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How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke

How and Why Athletes Go Broke SI com


"I once had a meeting with J.P. Morgan," he tells the group, "and it was literally like listening to Charlie Brown's teacher."  Ismail cackles ruefully. "I was so busy focusing on football that the first year was suddenly over," he says. "I'd started with this $4 million base salary, but then I looked at my bank statement, and I just went, What the. . . ?"

Before Ismail can elaborate on his bewilderment--over the complexity of that statement and the amount of money he had already lost--eight heads are nodding, eight faces smiling in sympathy. Hunter chimes in, "Once you get into the financial stuff, and it sounds like Japanese, guys are just like, 'I ain't going back.' They're lost."

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Frightening stats:

• By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.

• Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.

To avoid losing your money, the tips are:

1. Spend less.

2. Be careful who you trust. 

Athletes go broke because they spend too much or trust the wrong people. 

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