Former President Jimmy Carter Leads Shockingly Frugal Life In More Ways Than One

Former President Jimmy Carter is proud to lead a modest lifestyle, post-White House.

The nation’s 39th president and the oldest living former president in the U.S. history at 96 years old, still resides in the ranch house he built himself in 1961.

Former President Jimmy Carter Leads Shockingly Frugal Life In More Ways Than One

Carter’s home in rural Plains, Georgia (which is about a 2½-hour drive south of Atlanta) is a two-bedroom ranch assessed at just $167,000, which is “less than the value of the armored Secret Service vehicles parked outside,” the Post reports. It’s also less than the median home price in Georgia, which is $213,026, according to real estate site Zillow.

The former president’s house is also much less valuable than other presidents’ homes. For example, Barack Obama owns an $8 million Washington D.C. mansion and Bill Clinton has multiple million-dollar homes.

Carter’s frugal lifestyle also includes spending weekends dining with neighbors on paper plates with bargain-brand wine, the Post says.

RELATED: Judge Finds Trump in Contempt, But All the Former President Is Worried About Is His Future on Twitter

Carter says how he and wife Rosalynn even make their own yogurt. Carter has also been known to buy his clothes at his local Dollar General store, according to a 2011 Rolling Stone story (he showed up for the store’s opening in Plains in 2004), and he often flies commercial.

And because of this, Carter costs taxpayers less than any other president. For example, in 2018, he cost taxpayers $456,000. Compared to his fellow ex-presidents, that is impressive, while Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, each cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

So how exactly does he make a living? In the past, Carter has made much of his income from writing books and has published at least 33, including a children’s book and reflections on his presidency. ( lists 46 books.)

RELATED: Jack Schlossberg, the Only Son of late President John F. Kennedy, and His Best Instagram Photos

Carter also receives a $210,700 annual pension, as do all former presidents, plus the federal government gives all ex-presidents an allowance for things like travel and office space. In 2017, Carter got more than $230,000 in such allowances, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, a conservative advocacy group.

To sum it up, Carter is okay with living within his means.

“It just never had been my ambition to be rich,” the former president has quipped in the past.

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.

Scroll to Top