Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez net worth: Congresswoman to be a millionaire by 40, despite detesting the wealthy class
Although Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's net worth is much lower than the median net worth of a member of the Congress, it has more to do with how young she is than anything else, Ten years later, when she hits the age of 40, AOC is slated to become a millionaire, despite the well-known fact that she detests the crème de la crème of the society.
An average member of the U.S. Congress earns around $511,000 in 2020, which makes them roughly five times wealthier than the median net worth of an American household of $97,300, according to the Federal Reserve. But is important to remember that the average age of a Congressman is 57, and the average age of a Senator is 62. But AOC, who represents New York’s 14th Congressional District, is only aged 30.
After Ocasio-Cortez defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary in June 2018 and won the general election in November of the same year, she became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress at the age of 29. Soon after, she opened in a New York Times interview that she was worried about affording an apartment in Washington, DC, before her $174,000 annual congressional salary kicked in. At the time, she had $15,000 in savings.
Her current net worth stands at an estimated $100,000, according to Celebrity Net Worth. At the start of her career, she earned $26,581 working at a coffee shop/taqueria. Once she entered politics, she earned $6000 from her campaign as a salary. Apart from $174,000, she also receives a $3000 living expense credit, health/insurance, and retirement benefits from her post as a congresswoman. She does not own property, stocks, or any other financial assets.
AOC, a millionaire
A website called Financial Samurai calculated her estimated monthly expenditure to be around $4,200. Going by that, one can easily calculate that she will be left with roughly $139,200 in after-tax income a year or $11,600 in after-tax income a month since there is a 20% effective tax rate on her $174,000 Congress salary. As a result, she can save roughly $7,400 a month in after-tax income as long as she doesn't indulge in blowing her money on extravagant purchases.
Through savings alone, her net worth will be boosted by $88,800. If one adds a 5% rate of return if she invests in stocks or real estate, which can grow by 2% – 8% a year on average, she will end up saving 50% of her gross income a year. And by the time she turns 40, she is most likely to own a million dollars.
But a lot also depends on her student loan being paid off.
Student loan debt
AOC, who had attended Boston University, one of the most expensive private schools in the country, has openly talked about still paying off her student loan debt. As a result, she began championing debt forgiveness. In support of the College for All Act, AOC has in the past revealed that "it was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is to pay off my student loan debt."
Last year, during a House Committee on Financial Services on Capital Hill, she revealed in a statement that she still has $19,000 in student loan debt. “I literally made a student loan payment while I was sitting here… and I looked at my balance and it [was] $20,237.16,” the congresswoman stated towards the end of the hearing. “I just made a payment and it’s now down to $19,000.”
Ocasio-Cortez told CNBC reporters, "In order for me to get a chance to have healthcare, in order for me to get a chance to pay off my student loans, I had to do something that was nearly impossible. And I don't think that that is the bar through which a person should be able to access education, healthcare and a bevy of other things that should be considered human rights."
Tax the wealthy
AOC has long maintained that millionaires and billionaires in the U.S. should be paying an increased rate of taxes to help refund the economy. While pushing for a progressive new climate change initiative called the Green New Deal, she reiterated her stance by saying that the wealthiest Americans may have to pay 60 to 70 percent in income tax to help fund the measure.
"People are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes," she suggested in a '60 Minutes' interview. "But once you get to the tippie tops, on your $10 millionth, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 percent or 70 percent," she said. "That doesn't mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. But it means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more."