Building Your Dream Financial Team as a Pro Athlete
The news about professional athletes in poor financial situations isn’t new. It is all too common, sad to hear about, and something we have been actively trying to alleviate for almost five years with financial education and smart financial planning.
One of our firm's advisors, Jason Garey, was a professional soccer player before starting his career with Meridian Financial. He knows some of the common mistakes you, as a pro athlete, can be tempted to make with your money. He knows it can be hard to find agents, attorneys, and advisors that you trust and who have your best interest in mind.
In working with many professional athletes, we have developed a checklist to help build and maintain a strong financial position while playing a sport professionally through contract negotiations, team transitions, and into retirement and beyond. Here are Jason’s top five financial tips for professional athletes.
- Put together your team. This includes an agent, an attorney, a credentialed financial advisor, and an accountant. Others can be added at the player’s discretion and depending on their situation, but this is a good core team.
- Create a budget and a financial plan and stick to them. Know how much money you’re making, have goals for how much you need to save for retirement—from playing and for when you’re finished working altogether.
- Protect yourself and your family with insurances. There are basic insurances that help protect from catastrophic financial events. Auto, home or renters, and life insurance are all must haves in our opinion.
- Beware of businesses and investments that seem too good to be true. This is true for anyone, but when your salary is public and it’s an impressive figure, you’re especially likely to be targeted.
- Review and revise your financial plan as needed. It’s a good idea to meet with your financial advisor at least once per year. With many of our clients who are athletes, we meet with them quarterly, as they sign new contracts, get traded, or have other major life changes.
To find out more detailed information on our financial planning that’s tailored to professional athletes, email us at MeridianFinancial@nm.com. The bottom line is that you need (and deserve) a team you can trust who has your best interests in mind.
Pro Athlete Checklist
At Meridian Financial our goal is to collaborate with our clients to help them make smart decisions with their money. Business and personal financial situations are complex and ever-evolving. The checklist below will help you to build a strong financial foundation.
- Educate yourself and take control of your financial future
- Put together your team (Agent, Financial Advisor, Accountant, Attorney)
- Complete budget
- Avoid spending money you don’t have yet
- Protect yourself and your family with insurances (auto, homeowner, renters, umbrella, life)
- Set up monthly drafts to force yourself to save
- Build out foundational investments first
- Once you’ve achieved financial independence, then look at more aggressive or riskier investments
- Beware of businesses and investments that seem too good to be true
- Speak with an attorney to consider ways to protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits
- Review your plan regularly or as your life changes (you’re traded, sign a new contract, relocate, become injured)