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How rich is the independent senator: Bernie Sanders’ net worth revealed

How rich is the independent senator; Bernie Sanders' net worth revealed
Nemanja Curcic

Bernie Sanders is an American politician and Senator from Vermont known for his democratic socialist views. Although nominally independent, Sanders has a close relationship with the Democrats and is often perceived as the leader of the U.S. progressive movement. While advocating for economic equality, Bernie Sanders himself is worth millions of dollars: today’s article will reveal Bernie Sanders’s net worth and trace his sources of income. 

How rich is Bernie Sanders?

Bernie Sanders is vocal about fiscal transparency in politics, often challenging his political rivals to disclose information on their wealth. In 2018, he released all his tax returns from 2009 to that moment. As such, it is not that difficult to track Bernie Sanders’ net worth.

In 2018, OpenSecrets estimated Bernie Sanders’ net worth to be $513,513, but his wealth today is several times larger. The largest portion of his contributions come from royalties and book payments on his best-selling titles.

Bernie Sanders’ net worth is derived primarily from the following sources:

  • Senator salary: Since his election in 2006, Sanders’ salary was $174,000 per year. Over the past 17 years, he has earned $2.96 million from a senator’s salary;
  • Congressman salary: Before he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Sanders was a congressman for Vermont from 1991 to 2007. A congressman’s annual payment varied throughout the years, growing from $125,100 in 1991 to $165,200 in 2007. In total, he earned $2.44 million in salary as a representative;
  • Book payments and royalties: According to Forbes, Bernie Sanders earned $2.5 million from book advances and royalties from 2011 until 2022;
  • Properties: Bernie Sanders owns two properties, the main residence in Burlington, Vermont, and a lakefront cabin in North Hero, Vermont. The combined value of the properties amounts to $1.6 million, but the Senator also has a mortgage in the range of $250,001-$500,000.

What is Bernie Sanders’ net worth?

According to OpenSecrets, Bernie Sanders’ 2018 net worth was $513,513. That said, his 2023 financial disclosure form suggests that his current net worth could range between $235,000 and $1,425,000. Although it is far humbler than some of his peers, it could still exceed seven figures and technically make him a millionaire.

Disclaimer: Estimating a lawmaker’s net worth is challenging because disclosure forms do not mandate exact values. Instead, lawmakers report the value of their assets and liabilities within specified ranges. While we strive to accurately estimate net worth from filings, disclosure rules have shortcomings. Personal residences, certain personal property, and federal retirement accounts are often not reported. Large assets can be listed in broad categories like “Over $1 million” or “Over $50 million,” potentially worth much more. Additionally, most Members of Congress earn $174,000 annually, but this isn’t required to be disclosed.

Bernie Sanders’ literary career

A bulk of Sanders’ fortunes come from books, and he does not keep it a secret.

“I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

– Bernie Sanders in an interview with the Times

The independent senator has put significant effort into his publications and produced several books, many of which became best-sellers. These include:

  • Outsider in the White House (1997);
  • The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class (2010);
  • Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In (2016);
  • Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution (2017);
  • Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance (2018);
  • It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism (2023).

Insider trading involvement

Bernie Sanders has abstained from owning individual stocks, and has stated “you don’t want conflicts of interest here” as the primary reason. However, a notable exception to his personal rule was when he spent roughly $500 on IBM (NYSE: IBM) in order to gain access to a shareholders’ meeting and advocate against retirement changes in the company.

Who is Bernie Sanders?

Bernard Sanders is the most prominent progressive American politician who has exerted a strong influence on the Democratic Party and helped shape the opinions of many left-leaning voters in the U.S. 

Born on September 8, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, Sanders has been a vocal proponent of progressive and democratic socialist policies. He served as the Mayor of Burlington from 1981 to 1989 and as Vermont’s representative to the Congress from 1991 to 2007. Since 2007, he has been a member of the Senate and has participated in the presidential race twice, in 2016 and 2020, ultimately endorsing Democratic candidates both times.

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Sanders is strongly opposed to economic inequality, advocating for policies such as a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, free college tuition, and substantial climate change initiatives. His grassroots campaigns attracted massive followings, especially among young voters, and targeted issues like the “big business” influence in politics, the wealth gap, and social justice.

While Bernie Sanders does not participate in investing and owns no stock or fund holdings, his spouse Jane does, which he regularly notes in his tax disclosures.

The bottom line

Although he is frequently viewed as a political champion of the “99%” against the rich “1%”, Bernie Sanders is technically a millionaire. Still, with a net worth estimated between $235,000 and $1,425,000, he is often quoted as one of the poorest members of the U.S. Senate.

A divisive figure on the American political scene, Sanders has been labeled both a “hero of the people” and a “Communist revolutionary.” Despite opposing opinions, the Vermont Senator has left a significant mark on U.S. politics—and continues to do so. 

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

FAQs about Bernie Sanders net worth

How much is Bernie Sanders's current net worth?

His 2023 annual financial disclosure report implies that Bernie Sanders’ net worth is between $235,000 and $1,425,000.

What is Bernie Sanders' most valuable asset?

Bernie Sanders’ most valuable asset is a VALIC Fixed Account Plus mutual funds position, valued between $100,001 and $250,000.

Is Bernie Sanders a millionaire?

Sanders earned well over a million from book royalties. When confronted with criticism that this undermines his political position, he replied: “I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.” According to his latest financial report, Bernie Sanders could indeed have a net worth above $1 million.

What is Bernie Sanders famous for?

Bernie Sanders was the first socialist and independent candidate elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in more than half a century.

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