Keeping a former president out of the poorhouse is a relatively recent legislative act. Before 1958, U.S. presidents received no federal pension or financial help.
Before that, some former presidents, such as Ulysses S. Grant and Harry Truman, struggled financially.
In 1958, Congress enacted the Former Presidents Act to provide pensions and benefits to the ex-chief executives. In 2016, ex-presidents’ pay increased to $205,700. The widows of former U.S. presidents get $20,000.
A recent report by the Congressional Research Service outlines the annual allowance for former U.S. presidents.
Figures do not include costs for lifetime U.S. Secret Service protection, which are not made public.