You don’t have to be told that your career is unlike any other. Not only do you begin your career at an early age, but you also earn the type of income individuals will work an entire lifetime for in a much shorter period of time. But, great privilege can present great challenges when it comes to making your income last over your lifetime.
Because of the physical nature of your profession, your career won’t last as long as the traditional types. If you are lucky and physically well, your athletic career may extend into your forties, whereas the standard individual will likely work into their sixties and seventies. The income you see in your twenties and thirties may be a lot by anyone’s standards, but not quite as much when amortized over time.
Simply put: you may earn more now, but that income won’t last forever. This is why so many professional athletes struggle financially later in life: they spent while the paychecks were coming in with no foresight about what would happen once they retired from professional sports.
Also see Harbor West related article: Top Financial Hazards for Professional Baseball Players and How to Navigate Them
Saving and investing for the future, then, is of paramount importance for professional athletes. Yet, so few professional athletes succeed. But why?
Contending with Human Nature
As humans, we are hard-wired to approach financial decision-making based on our wavering emotions, rather than steadfast logic. We make choices that make us feel good in the moment, even if it means it puts our financial future at risk. But, we don’t always have to trade one for the other. We can reward ourselves for our hard work and enjoy some of the wealth we earn while preparing for the long-term. The key is to spend (and save) your wealth mindfully, rewarding both your present self and your future self at the same time.