President Barack Obama’s time in office is almost up, but his earning power and net worth are about to take flight. Based off the earnings previous presidents like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have made since departing the White House, Obama stands to make a massive fortune from speech tours, potential book deals and his pension.
Some reports, fueled by the annual financial disclosure forms presidents must annually file, have pegged Obama’s current net worth at $7 million, but Celebrity Net Worth tabulated his grand total at $12.2 million. That number could blow past $100 million in Obama’s lifetime.
Obama, who will step down on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017, has hinted about his future plans and many believe he will be a very active former commander-and-chief, using his prestige to further causes his championed throughout his political career.
"I'll go back to doing the kinds of work that I was doing before, just trying to find ways to help people," the 44 th president told middle schoolers last year according to USA Today. "Help young people get educations, and help people get jobs, and try to bring businesses into neighborhoods that don't have enough businesses. That's the kind of work that I really love to do."
Obama, a big golf and basketball fan, has also made tongue-in-cheek allusions about hosting ESPN’s Top 10 list on its flagship program SportsCenter. “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, in a mock interview, last month even tried to help Obama with his resume.
But Obama, 55, has little to worry about it when it comes to securing income. He is likely to circle the country on lucrative speaking tours, much like Clinton and Bush. Since leaving office in 2009, Bush gave a minimum of 200 paid speeches over six years and earned $100,000 to $175,000 for each, according to Politico last year.
Clinton, along with his wife and current Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, also racked up millions on the speaking circuit. It’s estimated that the Clintons earned more than $153 million from speeches between 2001 and when Hillary declared her latest presidential bid last year, CNN reported in February. The report said they gave 729 total speeches combined for an average of more than $210,000 for each, and that $7.7 million was earned by addressing some of the world’s largest banks like Goldman Sachs and UBS.
Bill Clinton is widely regarded as the richest, currently living ex-president.
Obama rose to fame in the early-to-mid 2000s largely due to his ability to capture crowds, most notably his address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which put him on the national map and started buzz for his 2008 run and eventual victory. And, as a former president, some of the world’s top corporate and political leaders are likely to shell out big bucks to hear him speak. The same could also be said of Obama’s wildly popular wife, Michelle.
The Clintons also pulled down a combined $29 million in advances for their book deals, figures that the Obamas are likely to equal or better. Obama’ has already penned two books, including “The Audacity of Hope,” which won him the Nobel Peace Prize. The $1.4 million prize, as well as the book’s sales, netted Obama the highest grossing year of his term, $5.5 million in 2009.
Even if Obama isn’t as aggressive as Bill Clinton or Bush on the speech circuit, he will still collect a hefty pension thanks to the Former Presidents Act, passed in 1958. When in office, a president takes home $400,000 annually and has a $50,000 expense budget every year. However, Obama’s pension will be half that amount, or equal to what a current Cabinet member makes, roughly $200,000 a year.