Joe Biden often referred to himself as a “middle-class Joe” when on the American presidential campaign trail. However, he has made many investments that separate him from the middle class and have propelled him into the realm of the ultra-wealthy.
Joe Biden is a millionaire. Business magazine Forbes estimates that his net worth is roughly $9 million, through various ventures such as real estate investments, book deals, and speaking engagements.
It certainly is interesting how a politician could amass such wealth – read on to learn how Joe Biden became a millionaire.
Wealth and Business Ventures
It is relatively easy to find out Joe Biden’s net worth and investments as he released his financial information to the press and public, including his state and federal tax returns. This information is how Forbes calculated his net worth.
Although these documents are widely available, every member of the public doesn’t have time to slog through piles of someone else’s financial records – people have their own tax returns to worry about, too!
That’s why Joe Biden’s financial investments are broken down here, in simple terms.
An important thing to note is that Joe Biden was indeed middle class at one point. CBS News reported in 2009 that then-Vice President Joe Biden’s net worth was approximately $27,012.
Joe Biden’s salary then increased dramatically following his career progression; he served as a senator for 36 years, and his yearly salary increased from $42,500 to $174,000. According to a Town & Country Magazine financial profile, this salary increased again following his election as Vice President to President Obama, and Biden began earning $230,000 a year.
Although a salary increase can certainly improve someone’s net worth, the main factor was Joe Biden’s work and investments after leaving office. After leaving office, Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, reported a gross income of “roughly $11 million in 2017 and $4.6 million in 2018.”
Town & Country states that the majority of this, around $8 million, comes from a book deal with Flatiron Books. The rest comes from Joe Biden’s speaking engagements, which came with a hefty speaking fee of anywhere from $40,000 to $190,000.
It is important to note that not all of Biden’s speaking engagements are paid and that he also does unpaid speeches for his campaign.
That is where most of Biden’s income comes from – salary, contracts, and appearances.
In addition to this, they have invested heavily in real estate and their investment portfolio. They own two homes, which are worth approximately $4 million in total.
Joe and Jill Biden also donated around $1 million in 2017, with Forbes noting that they support “organizations such as the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and the United Jewish Federation of Chicago. In 2018, they gave another $275,800, and in 2019, they doled out $14,700, according to the tax filings.”
Joe Biden also paid approximately $6.7 million in income taxes since 1998, the bulk of this number coming from after he left office. His presidential salary is approximated at $400,000.
Although Joe Biden is a wealthy man today, this was not always the case. He grew up in relative poverty due to his father’s failed business ventures.
He had to complete a work-study program to attend his prestigious preparatory school, the Archmere Academy. Once Joe Biden had completed his studies, which included law school, he worked briefly at a law firm before becoming one of the youngest senators elected.
Joe Biden mentioned his nickname while on the campaign trail, saying, “I know I’m called Middle-Class Joe. It’s not meant to be a compliment. It means I’m not sophisticated. But I know what made this country what it is: ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Joe Biden’s wealth can be perceived in several ways, especially with income inequality being a massive subject of debate and contention for the American people. However, what will not change is the 2020 American election results, which elected Joe Biden as the President-elect.
In 2020, Joe Biden thanked the American people through an Instagram post, saying, “I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in @KamalaHarris and me. We’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. It is long overdue, but once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.”