Bernie Sanders’ Net Worth Could Get a Boost if He Wins the Presidency

Bernie Sanders’ Net WorthSo…what is Bernie Sanders’ net worth?

Bernie Sanders has disrupted what should have been Hillary Clinton’s crowning campaign for the Democratic Party leadership. Instead, he has emerged as a contender, ruining her party. Sanders has surprised everyone by reaching the top of the polls in a matter of months. Yet what do we know about Bernie Sanders?

The general impression is that he is a pro-people politician. Sanders would much rather be remembered for such values as modesty and charity than for wealth. That is a good thing, because his net worth is not especially noteworthy.

Bernie Sanders’ Net Worth

Bernie Sanders’ personal net worth is thought to be around $528,014. That’s light years away from Donald Trump’s estimated $4.5 billion. But it’s also a few galaxies away from Hillary and Bill Clinton’s $121.0 million. (Source: Gerencer, T., “What is Bernie Sanders’ Net Worth?,” Money Nation, Jan. 1, 2016.) Some even put Sanders’ net worth at $330,507. (Source: Frohlich, T.C., Sauter, M.B., and Stebbins, S., “The net worth of presidential candidates,” USA Today, Aug. 26, 2015.)

The wealth differential has played its part in how Sanders and Trump have approached their campaigns. Trump has self-financed some 95% of his campaign’s spending. Bernie Sanders, however, has spent only six percent out of his own pocket for the campaign. (Source: Ibid.)

As a senator, Sanders gets a salary of $174,000 a year.

He has at least two homes, one in Vermont and one on Capitol Hill. In 2012, Sanders reported having a joint rental property in Burlington valued at $100,001-$250,000,  from which he got income of $5,001-$15,000. In the same year, he claimed a 30-year mortgage of $50,001-$100,000 for a Washington, D.C. condo, dating back to 2000. (Source: Topaz, J., East, K., “Bernie Sanders’ wife accounts for all his reported assets,” Politico, July 16, 2015.)

Sanders doesn’t have many skeletons in his financial closet.

He uses his own money and, while the Clintons collect tens of thousands of dollars after giving a speech, he reportedly collects a few hundred—that is, when he does collect. His speeches may spark enthusiastic rallies among the 99%, but they don’t do his net worth any favors. Bernie Sanders is said to have made less than $2,000 from speeches in 2014. (Source: “Why is Bernie Sanders’ net worth less than $1M, even though he’s made six figures for a long time?” Quora, last accessed February 29, 2016.)

The Wealthy Elite: Sanders’ Main Political Targets

Bernie Sanders, 74 years old, has been an independent senator from Vermont since 2007. He started his Congressional career in 1991. Sanders is also the most left-wing candidate in the Democratic nomination race. He has targeted billionaires, Wall Street, the elite, and high finance as the main punching bag of his campaign.

Sanders, a native of Brooklyn, civil rights activist, and self-proclaimed “democratic socialist,” claims to belong to the “99%:” “We are the 99%,” he says. “Now is the time to create a government which represents all Americans and not just the one percent.”

Bernie Sanders focuses on reducing inequality. To do this, he wants to expand health coverage in particular, raise the minimum wage, tax those with the highest incomes more, offer free tuition at public universities, and establish paid leave.

Bernie Sanders has financed his campaign with small donations rather than getting big checks signed by wealthy donors. His campaign staff says that 99% of contributors have offered amounts of less than $100.00.

Bernie Sander’s Net Worth by Year

Year Net Worth
2015 $528,014
2014 $330,408
2013 $330,506
2012 $460,506
2011 $308,005

Source: Center for Responsive Politics and Money Nation