It is easy to be jealous of the fame and talent of professional football players; their potential fortunes are also something to envy. People often assume that all that money comes with a happy life free from financial woes. However, these athletes face the same money problems that people all across Georgia deal with every day.
In fact, a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that roughly 15.7 percent of NFL players have filed for bankruptcy protection after retiring from the league. While this may sound quite high, the number is actually similar to one group of people outside the league: young people.
People between the ages of 25 and 34 (including those who make millions in the NFL and those who do not) face enormous financial challenges for a number of reasons.
To begin with, they often don't have the financial planning and money management experience that older adults have acquired. It is not uncommon for a young person to have just one bank account; adding credit cards, savings account and other financial resources can complicate matters and make it difficult for a person to know what to do or what they have.
Many people in this demographic are just out of college and are working in low-paying jobs that don't allow for saving. If they do come into significant amounts of money, as professional athletes often do, they may not have the maturity to consider thoughtfully how they will spend their money. More often than not, it is easier to buy things they've always wanted than to continue with their same standard of living.
There are also considerable expenses at a young age. There may be student loans to start paying off, mortgages on a first home, kids, child support payments and credit card bills to pay. For many people, including athletes, there can also be extensive medical bills to consider.
Each of these factors can affect how a young person manages finances, and it is easy to make a mistake or decision that may not be in their best interests in the long run. Over time, these choices can pile up and create a very difficult situation from which it can be difficult to recover. Those who have found themselves in this predicament can get help seeking debt relief by speaking with an attorney.
Source: Fortune, "16% of retired NFL players go bankrupt, a report says," Daniel Roberts, April 15, 2015