Athletes That Went Broke & Wondering Why We Enjoy Their Downfall

The idea for this post came from an article I read online about Allen Iverson being the next big name athlete to go broke.

Because of the company I work for, I’ve read similar stories about Michael Vick, Latrell Sprewell, Jack Clark, Mike Tyson, Lawrence Taylor, Scottie Pippen, Lenny Dykstra, and “Rocket” Ismail, and I finally thought this would be a good time to write something on this topic.

I Have a Soft Spot for Athletes

I’m not sure what it is but I have a soft spot for Professional Athletes and their inability to manage money.

Maybe it’s because I was surrounded by athletes in college and I understand them differently than others (i.e. how they grew up and what they came from).

Arrowhead Stadium

Picture by bbaltimore

Maybe it’s because the firm I work for has had the privilege to speak to sports teams throughout the country.

Maybe it’s because it pains me to see people mismanage money, and it hurts even more when the media makes a spectacle out of high-profile cases like athletes and movie stars.

Or, on another hand, maybe it’s because I just don’t want to see those people get ridiculed in the public spotlight. Let’s face it, most Americans aren’t cheering for movie stars or athletes to succeed (financially).

We’d rather see them fall flat on their face.

There is a reason people like Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Mel Gibson garner headline news and major attention when they struggle with money and life.

Why?

Because the “news”/media publishes and talks about what sells. And what sells is the public humiliation and the failure of those high-profile celebrities.

So Why Do We Enjoy the Debacle?

I can’t answer this for everyone, but my inclination is because the majority of us are jealous.

We believe that these people are worshiped (which they are), we believe they live “beautiful”, stress-free lives, and we think they’re so rich that they don’t have any worries in the world.

My first response is that this thought is extremely ignorant. Most studies show that money and material possessions don’t make you a happier person.

We spend our time consumed with dreaming of their lives: ‘what if we had that kind of money?’

We personally can’t fathom making the salaries and bonuses that athletes are privileged to, so we judge and compare our lives to theirs. ‘If I made that kind of money I’d never go broke! What a fool!’

While I’m not perfect and I certainly catch myself judging and comparing
my life to others, I’ve found that this doesn’t do anybody any good.

To bring this down to a less drastic level, I recently gained a rather substantial amount of attention for my How We Survived a $70,000 Pay Cut post. While I’ve never considered us “rich” or well-off, I received an enormous amount of judgmental comments and emails. People couldn’t help but assume things about me and compare my life to theirs.

I even read a great post by Amy at The Finer Things in Life about her initial reaction to my post and how it’s useless to judge your life to anybody else’s. (Take a minute and go read her post).

The Reality of People Who Receive Large Sums of Money

While we judge and compare our lives to those that are financially blessed, we never really take time to look deeper than the surface-level glitz and glamor.

Quick Facts:

  • 50% of lottery winners declare bankruptcy 10 years after winning
  • 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or “severally financially distressed” 2 years after retiring
  • 60% of NBA players are bankrupt within 5 years of retirement

These numbers may shock you, but before you become that person that rushes to call them a “fool,” I’d encourage you to take a step back and think beyond your initial reaction.

7 Reasons Why Athletes Go Broke

1. They were never taught how to manage money.

Much like you and I, celebrities and athletes were never taught how to manage money growing up.

They were never taught basic financial principles of budgeting, living on less than they make, saving for their future, or investing properly.

There is a definitive correlation between financial knowledge and financial behavior. If you’ve never been taught how to properly manage money, then the odds are you’re going to end up broke – regardless of who you are or how much you make.

2. They grew up in poverty and had nothing to speak of in regards to material possessions.

This isn’t true for some athletes, but the reality is that many of them grew up dirt poor. A lot of them come from broken homes and inner cities – places where the only way to “get out” is to make it to the big leagues or to study really, really hard and overcome all of the hurdles involved with growing up like that.

I would venture to say that if you were given large sums of money and grew up with nothing, then you’d be inclined to do exactly what they do when they “make it big:” spend everything and buy a bunch of nice stuff! Why shouldn’t they? They worked their whole lives to get to that point and they earned it.

3. They have family they want to help.

If you talk to a professional athlete, their first desire is to help take care of their family and their close friends.

Many of these peoples’ families made extreme sacrifices for their children to get to this point in their lives, so of course they want to repay them for all of their struggle.

Also, as I mentioned a second ago, a lot of them came from nothing so they desire to get their family a better place to live and shower them with the luxuries that any parent deserves.

Is that so different than you and I?

4. They keep friends old friends around and travel in entourages.

The saying goes something like ‘your salary with be the average of your 10 closest friends.’

The reality is that you’re going to be like the people you associate yourself with. Dave Ramsey likes to say that “Rich people do rich people stuff, and poor people do poor people stuff.”

The same is true if you look at it a different way: if you’re surrounded by people that hate life and think negatively then you’re going to end up the same way!

The problem with many of these athletes is that they have life-long friends that they never stop associating with. When those friends don’t “make it,” they hop on the back of the “bread-winner” and enjoy the “high life” right alongside them.

These are generally the same friends that grew up in poverty and lived a life that the majority of us are sheltered from – ways of life that I could never comprehend. More often then not this means that these friends eventually lead the person back into trouble – financially and legally.

Have you ever seen the show, Entourage? Exactly…

5. They have to rely on others for financial advice.

The reality of the professional athlete is that their life is CONSUMED with their job. They don’t just play the games we see on TV (or in person), they practice, they work out, they have meetings, and they study film on top of that.

Even when I was a red-shirt at KU (meaning I sat out for a whole year), my life was still consumed by football – there was NO time for anything else (unless it was from 10 PM to 5 AM). I eventually made the realization that school just didn’t matter (they said it did…but it didn’t).

This reality, along with the fact that most athletes aren’t financially savvy (see point #1), means that they’re forced to rely on others to provide their financial guidance.

An athlete’s agent may recommend an accountant or advisor. Sometimes there is a family member that “helps” them, and others rely on recommendations from teammates. Who better to trust than the person you’re with every day?

Considering athletes are high-profiled (and earn a lot of money), they’re targets of sophisticated scams every single day. Many of the public debacles we see is because a group of players use the same investment manager (one refers another, who refers another) and it turns out to be a fraud.

6. They never reduce their lifestyle.

Even after their playing days and high-earning years are behind them, many athletes continue to live the glitz and glamor lifestyle they had been accustomed to.

The reality for most Americans is that we’ve yet to reach retirement, so many of us don’t know what these feels like. However, I can promise you that you’re going to run into this issue as well.

Most of us don’t save enough money each month to ensure us of a similar lifestyle once we reach our twilight years. The old-school American Dream was that we’d reach retirement and ENJOY the finer things in life: traveling, not working, spending unlimited time with friends and family, etc.

However, that lifestyle comes with a cost. When you’re faced with reality and have to cut back, it’s going to be difficult and you will find yourself running out of money too quickly in retirement.

In fact, 67% of people over age 44 fear outliving
their assets more than they fear dying.

Just like the majority of these points, athletes are no different than us in this regard. They simply “retire” earlier and have longer to live on the nest egg they’ve built up.

Adjusting lifestyle is far-and-away the hardest thing to do. If you’ve been accustomed to living on $500,000/year then that means you need a nest egg of $12,500,000 earning 4% to ensure you live off of the interest and not dip into the principle (meaning that you probably wouldn’t outlive your money).

7. They get married…and then divorced.

My guess is that many of these guys/girls don’t marry for true love; of course they think they’re getting married for the right reasons but how can you really know when everybody is constantly trying to impress you?

With all of the groupies and people that throw themselves at athletes and movie stars, it would be extremely difficult to really know if somebody loved you or if they were putting on a show so they could get to your money.

Even if an athlete has the future spouse sign a prenuptial agreement, they are typically still on the hook for alimony and child support. These payments can be tens of thousands of dollars a month and is something that’s EXTREMELY difficult to maintain once the player retires.

If there isn’t a prenup, then half of the professional athlete’s wealth gets shipped over to the “better half” along with the ridiculous alimony and child support payments.

Don’t Be Too Quick To Judge

I’m not saying that athletes shouldn’t manage their money better; all I’m saying is that YOU shouldn’t be shocked when they go broke.

You shouldn’t be judgmental and compare your life to theirs. What’s the point? What good does it do when you bask in their failure?

How are they any different from you and me? We all struggle with money. Just because a person has a high income doesn’t lessen this reality…it just makes it BIGGER.

About the Author

By , on Mar 19, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of WorkSaveLive.com.

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{48 Comments}

  1. I never find happiness in others’ downfall. Yes, there is some truth to it that I envy wealthy people and sometimes dream that someday I would also own even 45% of their possessions and wealth but it does not mean I am blissful now that they are down.
    Pity are those who once has mammoth wealth but has mismanaged it due to unhealthy lifestyle.

  2. adrian says:

    Although I feel this is a very thought out and humanisitic article, I found it really hard to feel bad for people, not just high-profile people, when they make bad choices. Like everyone else, I once mismanaged my money, but I DECIDED to MAKE A CHOICE TO NOT DO THAT ANYMORE. No matter how much excuses I can come up with……No one helped me fixed my problems. I had to. I’m not going to bash celebrities or athletes if they go broke, but I’m not throwing a pity party either. This article points out the EXCUSES to why athletes can’t manage their money. Shouldn’t you figure that out on your own. There a lot successful people out there who will never make as money as a celebrity or athlete, but don’t committ financial suicide because they took ownership for themselves…… Understand there is no LIFE MANUAL for ANYONE…..you just have to take a step back, and look at yourself and figure out why the problems keep happening.

    • Andy says:

      Hi Adrian,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment – I appreciate that!

      I understand where you’re coming from but I will add that you didn’t/don’t get publicly criticized when you make a mistake. And there aren’t any athletes that are asking for help to fix their problems.

      The main point of the post was to help people overcome the notion that high-income earners don’t have money problems. We always compare and judge: the person making $15k/year looks at the person making $30k and says, ‘wow, how do they struggle with that much money? I wouldn’t have any financial problems if I made that much.’ The person making $30k says the same thing about the person making $60k and so on down the road.

      The reality is that we all struggle with money – based on our choices and ignorant decisions. It doesn’t mean we should make public spectacles of some and judge certain people more than others. It’s all toxic and pointless.

  3. I think one reason for some athletes going broke is their ego, which is tied to the entourage idea mentioned above. They enjoy being the center of attention, so they keep bringing people into their lives and loaning them money because it feeds their ego of being important. If you read some articles in the sports magazines about former athletes, many of them are depressed, not only because they have no money, but because no one is interested in them anymore.

    • Andy says:

      MSG, I would certainly say that the ego-drive could contribute to it in certain scenarios but I’m not sure that would be a leading cause. There is undeniable quite a few of the egomaniacs in professional sports though.

      Also, I don’t think these guys have to boost their ego by loaning money to gain friends/attention. They get that attention without doing anything. They may throw some money around at a bar or at a restaurant…

  4. Photon0312 says:

    I agree with a previous commenter, that high-income earners do have a problem limiting their spending. I read recently that something like 14% of individuals who earn six figures live paycheck to paycheck. Really? I make a fraction of that, and still manage to fund my 401(k).

    • Andy says:

      I’m surprised that the percentage is that LOW. I know something around 70% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the high income earners make up more than 14% of that number. Maybe not though…

      I’ve met with people that make a lot of money, have over $500k in their retirement accounts, but have less than $1000 in a savings account. This happens very often and that scenario would technically be considered living paycheck-to-paycheck.

  5. Andy says:

    I would say most of us financial bloggers and financial minds would handle it fairly well, but we know quite a bit more than the average Joe (not the blogger).

    I wouldn’t call their failure pathetic, I consider it sad. It’s simply a reflection of financial education in this country and shows our extreme inability to manage money well. It’s not a lottery winner’s problem or a high-income earner problem…it’s a societal problem that affects 90-95% of people in this country.

  6. Daisy says:

    Interesting. My reasons around making fun of athletes who go broke are because I just think they’re not worth what they are paid anyway, and they get paid to play a game ( a very, very overrated game) .. it’s just not sustainable. So it’s a little funny. Just a tiny bit :)

    I don’t know though. They don’t have to rely on others for their financial advice any more than Bill Gates does; I’m pretty sure he’s 100000x more busy than any athlete out there, and he can manage his money. It takes seconds to read an article. You know? I don’t bask in anyones failure, since I actually am not aware of any athletes that have gone broke, but I don’t have much sympathy for them. Their broke is probably still making more than most of us. But, yeah, I’m not a sports fan – can you tell? Hehe.

    • Andy says:

      Daisy,

      Well, whether or not you believe they deserve what they get paid is your opinion on the matter. But factually speaking they get paid exactly what they deserve. You see, wages are based on supply and demand and it’s also a reflection of the value you bring to the company.

      If you get paid $9/hour working at McDonald’s it’s because you’re not bringing tremendous value to the company and the supply to fill the position is quite high compared to the demand. However, an athlete that brings his employer millions of dollars worth of revenue and works a position where there is extremely low supply, well…then they get compensated fairly for it.

      Regarding your 2nd paragraph, I would just say look back at point #2. I don’t know you very well and I’m not sure how much you really know about how kids grow up in the inner cities, but frankly they’re not educated very well. Instead of “leave no child behind” it’s really a system of “leave every child behind.” Sure, there are some that learn and are well educated but the statistical probability of that is near to none.

      Being able to read an article and fully comprehend it are two totally different things. For the reason I just mentioned they can read an article but it doesn’t mean they have the knowledge and understanding for the material to take root and have an impact.

  7. Shilpan says:

    Andy, I like your take on this subject. It’s easy for us to criticize when a celebrity files for bankruptcy, but we’ve never lived that life; we’ve never walked in their shoes. So, our perception is nothing more than what I called, “Circle of knowledge” — limited to what we have known and experienced. Irony is that our circle of knowledge is vastly different than those of celebrities. They go through lots of pressure — to live like Jonses; to show off etc. as they make money based on their outer glory. It is hard for a person to find happiness from within once he/she is accustomed to find happiness in external, materialistic world. But, that’s how they live their lives.

    • Andy says:

      That is well said, Shilpan. Pretty sure I couldn’t have said it much better myself. As seems to be the case more often than not, I agree with you completely.

  8. Michelle says:

    Maybe the reason they go broke so quickly is the same reason they are amazingly wealthy in the first place. Maybe they were just stupidly optimistic and figured it would just always be there. Most people don’t just get discovered at school plays or on the courts in their neighborhoods. Also, not everyone who has a talent makes it big. These lucky ones had a dream and they followed it. That dream made them millions, but unfortunately that dreamer inside of them just didn’t have a realist to tell them to stop spending…that what came so easy this year might not always be there. Know what I mean?

    • Andy says:

      Great point, Michelle! I wouldn’t call it the dreamer inside of them though, I think of it more as a misconstrued perception of reality.

      They finally accomplish their goal and achieve that IDOL status they’ve been chasing. They know that along with that status comes the life they always dreamed of and in the moment it’s hard to take a step back and think to be wise and don’t spend like a crazy person.

  9. AverageJoe says:

    I was lucky enough to manage money for pro athletes and your analysis is dead on. While you clearly hit the main points, there were two others I experienced.

    1) You can talk to them about retirement until you’re blue in the face, but they don’t believe it’s going to happen to them. Most of the athletes I managed money for had supreme confidence in their ability (I think you have to just to reach that pinnacle of success). They were never going to grow old and retire….or get hurt.

    2) They have grown to need the attention they get….maybe because they’ve been a superstar for so long, they relish it. Many of them seriously acted like overgrown children who needed a hug. They would throw money at things just because it was an easy way to get someone to like them more…..and it was plentiful.

    • Andy says:

      AJ,

      That’s pretty cool you were able to manage some of the players’ money. Despite knowing/speaking to some of them I still feel like a little kid in a candy store when I’m around them.

      You’re certainly on with both of your points too. Just like all “kids” their age (my age), we think we’re invincible. I know there was ZERO chance anybody could have talked to me when I was 20-23 about saving for retirement. Especially if I was a STAR and making $400k+/year.

  10. Hilda says:

    How sad that so many professional atlethes go broke after retiring. Being drafted doesn’t mean you really “made” it.

    • Andy says:

      You’re exactly right! I actually have done quite an extensive study on 1st-round Major League Baseball draft picks and their likelihood of earning a SINGLE DOLLAR on a professional ball club (excluding signing bonus).

      37% of the players drafted in the 1st round from 1990-2000 didn’t earn a single penny from a Major League Ball Club. Sure, they made some money in the minor leagues (very small amounts) but they never made it to “The League” and got paid as a true MLB player. On top of that only another 18% made $1-1,000,000. So over 50% of 1st round picks (the best of the best) made less than $1M in their careers.

  11. Well done. I think you said it all in Number 1 – They never were taught how to manage money. Like the lottery scenario, its easy come easy go for most of these people.

  12. SB @ FPR says:

    Interesting thoughts. I didn’t know about sch high rate of failure among quick money earners. I think financial literacy is the most prevailing reason. Followed by failed marriages with wealth split. If you think everything comes down o education. Financial or humanitarian.

    • If society sees so many people fall on their face because of these financial shortfalls, one would only think that it would somehow get introduced into schools. Why it hasnt yet is beyond me. But I can tell you the day columbus sailed the ocean blue, which has proven no use to me in my adulthood. A little dollars and cents would have been much more helpful.

      • Andy says:

        I think this is an interesting point and one I’ve thought through on multiple occasions. I think it should be taught in schools but I question whether or not it would stick.

        I remember how immature I was at that age and at that time I don’t think I would have felt it applied. It’s hard to teach kids about managing money when they don’t have any sort of income or bills to be responsible for.

        I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done but I doubt whether or not it would be effective.

    • Andy says:

      It is quite surprising but it’s the failure is true for all income earners regardless of occupation – well…engineers and teachers/professors prove to handle it better than other professions.

      Millionaire Next Door and Stop Acting Rich are great books to read regarding the “true” American millionaire. Thomas Stanley does a great job of studying high income earners and their wealth vs. income earning ability VERSUS the wealth and income earning ability of the “true” American millionaire. It’s very interesting stuff and sheds a great light on what it really takes to become a millionaire without having to earn $300k+/year.

  13. CultOfMoney says:

    I think that your number 6 is really where the root of the problem comes from. You can’t live the life of a millionaire if you don’t have that kind of money.. And when those stars retire, they keep spending like they didn’t. It is the Excel fallacy, take current income, copy, drag right forever.

    • Andy says:

      This is true! I think this still ties into the rest of the points though. The reason this happens is because of lack of education, the want to help family and continue to live the “high life” with your friends.

      They’re all related – IMO.

  14. Michelle says:

    I agree, no matter what your income is, there are always struggles. When you make more, usually there’s more people at your door who want a handout.

    • Andy says:

      I’m glad you say that. Everybody puts MONEY on a pedestal. ‘It is the answer to all of life’s problems.’

      That school of thought is the reason people ignorantly think that just because you make a lot of money means all of your financial problems go away. That’s so far from the truth…we just refuse to believe it. That whole comparison thing really gets in the way of rational thinking.

  15. Modest Money says:

    I think a big part of the problem is that professional athletes are forced to grow up too quickly. Most of them do not have to work that minimum wage job to learn to appreciate the value of money. They don’t have to struggle to pay their rent and bills. When they suddenly hit the big payday, they all assume that there is going to be a ton more where that came from. Then add in peer pressure and most are bound to spend as much as they possibly can. Everybody is telling you that you need this and that and how you need to live the big life now that you’ve made it. When they hit it big, most are just too young to make good financial decisions. Once they are accustomed to that lifestyle, it must be pretty tough to give up.

    • Andy says:

      I would say they haven’t personally experienced the minimum wage deal, but they were raised by families/parents that struggled mightily and made somewhat close to that.

      The reality is that they are forced to grow up at an early age. Many of them take care of siblings and are burdened with many responsibilities at a young age. Even much of the family is placing all of their hope of “making it” and “getting out” of their situation on the shoulders of said child.

      I would agree though that the peer pressure has a ton to do with it. When you’re surrounded by people used to making $15-20k/year, making $600k sounds like a lot more than it really is. It’s easy to think you have all of the money in the world when you really have very little compared to the lifestyle that they live. $600k won’t go very far after taxes, agents, personal trainers, financial accountant/advisor, and then living the “high life.”

  16. Wow, what an insightful post! Thanks for the effort you put into this. What a sad situation. I wonder if there are many professional athletes who manage their money well and are at least partially hands-on? Do they serve as examples or mentors at all for the younger generations?

    • Andy says:

      The NFL and other leagues have great ambassadors that help players deal with situations – Tony Dungy comes to mind. However, there is only so much the league can do. Players don’t just listen to anybody- they trust their teammates, family, and their agents before they trust some random guy/mentor that comes to speak to them.

      There are certainly extraordinary positive examples but they’re more rare than the ones that have fallen flat on their faces. Jamal Mashburn (old NBA player) owns quite a few restaurants in Kentucky and has been extremely successful.

      Magic Johnson is another. Michael Jordan would have been a great example but he’s gambled so much away that his worth isn’t what it could have been.

  17. Jefferson says:

    Those numbers are truly shocking…
    It is amazing not just that these multi-millionaires go broke, but how FAST they go broke!!

    I have heard that the NFL has been working to address this problem, by forcing rookies to take a financial responsibility course.. But it will be difficult to break these habits.. I think that these athletes will see all of their teammates driving Bentleys and sporting giant diamond earrings, and they will want to do the same.

    It is sad, really.

    • Andy says:

      Jefferson,

      The NFL is trying to do things to help, but there is only so much you can do for people. Dave Ramsey spoke at the NFL Rookie Camp two years ago and they’ve been doing something each year.

      You can only hold peoples’ hands so much though. I agree with your thought about the peer pressure and seeing their teammates driving luxury cars and going out to 5-star dinners every night. Furthermore, you add the reality that their parents and friends now believe “they’re rich” and they’ve “made it” and that comes with the expectation of buying everybody STUFF.

      It’s a really difficult cycle to break and all of them need to learn how to say “no” – just like the rest of us.

  18. This is a great post, and I enjoyed it immensely. I have a great deal of empathy for anybody with financial problems, and this includes celebrities of all types. On the other hand, (and it ails me to say this), it ‘s also a relief to me hear that a millionaire athletic is having financial woes just like me. It’s true when they that misery love company. However, I was hurt to learn that Scottie Pippen was broke, He was one of my favorite athletes. In any case, I agree with all of your reason for why many of them go broke. It’s sad, but true.

    • Andy says:

      I was shocked to hear about Scottie’s case as well.

      It intrigues me that you say it’s a ‘relief to hear that a millionaire athlete is having financial woes just like me;’ interesting because I think the majority of people believe this. We’ve somehow come to the conclusion that just because you make money you somehow know how to handle it and live within your means.

      But the facts and statistics show that simply isn’t true. It isn’t true for high income-earning managers, doctors, lawyers, athletes, C-Level members, politicians, etc.

      We’re all human and regardless of income struggle with lifestyle inflation and the constant need/want for more stuff and a “better” life.

  19. I don’t think we should celebrate anyone’s demise. Totally agree with all your reasons, although I do not think money should end friendships, regardless of if those friends are rich or poor. If they mooch off of you, that’s one thing. But I don’t think you should ever let your ego become so inflated that you’re too good for the people who have been there for you and with you in the past.

    We were watching March Madness and some guy who is no longer in the tournament started balling. I thought maybe someone had died. The boyfriend told me he was a senior and probably just realized his NBA dreams were crushed. I felt bad for him. I felt bad that I felt like he shouldn’t be crying on national TV. And I really hope he had a back up plan.

    • Katie says:

      I feel bad for the guy just from reading your comment. I agree I don’t think its right to celebrate anyone’s failures and I can understand why some celebrities do go broke. If anything I would feel bad for them not celebrate their demise.

      • Andy says:

        I’m with ya Katie! It’s really sad to see them lose it all. The bigger you are the harder you fall. They certainly come down with a big BOOM sound.

    • Andy says:

      FF,

      Thanks for coming by and commenting! I completely agree about your point on money shouldn’t end friendships – sorry if what I said came across that way.

      I didn’t mean to imply an inflated ego or a sense of ‘I’m better than you’ for the reason to disassociate with old friends. The reality for the athletes that maintain old friendships is that those old “friends” are really nothing but trouble. They grew up in inner cities, were in gangs, etc.

      The fact is that money just makes you more of who you are. If you like to live like a rock star, sell drugs, and get into trouble…then money is just going to allow you to do more of that. The reason a lot of athletes get into trouble is because they maintain friendships (usually old ones) that lead them back into this type of trouble. In this instance, these are friendships that need to be ended.

      However, if you simply have a “poor” friend then by no means should you end that friendship because you’re now “rich” or in a high socioeconomic class.

  20. If you guys want you can be my followers when my blog takes off. LOL. Now on a serious note, I have trouble feeling bad for these athletes who were once rich and now poor. I know they may have not gotten the right financial planning or seen an advisor when they should have. But when they are out there living the lavish life, do they honestly think they are going to be playing when they are in their 60′s? They have to know that eventually they are not going to be earning in the same capacity.

    • Andy says:

      Just like most Americans, I believe many of them live in the here-and-now. We don’t plan for the future. We see today and tomorrow, we know what we want and what makes us happy, and we do it.

      Again, the whole premise of the article is they’re exactly like we are (as they are just normal Americans). I feel bad for them because they get publicly humiliated for being just like everybody else in this country – they just so happen to have more money and be in the public spotlight.

      • That is my moms motto, she has a nice pension at work and a sizable 401k but now she spends what she gets she says she cant take it to the ground with her!

        • Andy says:

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with this school of thought as long as you’re in retirement or very near to it (and hopefully you’re still spending down your “nest egg” at a responsible rate).

          The problem I’ve encountered are the people that think like this in their 30s and 40s. They spend EVERYTHING they make now and save nothing for retirement. It sounds like your mom at least did the latter which is DEFINITELY a great thing and not the norm.

  21. Karunesh@chase-a-dream.com says:

    felt a bit sad after reading your article. I guess those athletes deserve better.

    bad company and sycophants could be also another reason for there downfall. A financially smart person is always prepared for tough times while athletes who go broke are made to feel indestructible by huge group of sycophantic followers.

    I think the sudden charm and limelight they get(esp through media coverage) attracts a lot of “friends” which results in there downfall. These people rob them of there common sense. They make them believe that they can forever live a life of luxury. They spoil there life and then would disappear forever.

    • Andy says:

      I agree in part. Many athletes were stars in high school and college. They had crazy followers then as well, so I think by the time they get to the pros they can handle it fairly well.

      I mentioned that friend aspect in point #4. These people they associate with certainly rob them on common sense but I’d also say it might be unlikely they had it to begin with. There is no doubt many of the “new friends” they make are in-fact not friends at all. They’re just there to enjoy the ride.

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