Elizabeth Warren is the most likely Democratic nominee for president in 2020, according to CNN. The Massachusetts senator and lawyer made a name for herself by standing up for American consumers (she proposed the initial idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau back in 2007) and standing up to Donald Trump.
As a politician, she’s earned her cred by taking the side of working- and middle-class Americans against big banks and big business. But when it comes to her net worth, Elizabeth Warren is doing much better than the typical American.
Elizabeth Warren’s net worth is about $5 million
In a Congress packed with millionaires, Warren hardly ranks as one of America’s richest politicians. She’s No. 69 on Roll Call’s list of wealthiest members of Congress. Still her estimated net worth of $4.7 million puts her far ahead of the average American, who is worth less than $100,000.
According to Roll Call, most of Warren’s wealth comes from investments. But the website’s estimate doesn’t appear to include the value of her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2015, CNN estimated that the three-story Victorian was worth $1.9 million.
Where did Warren’s money come from?
Warren came from humble beginnings. She was born in Oklahoma in 1949 and has said she spent her childhood “the ragged edge of the middle class.” After her father had a heart attack, her mother went to work in the catalog department at Sears, while Warren got her first job at age 13 waiting tables at her aunt’s restaurant.
Warren was the first member of her family to go to college, earning a degree in speech pathology. She enrolled in law school after the birth of her two children, and eventually became interested in bankruptcy law. Later, she became a law professor, teaching at the University of Houston, the University of Michigan, and other schools before finally settling at Harvard University.
Warren’s second husband, Bruce Mann, is also a Harvard law professor. Harvard has the highest-paid professors in the U.S., with an average salary of nearly $200,000 a year. That likely helped them amass a considerable amount of wealth. She’s also written several best-selling books.
Elizabeth Warren’s Senate salary
Warren was elected to the Senate in 2012. As a U.S. senator, she earns $174,000 a year, meaning she likely took a pay cut to serve in public office.
However, Warren and her husband are still bringing in a sizable income. The couple earned close to $1 million in 2017, according to their tax returns. That includes Warren’s Senate salary and her husband’s earnings as a Harvard professor, as well as the $430,379 in gross income she made from her writing. Her most recent book is This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, published in 2017.
Warren and her husband also gave close to $82,000 to charity last year. They paid $302,000 in taxes.
Warren has released her tax returns dating back to 2008. Over those years, her income has ranged from a low of $424,993 (in 2012) to a high of $1.6 million (in 2014).
This is how Elizabeth Warren thinks you should budget your money
Warren’s worth millions now, but she hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be on the financial edge. In 2006, she and her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, co-authored a personal finance book, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. In it, the pair made the case for a simple budgeting strategy: the 50-30-20 budget.
With this budget, 50% of your income goes to need, like rent, food, and minimum payments on loans. Thirty percent of your income is allocated to nonessentials, like meals out, travel, and entertainment. The final 20% of your income goes to savings and debt payments. Those savings could save the day when times get tough, she says.
“I got married when I was 19, and my mother-in-law took me aside and said, ‘You always need walking-out-the-door money,’’ Warren told Elle in 2016. Ten years later, when she divorced her first husband, that money was a lifesaver.
“When any hard hit comes—whether it’s divorce, a medical problem, someone in your family has an emergency—having savings means there are options,” she said. “Having debt means you’re already flat against the wall, and now it’s just going to get harder.”
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