Obamas’ Net Worth as Much as $6.9 Million, U.S. Filing SaysRichard Rubin
President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, own assets worth $1.9 million to $6.9 million, according to financial disclosures released Friday.
The Obamas, employing a cautious investment strategy while in the White House, hold much of their wealth -- at least $1.25 million -- in Treasury notes and bills. They also have retirement savings in Vanguard index funds, plus checking accounts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Northern Trust Corp.
The Obamas’ wealth, if at the top end of the range, is almost enough to place them in the top 1 percent of U.S. households. Their net worth is little changed from last year, when their assets totaled $2 million to $7.1 million.
Federal law requires the president, senior administration officials and members of Congress to report their financial holdings annually. The forms compel disclosure in broad ranges and don’t cover personal residences and federal government retirement plans.
Those limits allow only a partial view of their net worth.
According to tax returns they released earlier this year, the Obamas’ adjusted gross income of $477,383 in 2014 was the lowest for any year since 2004, when Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate. Sales of their books have declined since he was elected president.
The Obamas hold $200,000 to $400,000 in college savings accounts for their two daughters. The president earlier this year asked Congress to limit the tax break for future plans organized under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. He later backed away from the proposal.
The Obamas hold a mortgage on their Chicago house, though they have more than enough in liquid assets to pay off the balance, which is listed as $500,000 to $1 million. The home’s value isn’t included in the tally of assets.
They also haven’t chosen to refinance the 30-year mortgage they took out in 2005, which has a 5.625 percent rate. The average 30-year loan this week carries a 3.85 percent rate, according to Freddie Mac.
“I would probably benefit from refinancing right now,” Obama said in August 2013 when he was promoting initiatives to encourage refinancing mortgages. “I would save some money. When you’re President, you have to be a little careful about these transactions, so we haven’t refinanced.”
Barack Obama, 53, and Michelle Obama, 51, don’t have to report the value of their largest asset: his status as a future ex-president. When he leaves office in January 2017, he will be able to make millions of dollars giving speeches and selling books.
Vice President Joe Biden, 72, and his wife, Jill, 63, reported holdings of $277,000 to $957,000. Their largest holding is residential real estate in Wilmington, Delaware, which they must report because they receive rental income.
Federal laws don’t require public officials to reveal the balances in their federal government retirement accounts, so the filings may understate the wealth of Joe Biden, who has been a U.S. employee since 1973.
The Bidens have several outstanding loans, including a mortgage of as much as $1 million on their residence. That mortgage, taken out in 2013, has a 3.375 percent rate, down from the 4.625 percent rate on their previous mortgage.
The Bidens also paid off one home equity line of credit in 2014 and took out another one, at a rate of 2.75 percent.
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