Some presidents facing term limits attempt-often successfully-to scrap tenure restrictions, while others step down when constitutionally required. Whether democratic, partly democratic or non-democratic, there is considerable variation among electoral regimes as to whether presidents respect term limits. This article focuses on what is at stake for a president required to leave the highest political office. It argues that for a given level of executive constraints, the value of holding political office in polities with large public sectors and prevalent corruption, combined with the probability of retaining assets and immunity after leaving office, influences whether presidents attempt to overstay their tenure. Copyright © 2010 Cambridge University Press.