diplomacy, and lobbying," reported Business Insider, include Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. It's also where former president Woodrow Wilson spent the remainder of his days post-presidency, and ex-presidents Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Warren Harding, and Herbert Hoover "all called the neighborhood home at some point in the early 20th century," per Town & Country.

Vacationing with the Obamas could cost you a year's salary ... per night

It's go big or go home when you vacation with the Obamas. When Michelle and Barack Obama needed some R&R after leaving the White House, they reportedly traveled to Sir Richard Branson's private tropical paradise, known as Necker Island. According to The Virgin Islands Daily News, rates on the 74-acre island run about "$42,000 per night" — that's the median annual household annual in Mississippi. In addition to million-dollar views of the Caribbean, guests can paddleboat, wine and dine, and feed the wildlife. This little slice of heaven has been a favorite for other celebrities, including model Kate Moss, former South African President Nelson Mandela, and Princess Diana.

If you're looking for a European holiday, why not consider France with the former first family? While you're scouring Airbnb, the Obamas will be checking into a place that rents for about $62,000 per week (via CNBC). Multiple reports said the family's June 2019 vacation to the South of France included wining and dining and some adventuring off the beaten path. "I never thought I'd see Barack Obama and his family in my village," Francis Farge, the mayor of the tiny community of Lioux, told People. "They hiked the 7.5 miles trail along the cliffs of the Madeleine and even went up to the windmill."

The Obamas party with Hollywood's elite

"I'm on a boat" has a whole new meaning when it's with the Obamas. Even living legend Oprah Winfrey was apparently starstruck when she spoke about her vacation with the former president. Not that she was willing to say much about 2017 island hopping adventure. "What happens on the boat, stays on the boat," the billionaire media mogul told Us Weekly. "It was lovely." Did we mention that Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks were also on board that $300 million luxury yacht known as the Rising Sun?

Feeling a little inadequate? Don't worry, so was Hanks. He dropped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to complain about "little Tommy Hanks" getting "screwed" on that trip. During an island excursion, Hanks felt left behind — literally. "The Secret Service guys hopped on these brand new shiny bikes with bells and leather saddles and those streamers that come off the handle bars," he recalled. "...Everybody takes off, Oprah, the former president, they're all gone. And I have a bike that you couldn't deliver newspapers with." If you look closely at the photo above, we'd like to think the guy paddleboarding on the bottom right is Hanks desperately trying to keep up with the boat.

The Obamas are big spenders and big donors

The Obamas might be big spenders who party with Hollywood royalty, but Michelle and Barack are also big givers. According to Forbes, "Barack Obama gave away more than $1 million while he was President of the United States, more than half of which went to charities supporting children." The biggest single recipient during his presidency was the Fisher House Foundation, which supports families of veterans. Forbes reported that Obama donated proceeds from his children's book, Of Thee I Sing, to the foundation to "support a scholarship fund for children of wounded and fallen soldiers." That donation reportedly totaled $392,000 between 2009 and 2015. Obama also opened his wallet following tragic events. "He gave $2,000 to a fund for families affected by the Boston bombing in 2013 and another $2,000 to the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, which promotes gun control, three years after a shooter terrorized Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012," reported Forbes.

After leaving the White House, the Obamas launched The Obama Foundation, which reportedly aims to provide opportunities for "ordinary people" to "change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone." According to the Chicago Sun Times, the foundation raised more than $232 million in 2017 and nearly $165 million in 2018, so that should be enough to kick-start at least a little change.

The Obamas' worth is 30 times more than it was in '08

The Obamas entered the White House as self-made financial successes, but according to MSN, they left the presidency "worth 30 times more" than they were worth in 2008, when Barack Obama won his first term in the Oval Office. That's impressive, considering their humble beginnings. 

When he was running for reelection in 2012, Obama touted his family's "we're just like you" credentials. "Check this out, all right. I'm the president of the United States. We only finished paying off our student loans off about eight years ago. That wasn't that long ago. And that wasn't easy — especially because when we had Malia and Sasha, we're supposed to be saving up for their college educations, and we're still paying off our college educations," he told a crowd at a campaign event (via Yahoo!). That was then, and this is now: According to the New York Post, Michelle and Barack Obama were "worth more than $135 million" in 2018.