December 8, 2021

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How Bernie Sanders made his money, a breakdown of his wealth and assets

3 min read
How Bernie Sanders made his money, a breakdown of his wealth and assets

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has been outspoken about economic inequality.

During his 2016 presidential campaign and beyond that, Sanders said wealth inequality is “the great moral issue of our time.”

According to Forbes, Sanders has amassed an estimated $2.5 million fortune from real estate, investments, government pensions—and earnings from three books, including a 2016 hit Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.

“I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too,” Sanders told the New York Times.

Since his bid for the Democratic nomination raised his profile in 2016, Sanders has capitalized on his fame releasing a book a year. In all, he has pulled in at least $1.7 million from his series, starting with “Our Revolution” (220,000 copies sold, according to industry tracker NPD BookScan) and then Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution (27,000) and finally Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance (26,000).

But there’s more…

Here’s a look at what we know about the senator’s income and assets.

Sanders’ Income as a Senator

As a senator, Sanders reportedly makes $174,000 a year, according to the Congressional Research Service, which reported on Senate salaries last year.

Bernie’s Book royalties

Sanders reportedly made $880,091.14 in book royalties in 2017, according to the senator’s financial disclosure documents filed in May 2018.

Those royalties apparently included a $505,000 advance on his book “Where We Go From Here,” which was published in 2018, Newsweek reported.

Sanders has three books published by Macmillan and one book, “Outside in the White House,” published by Verso Publications.

Bernie Receives Album royalties

In 1987, Bernie recorded a politically focused folk album through Todd R. Lockwood Works called “We Shall Overcome.”

During his 2016 campaign, the album got some attention — though not all very positive, The Guardian reported.

However, Sanders did make some royalties on his resurfaced music. In his 2016 financial disclosure documents, he reportedly received $2,520.60, but in 2017 he only received $539.47.

Bernie’s Real estate

Politico reported in 2015 that Sanders owned at least two homes — one in Vermont and one over in Washington, D.C.

According to Forbes, Sanders and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, purchased a four-bedroom, a two-and-a-half-bathroom house in Vermont in 2009 for a $405,000. He also reportedly bought a one-bedroom townhouse in D.C. in 2007 for $488,999.

Sanders bought his third residence in 2016 — a big house on Lake Champlain in Vermont — for $575,000, The Washington Post reports.

Bernie Sanders’ three homes

Pension and his retirement savings

From 1981 to 1989, Sanders served as the mayor of Burlington, Vt. He receives an annual pension for that service and in 2017, he received $5,137, according to his financial disclosure documents.

According to estimates from Money, Sanders’ retirement savings total more than $1 million.

Other misc assets

All other assets on Bernie Sanders’ 2017 financial disclosure form, including stock and mutual fund accounts, were listed under his wife, except for two joint accounts — one with the U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union valued at somewhere around $100,001 and $250,000, and one with the People’s United Bank over in Vermont — valued is between $50,001 and $100,000.

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