Retirement Plans in Three Major Sports Leagues


Mike Ladge
Mike Ladge

The recipient of an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, Michael “Mike” Ladge is a California-based financial expert who has earned distinction as a Los Angeles Magazine 5 Star Wealth Manager. In addition to actors and musicians, Mike Ladge primarily provides wealth management services with a focus on retirement goals to professional athletes.

While star athletes generally earn millions of dollars per year, there are others who make the league minimum and need to be fiscally responsible during and after their career. Here’s a look at retirement support in three professional sports leagues:

1. NFL – The NFL, which maintains an average career salary of $6.1 million for players, offers a pension plan based on credited seasons. Players are eligible for benefits after accruing three seasons in which they were on an active roster for at least three games. Once they are 55 years old, players receive $660 per credited season every month, although that figure rises to $760 for the 2018-20 seasons. The league also offers an annuity plan which players can start drawing on at 35 years old.

2. MLB – Professional baseball players need to play in only 43 games at the big league level to earn a full pension. They can start receiving benefits at 45 years old, but the union suggests waiting until 62 to maximize monthly payments. Athletes with 10 seasons spent in the majors can earn up to $210,000 per year.

3. NHL – For every 20 games played, NHL players can earn 25 percent of a year’s pension benefits. The maximum pension value at 62 years old is $255,000 per year.

Mike Ladge Interviewed for Huffington Post Article

Mike Ladge pic
Mike Ladge

An established financial expert in Los Angeles, Michael “Mike” Ladge offers guidance to celebrities, business owners, and professional athletes. Recently, Mike Ladge was interviewed for an article that appeared in the Huffington Post.

Written by well-known public speaker and licensed clinician Louise Stanger, the article, titled “Sports Stars – Fame and Addiction,” explored the challenges faced by successful professional athletes in their personal and financial lives. Citing examples such as tennis icon Andre Agassi and Hall of Fame NBA player Dennis Rodman, Ms. Stanger discussed how the pressure to succeed at the highest levels, coupled with the allure of fame, can cause world-class athletes to make decisions that lead to substance abuse and financial problems.

Mr. Ladge was featured in the article due to his work with athletes over the years. Providing a personalized approach to wealth advising, he has carefully monitored clients’ spending patterns and bank accounts. As a result, he has identified issues that come with celebrity, including profligate purchases of luxury items and addiction.

According to the interview, one major red flag is when a client withdraws large sums of cash from ATMs. Mr. Ladge stated that because his conversations with clients extend beyond the hard numbers, recognizing these kinds of warning signs can lead to productive conversations about other life topics and strengthen their relationship.

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Three Money Management Tips for Professional Athletes

Money Management  pic
Money Management

A financial expert who focuses on the entertainment and sports sectors, Michael “Mike” Ladge earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and statistics from Syracuse University and an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Mike Ladge has worked with many celebrities, musicians, and professional athletes from each of the major American sports leagues.

While professional athletes generally earn multimillion-dollar salaries that one would expect to provide a comfortable retirement, this is not always the case. One study suggests that up to 80 percent of professional football players and 60 percent of professional basketball players struggle financially within a few years of retiring from their playing careers.

While this can be partially attributed to the relatively short careers of professional athletes, a more important factor may be the need for sound financial guidance. Here are a few money-management tips for professional athletes:

1. Don’t rely on family and friends. Even if a family member has some experience in wealth management, managing the finances and investments of a professional athlete is much different from managing the retirement fund of someone planning to retire at 65.

2. Minimize taxes. A financial expert with experience in working with athletes can help them to save a lot of money on their taxes each year. Athletes who understand concepts such as how to select a tax-advantaged state for their home and how to allocate their earnings can go a long way toward padding their nest egg.

3. Help others in a modest way. Many athletes come from humble backgrounds and want to do all that they can to support family and friends from their hometown. Athletes should aim to keep their giving to a reasonable level that enables them to protect their own financial security.

Five Star Professional Wealth Advisor Awards

Mike Ladge
Mike Ladge

An accomplished wealth advisor and financial expert, Michael “Mike” Ladge draws upon more than a decade of experience in his work providing financial guidance to athletes, celebrities, and entrepreneurs. Mike Ladge holds an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Anderson School of Management and has received numerous accolades over his career, including designation as a Los Angeles Five Star Wealth Manager.

Awarded by the consumer-research group Five Star Professional, Five Star Awards honor professionals in the insurance, real estate, investment, dental, and wealth management industries in nearly 50 markets across the country. Five Star Professional partners with local publications to publicize the awards.

Five Star Professional conducts extensive research to identify the top wealth advisors in each market, evaluating candidates based on 10 criteria. In addition to considering total assets under management (AUM) and client retention rates, Five Star analyzes the candidate’s compliance with regulations and customer satisfaction history.

All candidates for Five Star Wealth Advisor awards must be registered both with the SEC and at the state level, and nominations are accepted from either peers, firms, or through a prequalification process. As Five Star strives to keep the awards program impartial and data-based, candidates may not nominate themselves, nor can they pay a fee to guarantee consideration for an award.

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