Many professional athletes have no idea what they are going to do with their lives after their career is over. While some have their “celebrity” as value that may enable them to earn a living, many have nothing. This makes financial planning, and even marriage planning, critical for athletes with a limited career.
The average National Football League career is only 3.3 years and the average annual income is $1.9 million. This compares with the N.B.A. average of $5.5 million dollars per year and M.L.B. average of $3.2 million per year.
While the average salary in the National Hockey League is $2.4 million per year, more than one-half of all players in the National Hockey League play less than 100 games. Five percent of all players only play one game in the NHL.
Entering a marriage, the athlete with a short career not only has to plan for retirement, potential children, health issues and future education, but also how his finances will be resolved in the event of divorce. Many professional athletes desire to be too generous with their prospective spouses in the event of divorce and fail to take into consideration the short duration of their careers and how long their savings, assuming they have any, will last.
Depending on the age, education, post-career earning capacity and other factors, there are multiple ways for a professional athlete with uncertain earning potential to reasonably address his future financial needs, as well his potential spouse.