Financial Illiteracy amongst Professional Athletes

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Financial illiteracy is common among professional athletes, and the same percentage of professional athletes lack the necessary skills to manage their accounts properly. Previous analysis has found that athletes continue to default on all financial commitments as soon as two years after the conclusion of their sporting careers, and that 16% of NFL stars will go bankrupt within the first twelve years after retirement. GFLEC recently conducted research with the NFL and NBA to highlight the issue of financial illiteracy in professional athletes and is seeking to provide convincing solutions for this gathering. That said, in this research paper, I will discuss the problem of financial illiteracy amongst most NBA and NFL athletes. Primarily on the reasons for all the bankruptcies and what can be done to lower the number of them per year. Anyone who has received millions of dollars has no excuse to be bankrupt. With that said, the statistics say otherwise, as 60% of NFL and NBA athletes faced bankruptcy or severe financial hardships within five years of their last pro paycheck. That serves as a horribly wrong example to our society. If these athletes are looked up to as role models, they should be required to at least act as such, financially.


i. Regardless of total wealth accumulation during their careers, many NFL and NBA players go bankrupt.

ii. One out of six NFL and NBA players will file for bankruptcy during retirement.

iii. Bankruptcy filings start as early as two years after retirement.

iv. NFL and NBA stars or long-term players have the same risk of bankruptcy as any other professional athletes.

The problem of financial illiteracy among NBA and NFL athletes

Research about has exhibited that a high frequency of NFL players goes into section 11 after their playing days, and various others persevere through budgetary inconveniences. A Sports Illustrated (SI) article from 2009 demonstrated that taking after two years of retirement, a surprising 78 percent of former NFL players went bankrupt or persevered through budgetary stress due to joblessness or detachment - in spite of the way that foulness that examination falls into the heart of the Great Recession.

An as of late discharged review by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) concentrated on the insolvency viewpoint. The NBER working paper examined NFL players who had been drafted in the vicinity of 1996 and 2003. The creators found that liquidation filings started moderately not long after retirement and proceeded with completely through the first dozen post-retirement years.

Taken altogether, very nearly 16 percent of the players concentrated looked into going chapter 11 amid the initial twelve years of retirement. The liquidations did not relate with the measure of cash made a profession or the time allotment in the class.

Keep in mind that there is a considerable number of undrafted players who put some vitality in the NFL (somewhat more than 31 percent in 2013 according to the Elias Sports Bureau) and most benefit that drafted players to do (Money Tips entire). Counting those players could skew the estimations regardless - the undrafted players profited to save, yet the undrafted player may have the one of a kind sentiment how short the NFL experience can be and may likely participate in cash related orchestrating.

Professional athletes should be educated about Financial Planning. While the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) began an economic wellbeing program around the season of the SI article, an excessive number of players either don't accept the guidance or don't completely comprehend it. It is hard for an NFL competitor to completely get a handle on the way that his vocation is brief and that he should get ready for what's to come.

The NBER paper calls attention to those NFL players doesn’t take after the "life-cycle model" of funds. In this example, individuals attempt to adjust their utilization over their lifetime and put something aside for the future, rather than essentially devouring more in extent with their present salary (Money Tips entire). One could contend that most Americans don't take after that model either - however, most Americans don't get yearly contracts averaging a large number of dollars, particularly knowing ahead of time that the salary is here and now.

If the NFLPA's endeavors prevail with regards to raising money related mindfulness among NFL players, maybe a subsequent review in a couple of years would indicate a dramatic change. While nobody can accuse these working players of having a great time both on the field and off, this examination demonstrates that a hard-hitting tackle of spending patterns will keep them from being caught unaware in retirement (Money Tips entire).

The story of financial illiteracy among the NBA players is not a new thing. In the recent past, there has been this story of Darius Miles; a former East St. Louis Flyers basketball champion who was a first-round draft pick with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2000 NBA draft with an agreement worth $9 million. He took part in a motion picture with Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds. He enjoyed the backing of Michael Jordan's powerful image. His star was rising, and his financial future looked secure.

In June 2016, he filed bankruptcy. Miles is 34 now. It's been a long time since the 6-foot-9 forward was drafted by the L.A. Scissors ideal out of East St. Louis High School. In any case, wounds, legitimate issues, and terrible ventures have left Miles requesting that the court enables him to auction his advantages for pay loan bosses. Miles recorded $460,385 in resources and $1.57 million in liabilities.

60% of NBA players petition for liquidation in the five years after their retirement. Terrible speculations, lost trust, extravagance buys, and youngster support can add to players' money related crumple, said Foyle, who has written a book regarding the matter.

Miles recorded a $20,000 tyke bolster obligation in his insolvency. He lost more than $100,000 in 2008 in a California land bargain. Another land agreement — with kindred financial specialist’s former NFL Rams player Marshall Faulk and rapper Nelly — was buried in claims over a Laclede's Landing property. Daily paper stories expounded on Miles compensating himself with precious stone gems.

Potential players ought to have a specialist to deal with business issues, a bookkeeper to deal with the expenses, a money related expert to deal with speculations and a lawyer to audit contracts, Foyle said. Players ought to likewise locate an outstanding tutor. LeBron James, a companion of Miles, has Warren Buffett. Foyle swings to his father, a financial analyst (Money Tips entire).

In 2012, the story NBA star Allen Iverson found its way into the limelight. Despite a career worth $150 million, Allen Iverson went broke. According to a report by TMZ, divorce papers obtained showed a man swimming in a huge debt (Woodruff entire). The problem of financial illiteracy arises here amid other factors. Although having an annual pay of $750,000, Allen Iverson’s estimated monthly expenditure was sky-rocketing at $360,000! This clearly shows that the problem of financial illiteracy is drastic among these celebrities.

Reasons that have led to the problem of financial illiteracy among Professional Athletes

Studies done about bankruptcies among Professional Athletes have revealed some reasons that could have led to this problem. For instance, Torre, in his article about Professional Athletes, showed the following grounds:

The Lure of The Tangible - Owning an eatery, bar, or auto dealership is an unmistakable, hot thought. Putting a segment of your riches in an enhanced portfolio containing lower chance resources is not.

Lost Trust - Bad money related guidance is a logical idea. Time after time there is a trusted guide who did not merit that trust, regardless of whether through ineptitude or extortion. Players that do not have the monetary comprehension to comprehend hazard or spot misrepresentation can undoubtedly fall for "can't miss" speculations (Torre entire).

Family Matters - Divorce is average among competitors; pre-matrimonial understandings are not. Divorces with NFL opponents have a tendency to happen after retirement when the competitor has far less wage (assuming any) than amid his playing days. He loses an unbalanced measure of his probable lifetime riches. The other part of family matters includes prolific procreators, for example, previous running back Travis Henry. Paying kid bolsters for one youngster can be a monetary weight. Duplicate that by eleven children with ten different ladies, and you wind up in prison for inability to pay tyke bolster (as Henry did).

Incredible Expectations - Your companions are living extensive, and you have another arrangement of "companions" that sap your assets. What is an NFL competitor to do? Youthful NFL players frequently take after the pack with spending and don't consider being exploited by holders on (Torre entire).

Steinberg, in his article that was published in the Forbes (Steinberg entire), listed other reasons that could have led to bankruptcy among the athletes. He notes the following grounds:

Lack of Financial Advice - Athletes are the same than whatever other school graduates in that they were not set up for understudies in arranging, the evaluation structure, and whole deal financial organizing. This is a scope of particular capacity and a contender getting great compensation needs prosperity net of guides. In the wake of denoting a potential draftee, we asked them to pick a qualified money related insight with a showed notoriety (Steinberg entire).

These advisors help the contender set up together a money related arrangement take after usually settled upon frameworks, and secure them legitimately. A society organized rival will find a meaningful relationship with authorities in the field who are moreover prepared to offer help.

Supporting a town - Some contenders feel obliged to give budgetary support to the family, more far off family and friends. They are granting their philanthropy to a considerable number of others.

Divorce - Often alluded to as the crucial test, isolate directs sponsorships in authentic costs and disseminates assets. The contender winds up with half of what they earned and may have generous and troublesome arrangement and youth support portions.

The absence of regard for how rapidly a calling can end- - The contender neglects that the present rate of pay is not going to last and can be halted by harm or capacity at whatever time. Methods for overseeing cash expect the salary will come until the finish of time (Steinberg entire).

Lack of arrangement for the second profession - NFL players has long off seasons they can use to establish the framework for their life after football. A few competitors don't give it an idea and wind up missing the structure and bearing that football has given them. The early retirement years can be non-beneficial (Steinberg entire).

Solution to financial illiteracy among Professional Athletes

Several studies have provided various solutions to this problem (Goulston entire). The following steps will help professional athletes from economic illiteracy.

Get top advisors - before acquiring any cash through marking rewards or extended contracts get your work done at it identifies with guides who do charges, money administration, speculation methodologies, and so forth. This would incorporate meeting no less than three of each kind of class of Counselor. The issue with various contenders is that they allow their people, friends, and life accomplices to do work that they were never arranged to do and regularly stalls out in a grievous circumstance by not paying obligations, getting over-opened up pay sharp or over-spending all things considered (Goulston entire).

Try not to purchase precious resources first thing - Do not go out first thing in the wake of marking an agreement and purchase resources that are immense contrasted with the agreement marked. Because you have cash interestingly doesn't mean you need to spend it before you know every one of the implications of purchasing the advantages.

It may not keep going forever - Athletes need to know where they remain in the range of being an expert competitor. The initial step is marking as an expert. Initially, contracts are usually significantly more cash than a competitor has ever had, and it might be the main get that he or she ever gets (Goulston entire). Contingent upon capacity and wellbeing the competitor may never get anything past that agreement, so they have to believe that way. They ought to break down the contract and put cash away so that he or she will have something ought to the most exceedingly bad happen. Each agreement ought to be investigated independently and the objectives balanced in like manner as each new contract is gotten.

There are sharks out there that will eat you - Many competitors when they begin to profit get immersed with recommendations for ventures from companions, business partners, and family. What the competitors don't have the foggiest idea about that large portions of the archives that they sign confer them to substantially more noteworthy monetary duty and risk than they have suspected (Goulston entire). For example, the competitor imagines that he or she is contributing $50K, however in actuality they have by and by ensuring a credit for $500K. At the point when the wander comes up short, the banks come after the bottomless pockets of the expert competitor.

Delegate, don't leave - One of the basic parts of an adversary's budgetary life is that he ought to be before long responsible for his records (Goulston entire). This suggests in spite of the way that he uses specialists to help with wonder orchestrating, costs, insurance, and accounting, the contender should demand to know all conditions where he stays in all parts of his cash related life (Goulston entire). This requires at any rate quarterly get-togethers to help the contender to appreciate his own one of a kind wealthy condition.

Security can guarantee you - Professional athletes need to grasp and recognize that there are insurances open that can help them if something terrible happens. A specialist rival is ordinarily particularly young and can get term additional security at a to a great degree sensible cost to guarantee his family in case he should kick the pail. A more functional circumstance is that he may be crippled. Disregarding the way that it may have all the earmarks of being exorbitant to get impede assurance, should a contender twist up observably disabled, he will get paid by the understanding which could be to age 65 (Goulston whole). Various contenders feel that since they have denoted a couple year deal and the gathering pays the agreement in the event that he is incapacitated, that there is no need disable assurance. What happens toward the complete of the assertion? The contender will undoubtedly be not able play again.

Allow your manual for being the horrendous individual - Many professional athletes don't know how to express no to friends and family who are asking for money for a wide scope of necessities and requirements. It is greatly troublesome for an athlete, who considers his family to express no, yet the athlete can't reinforce everyone, and he ought to oblige his character willing to manage. Thusly, let the advisor be a pad between each one of the requesting so they can be dismembered before an enthusiastic decision is made (Goulston entire). Something else, the athlete won't have enough to manage himself as time goes on.

An arrangement can have the effect - A competitor who has mapped out an arrangement to wind up plainly one of the best competitors on the planet by assembling a preparation program and executing it should outline a money related mechanism from the earliest starting point of his active vacation all through each phase of his profession. If a competitor works the financial arrangement, knowing the dangers at different stages, he will be significantly further ahead than the competitor who just goes out and purchases whatever he needs at whatever point he needs. He ought to request of his experts that the objectives are met, yet it takes some teach and readiness to remain in the arrangement for a drawn out stretch of time.

Trust is earned not taken - Athletes are famous for giving duty regarding their advantages for experts and business partners to shield for them. Tragically, a considerable lot of these individuals have no personal stake in the competitor and take a gander at what they can make while they are working with them. It requires investment to gain trust and for the opponent to put stock in the consultant. Once the counselor has done what he has guaranteed, then trust is earned, and a decent, long haul relationship can create (Goulston entire). A case of this would be a competitor who signs every one of his checks, in spite of the fact that the expert is arranging them, printing them, and representing them. This gives the competitor an absolute control to make inquiries and ensure he or she knows where his cash is going.

Keep point of view as others profit - Many competitors who at the previous phases of their vocation see more settled players who are benefiting than they are. Some of them get allured into spending more cash than they are as of now gaining because they see different players getting autos, houses, garments, and so on and they need similar things. Be that as it may, they don't have the way to procure them yet (Goulston entire). Subsequently, the more young players spend their cash on wild things instead of building up a sound money related establishment. After the establishment has been built up, then the competitor can devote to the things he needs, yet it doesn't risk his financial future.


From the information I have provided in this paper, it is evident that professional athletes are facing this financial illiteracy problem. Although this issue has everything to do with the athletes themselves, the professional clubs in which these players belong to should be at the forefront in ensuring their players receive adequate financial management knowledge. Proper retirement benefits schemes should be enhanced at club level to make sure that their stars do not end up languishing in poverty immediately after hanging up their boots.

Works Cited

Goulston, Mark. "Hey, Star Athletes: These 10 Tips Will Keep You From Going Broke." Business Insider 12 December 2011.

Money Tips. 1 in 6 NFL players go bankrupt. 2009. 13 August 2015.

Steinberg, Leigh. "Sports Money." 5 Reasons Why 80% Of Retired NFL Players Go Broke 9 February 2015.

Torre, Pablo. "How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke." 2009. 18 May 2017.

Woodruff, M. Business Insider. 10 December 2012. 1 June 2017.


December 15, 2021




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