Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, are not only #couplegoals, but they both hustled hard and are now reaping the benefits. According to a 2020 report from International Business Times, the former U.S. President is worth at least $70 million, and in 2018 The New York Post said the couple combined amassed a fortune of over $135 million. So, how exactly do they bring in the dough?
Before the Obamas entered the White House, their net worth was $1.3 million in 2008. When Barack joined the U.S. senate, he earned $20.5 million from his salary, book royalties and investment income, while Michelle made money from her University of Chicago Hospitals job.
From 2005-2016, Barack 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.
Later on, Michelle’s memoir, Becoming — which was published in November 2018 and became that year’s No. 1 best-selling book — sold 10 million copies, while Barack’s latest memoir, A Promised Land, sold nearly 890,000 copies within 24 hours of its November release. Michelle and Barack reportedly got a $65 million advance for their memoirs.
Not only did Michelle sell her book, but she also sold merchandise — mugs for $20 and candles for $35 — in addition to going on a book tour across the country, where tickets ranged from $307-$4,070. Michelle also scored a deal with Spotify for her podcast over the summer.
The Obamas also signed a production deal with Netflix in 2018, where they would produce series and movies for the streaming service. It’s believed the duo will be bringing in $50 million from working with the streaming giant.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” Barack said at the time about their new endeavor.
On top of that, Barack now gets paid as much as $400,000 to speak at public events. He reportedly spoke to Northern Trust Corp. twice for $800,000, while the Carlyle Group paid him a minimum of $1.2 million for three talks to Wall Street companies. Michelle reportedly makes $225,000 when she strikes a public speaking deal.
As for how the Obamas spend their money? The couple seems to be smart about their assets since they bought Bright Directions growth plans — which is worth $50,000-$100,000 — to pay for their daughters' (Malia and Sasha) education. (Malia is at Harvard, while Sasha is at the University of Michigan.)
Barack and Michelle purchased a mansion in Washington, D.C., for $8.1 million, in addition to having a home in Chicago, which they bought for $1.65 million in 2005. In 2019, the Obamas reportedly purchased a lavish Martha’s Vineyard home, which sits on nearly 30 acres, for $11.75 million.
However, the Obamas always give back. From 2009-2015, they gave $1.1 million to charity, Forbes reported.
One thing is for sure — the Obamas are living large!