Obama, first lady thinking about life after White House
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: First Lady Michelle Obama attends the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. The honorees this year include: opera singer Martina Arroyo, jazz musician Herbie Hancock, musician Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and musician Carlos Santana. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Unite for Veterans event July 16, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles California. The event is aimed at discussing ways of providing opportunities for veterans to find employment and housing. Michelle Obama is on the second day of her two-day swing through Los Angeles where she attended a Democratic National Committee fundraiser yesterday evening. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: (AFP OUT) First lady Michelle Obama and volunteers take part in a service project filling backpacks with books and toys for homeless children at the Inspired Teaching School to mark the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. The president assisted volunteers in building an outdoor playground. (Photo by Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 18: First lady Michelle Obama speaks during the Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities poetry reading in the Blue Room at the White House, September 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. The event was held to honor the five 2014 National Student Poets, with the nations highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and first lady Michelle Obama listen to Taps after observing a moment of silence to mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the South Lawn of the White House September 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama and the first lady will travel to the Pentagon later today for another memorial ceremony. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama make their way across the South Lawn upon return to the White House on September 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama returned to Washington after attending the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during an event about education in underserved communities in the State Dining Room following a screening of the movie, 'The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,' which is about two inner-city youth in the Bronx, at the White House in Washington, DC, January 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama helps to sort toys with Marines for the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Campaign December 19, 2013 at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC. The first lady delivered toys and gifts donated to the campaign during the event and visited with volunteers and other military personnel. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama listens as first lady Michelle Obama speaks following a meeting with a group of mothers in the Oval Office of the White House December 18, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama met with the group of moms to discuss how health care reform effects their families. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama meet with a group of mothers to discuss how health care reform could benefit their families at the White House in Washington, DC, December 18, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama helps a little girl to sort gifts for the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Campaign December 19, 2013 at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC. The first lady delivered toys and gifts donated to the campaign during the event and visited with volunteers and other military personnel. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
First Lady Michelle Obama meets with a group of mothers to discuss how health care reform could benefit their families at the White House in Washington, DC, December 18, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: (L-R) Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, US President Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama speak onstage at TNT Christmas in Washington 2013 at the National Building Museum on December 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. 24313_004_1423.JPG (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. The honorees this year include: opera singer Martina Arroyo, jazz musician Herbie Hancock, musician Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and musician Carlos Santana. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama waves with Sesame Street character Abby Cadabby after they read 'Twas The Night Before Christmas' during the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington on December 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential library? Check. Future home? TBD.
The decision by President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to build his presidential library in Chicago scratches one item from their to-do list for life after the White House.
Remaining decisions aren't as pressing as where to put the library and likely will come near the end of his term or after he leaves the building in mid-January 2017.
Mrs. Obama says that's a good thing because "we still have a lot to do in these two years, and it's hard to do this and think about the next steps. I think the time will come when it will feel right to start thinking about what's next, but until now it's really about solidifying the work that we're doing here."
It's also about not appearing more focused on the future than on their day-to-day responsibilities, says Anita McBride, a veteran of three Republican administrations.
"You're president and first lady for eight years, not six years and five months," she said.
Some of the decision-making that lies ahead for the Obamas:
Obama has said daughter Sasha "will have a big vote" in where the family ends up when his term ends, partly because the soon-to-be 14-year-old will still be in high school. (Big sister Malia is expected to be away at college.)
Some recent ex-presidents have their homes and libraries in the same city: George H.W. Bush (Houston) and George W. Bush (Dallas).
Obama still owns the Chicago home he lived in with his family before he became president, but it's unclear whether he would return there permanently.
Obama spends Christmas in his native Hawaii, but it appears it won't be his home post-presidency. The White House said Obama was not behind the recent $8.7 million purchase of a Hawaii beachfront home by his friend, Chicago businessman Marty Nesbitt. Nesbitt is chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation, which is raising money to build the library.
Publishing houses will pay millions for the memoirs of the first black U.S. president and first lady.
Former President Bill Clinton received a reported $10 million advance for his memoir, "My Life." His wife, former first lady and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, is said to have received $8 million for her book, "Living History."
Both Obamas are already published authors.
Obama wrote "Dreams from My Father," ''The Audacity of Hope" and "Of Thee I Sing," a children's book.
Michelle Obama is the author of "American Grown," about her garden on the South Lawn.
Obama agreed in 2004 to write the children's book as part of a three-book deal with Random House that included "Audacity." He remains under contract for a nonfiction work that would not be his memoir, to be delivered after he leaves office.
Speakers' bureaus are also likely to court the Obamas.
Obama will be 55 when he leaves office and Mrs. Obama will be 53.
Obama has talked about returning to teaching and to the community organizing work he did before politics. (He once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago.) Obama also says he'll stay involved with a support program he started for boys and young men of color. He recently announced that a new foundation will continue the program after he leaves office.
"I'll go back to doing the kinds of work that I was doing before, just trying to find ways to help people — help young people get educations, and help people get jobs, and try to bring businesses into neighborhoods that don't have enough businesses," Obama said. "That's the kind of work that I really love to do."
Mrs. Obama plans to stay engaged with her four major initiatives: reducing childhood obesity, helping military veterans and their families, encouraging high school students to attend college or technical school, and educating girls around the world.
"I do not have a one- or two-year horizon for this work," she told a health summit earlier this year. "I have a rest-of-my-life horizon."
After leaving the White House, Mrs. Obama looks forward to "getting in a car and rolling down the window and just letting the air hit my face. I'm going to spend that first year just hanging out the window." It's been years since she's ridden in a car with the windows down and the "windows in our house don't open" either, she said. The Secret Service agents who will remain with the Obamas will probably keep the windows shut.
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