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.