Since Michael Jackson’s untimely death, there’s been a fair amount of speculation about how much Jacko is really worth.
To calculate your net worth, take the value of everything you own, and subtract what you owe. So if you own a house, cars, artwork, jewelry, stocks, bonds, and a bunch of savings, retirement and brokerage accounts, you would add up the value of each of those and then subtract any liabilities, including your mortgage, car loan, school loans, credit card debts, personal loans or any other loans you’ve taken out.
For most Americans, the greatest portion of their net worth is tied up in their home equity. But for Michael Jackson, who owned Neverland Ranch, his list of assets is far longer than just real estate. Unfortunately, the list of what he owed is also long.
While Michael Jackson died while living in a palatial estate he rented, the real estate that has long been associated with his name is his Neverland Ranch. According to financial documents obtained by the Associated Press, Neverland Ranch had an estimated value of $33 million. Jackson took out a mortgage for $23 million against the 2,500 acre property, which is located in Santa Barbara County, Calif.
But 2007 was near the height of the housing boom. There are few properties that are worth today what they were in 2007, so it is likely that the ranch has fallen in value enough to wipe out any equity Jackson had in the property.
The AP’s financial documents also note that in 2007, Jackson claimed to have a net worth of $567 million, with debts of $331 million. That left him with a net worth of $236 million, an amount that dwarfs the equity he had in Neverland at the time.
Like so many popular entertainers, Jackson’s net worth is based in the rights to his own music. But he was also an astute businessman who owned a 25 percent share of the Beatles catalogue of songs, which he shares with Sony, as well as his cars, art, antiques and other collectibles.
Like so many Americans, Jackson had a spending problem. It was well known that he blew through millions of dollars the way most of us blow through our own checkbooks. He rang up debt in the hundreds of millions of dollars, reportedly spending it on hiring private jets, buying artwork and expensive jewelry, and living lavishly. It is expected that his estate will have no trouble paying off the debts Jackson had incurred in his life. Simply by not spending money, Jackson’s estate should throw off a huge amount of cash – enough to pay off his debts in a relatively short period of time.
Sad to say, but like many of the top artists in the world, as well as those who protect themselves and their loved ones by buying enough life insurance, Michael Jackson will be worth more in death than in life.