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What Life Is Really Like For An Ex-President

Updated 23 Sep 2020 1.0m views18 items

President John Quincy Adams declared, "There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president." But what happens to ex-presidents once they leave office? Some of the post-presidential benefits sound pretty good, such as the opportunity to rake in millions of dollars writing books and giving speeches. Plus, all former presidents get office space, staff, and supplies paid for by taxpayers.

With all the rules that first families have to follow in office, you'd expect things to get easier once presidents move out of the White House. But a lot of the things presidents can't do in office remain off-limits after they leave. The lifetime pension and the promise of a state funeral probably don't make up for some of the burdens ex-presidents face in their daily lives. For example, former presidents never get to be alone again - they get a Secret Service detail for life. And they're not allowed to drive on public roads. Are the perks of being an ex-president worth the hassle?

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