Saturday, May 07, 2011

NFL Players are Just Like Us When It Comes to Money

Many NFL players go from a low to middle class lifestyle to upper or wealthy lifestyle in an instant and are not taught how to manage their finances and are not sure who they should or should not trust. Many NFL players are taken advantage of because of their financial status. In other instances they succumb to guilt from family and friends to take care of them, peer pressure, impulse shopping, unable to say no to those asking for money, living above their means, trying to impress others, being overcharged, or bad investments which causes them to lose their homes, have their cars repossessed or file for bankruptcy due to their bad spending habits and poor financial choices.

Many players buy things that have no value and have very little assets. Some forget to pay taxes, don’t keep track of their finances, make bad investments, get caught up in scams and lack basic business knowledge. This lack of financial experience and financial literacy education causes NFL players to buy things they can’t afford and try to portray a certain image that is difficult to live up to.

Approximately 40% of NFL players end up bankrupt after retirement. According to MSNBC approximately 380 players of the total 1,700 players live paycheck to paycheck. The average rookie salary is $320,000. When players get paid, after they pay taxes, pay their agent, publicists, accountants, lawyers and others on their payroll, pay for their lavish lifestyle with a home, multiple cars, jewelry, clothing, helping family and friends they have very little left.

Some NFL players are borrowing money from friends due to the lockout. Some players are getting payday loans called “lockout loans” provided by lending agents. Lockout loans for more than $60,000 can have interest rates as high as 36%. The NFL Players Association in advance of the lockout advised players to save at least 3 game checks and find additional ways to make money but many did not follow this advice. The NFL Players Association also provides financial seminars and classes for players who do not heed the advice provided or may not understand the advice provided.

Many players get caught up in the media frenzy and hype and want to give the appearance that they are wealthy when some are just one paycheck away from bankruptcy. Some players retire and don’t realize they are in financial ruin and need help until they retire.

Many players feel guilty by pressure from family and friends to take care of them financially which can cause a heavy financial strain on players. Family and friends see players on television and don’t realize how many expenses players have each month due to their lifestyle.

Many rookie players try to keep up with the spending habits of some of the veteran players and end up filing bankruptcy or foreclosure on their homes. In many instances players are taken advantage of by lawyers, accountants, agents and others who steal or do not keep their clients informed about their spending habits. In other cases, clients are advised about their poor spending habits but continue to spend until all their money is gone. The NFL Players association, lawyers, accountants, publicists and all who are on the payroll of the players as well as the players themselves are to blame.

My advice to all NFL players, read all books written by Warren Buffet who has lived in the same house for 50 years, drives himself everywhere, does not have security or a bodyguard, never travels by private jet, does not socialize with high society, makes popcorn and watches television, does not carry a cell phone, does not have a computer on his desk, buys clothes from the department store and is an expert in managing his money. You are experts when playing on the field, now it is time to be experts in managing your money – you owe it to yourself.


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