Why Do Rich Athletes Go Broke?

The average professional athlete will make more money in one season than most Americans will make in their entire lives – but many of them will blow their fortunes.

“Despite those amazing salaries, 78 percent of NFL players, 60 percent of NBA players and a large percentage of MLB players file bankruptcy within five years of retirement,” said Don Padilla, a Certified Financial Planner ™, National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Registered Player Financial Advisor and author of the soon-to-be-published book, “Not Another Broke Athlete.”

How can this happen?

“Over the years, through interviews with athletes and market research, I have identified four major reasons for this epidemic that is running rampant in the world of professional sports. If these issues are not addressed, it doesn’t matter how much money athletes make during their careers — they will spend it all and then some, often leaving them worse off than they were before they started playing,” he said.

Here are four major reasons why so many of today’s professional athletes go broke:

  1. Living beyond their means
  2. Poor investment choices
  3. Family pressures
  4. Bringing the wrong people into their trusted circle

“Now is the time for us – athletes – as well as regular folks to be accountable and responsible for where we are at in our lives, financially, and more importantly spiritually and mentally,” he said.