4 Fascinating Facts About The Life Of An Ex-US-President
After leaving the office with the best resume that America can ever offer, the United State’s ex-Presidents live a life that can be only described as living in a bubble. With strict measures ranging from their travel to their mail, life is not very simple for the former US presidents. With that being said, it is in no way a life anyone would ever detest. Round-the-clock security, a big paycheck every year, and the prestige that comes with the name of the President of millions of people make everything worthwhile. We all are aware of what Presidents do when they are in office, but how does their life change when they leave the White House? Let’s find out.
1. Special President Perks — Pension, Travel, and Health Care
The Former Presidents Act of 1958 made it so that the Presidents would get lifetime pension after their service of four or more years. Today, this amounts to over $200,000 each year. The actual amount of the pension depends on the Senate, but it is usually north of 200 grand these days. This is a ten-fold increase over the menial $20,000 that the First Lady gets if their husbands pass away. Surprisingly, any President who has not been formally impeached can earn this pension too. That means even if you are a horrible president and are about to be thrown out of office for that, you can just give up your presidency voluntarily in exchange for a hefty paycheck each year.
Apart from money, they also get free health care and travel. The Presidents and their families can get free medical treatment at any military hospital. They are also free to get private healthcare and insurance at their own expense. Travel is where things get really interesting (read: lavish). Ex-Presidents can spend $1 million in security and travel each year, and an additional $500,000 is reserved for their spouses just for travel.
2. Can’t Escape The Watchful Eyes of The Secret Service
Say goodbye to loneliness, Mr. President! Even if everyone leaves the side of any former president of America, the secret service (the men in black) would never leave their side! Well, it isn’t exactly because they love the President so much that they never want them out of their sight; it is simply for security reasons. The former US President would be surrounded by the secret service until the day they die. It doesn’t matter how old they are; they are to be kept under the eyes of heavily trained protective agents. The law for protecting the Presidents indefinitely was passed in 2013. It is worth noting that the protection provided is only for Mr. President himself; even his family’s life is not worth more than the former head of state.
Sadly, with the secret service, the Presidents also lose a lot of semblance for freedom that they would probably want to enjoy after their tiring tenures. They are escorted by the secret service anywhere outside their private property in a government official car, and they can’t drive their own private cars.
The secret service also sorts the former President’s mail even after they are not in the White House. This really shows that their lives are still very important to the country. Before any physical mail is sent, it is screened thoroughly, and the secret service has repeatedly intercepted several bombs that were meant for the ex-President.
3. Why Just Rely On Pension From Uncle Sam?
While $200,000 seems like a lot of money, wait till you hear about the astronomical amounts successful, and well-known Presidents make from the sales of their books. Most Presidents write their memoirs or books that describe their journey and earn so much money that they would be set for the rest of their lives. The main motive behind writing books is because the Presidents know that people would love to get a closer look behind the administration of hundreds of millions of people.
George W. Bush’s Decision Points earned him $7 million with over 1.5 million copies sold. Bill Clinton earned more than double that — $15 million — selling over 2 million copies. More impressively, the Obama family is well north of $60 million with the sales of their books. This has to be the most lucrative business after you are done greying your hair in the White House.
For those not lucky enough to sell millions in books, they can end up looking for jobs! George Washington opened up his own brewery as a source for his income, while good old Henry Truman (who was familiar with working even before he became president) spent the rest of his retirement from the White House working in his library.
However, if the book sales and the jobs are both not working out for a President, they can always take up the role that they are the most skilled at giving speeches. And it pays ridiculously well! Bill Clinton made almost $105 million from the speeches that he gave over the course of a little more than a decade. Those are insane numbers!
4. Living In The Bubble Can Be Lonely — Make Friends Living In The Same Bubble!
Due to all the restrictions and a very specific lifestyle that most of these ex-Presidents follow, it is easy to deduce that they live in a sort of bubble that only other former heads of states can relate to. This means that most of them end up becoming very close to each other and spend time together, even if they are from an opposing party. I guess party lines are no longer valid after you step out of the White House for good. The friendship of President Clinton and President Bush is the prime example of close relations of ex-Presidents inside this bubble. Even though both belonged to opposing parties, Bush calls Clinton his “brother from another mother.” It is always nice to see human beings being good to other human beings even if they belong to fiercely opposing groups.
Despite the restrictions in the Presidents’ lives, just because they can’t enjoy their luxury dream cars does not mean that they are not getting richer or don’t have influence. At the end of the day, any ex-President of the United States is still much more important than the average Joe (not Biden).