The career of a professional athlete starts early and pays big, but lasts on average 8.5 times shorter than that of a well-paying corporate position. Here are three of the biggest reasons why professional athletes should think about their money.
1. This is Probably Their First Paycheck
Of all the strategies athletes perfect, a financial strategy typically isn’t one of them. Between training and competitions, it often feels like a faraway dream to be the best of the best in their sport, let alone to consider getting paid for it. Their first professional paycheck will probably come while they’re still in their twenties, which means it’s likely the most money they’ve ever had and the first time they’ve had real money of their own. That’s why learning about wealth management for professional athletes is one of the most important things they can do.
2. Their Professional Days are Numbered
The average length of a professional athlete’s career is only around five or six years, and research shows that the majority of athletes in the NFL and NBA lose most of their earnings within two to five years after their retirement. So though paid sponsorships and team contracts can send an athlete’s annual income skyrocketing to the tens of millions overnight, their high-rolling days won’t last forever. It’s tough to know what to do with that much money, but gaining a broader perspective can help athletes think about how to make the most of their earnings long after their careers come to an end.
3. What Will The Next Dream Be?
Maybe it’s opening up their own gymnastics gym, or going back to school for their Master’s in teaching; maybe they want to coach a collegiate team or send their kids to a top college. Whatever the case, athletes are dreamers and they’re not going to stop striving toward goals just because they no longer don their jersey each week. The more they consider their finances, the more they will be able to put aside for the next big goal.