That said, there are estimates of Woods' income since turning pro. According to Golf Digest, Woods, through the end of 2010, has earned $1.233 billion. That estimate of Woods' career earnings includes his golf winnings, plus off-course income such as endorsement deals, corporate outings, licensing fees and so on.
It does not include any possible investment income. If Woods has invested his money in stocks or other investment vehicles (and surely he has invested quite a bit of money - that's one of the things rich people do with their cash), then that $1 billion could be even higher.
But those figures only get at Woods' gross income, not his net worth. Woods spends a lot of money, too: A $40 million house here, a $20 million yacht there. There are a lot of taxes to pay to various taxing authorities. He has everyday living expenses and travel expenses.
And, of course, Woods has a lot of people to pay: Accountants and lawyers; managers and caddies; (presumably) maids, gardeners and similar attendants; and various other employees of Tiger Woods Inc.
During the run-up to his divorce from ex-wife Elin Nordegren, there were many wild rumors that Woods would have to pay Nordegren a $500 million, $750 million, divorce settlement. Implying that Woods' net worth was $1.5 billion or upwards. Those wild reports were, in fact, wildly off-base. While Woods' income has topped a billion dollars, his net worth is much less than a billion due to all those expenses.
The best estimate of Tiger Woods' net worth that we've seen is from Forbes magazine, which in 2009 wrote that Woods is worth in the neighborhood of $600 million. That ain't exactly chump change, but it's not $1.5 billion, either. (And it still makes Woods the richest athlete in the world.)
That estimate of $600 million net worth for Woods was also prior to Woods and Nordegren finalizing their divorce settlement. Nordegren received part of Woods' fortune in that settlement; the exact details are not public, but whatever amount Nordegren received obviously reduced Tiger Woods' net worth.
Based on widespread (but unconfirmed at the time of this writing) reports that Nordegren received around $110 million in the divorce, Tiger Woods' net worth at the end of 2010 was most likely around $500 million.
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