Financial Planning for Pro Athletes

I help professional athlete clients with foundational needs such as budgeting and financial education as well as long-term needs through creating a holistic financial plan. The financial plan encompasses every area of your financial life, thus helping you to make better decisions. I also help clients by managing their investments and analyzing investment and business opportunities.

Financial planning is critical for professional athletes due to the unique situation you have of earning a substantial portion of your lifetime income over a relatively brief period of time during your playing career.

  • The benefits of financial planning are numerous –

  • Start with the basics – budget and save.

  • It is critical to maximize your savings while your earnings are at their peak. Building a realistic budget can be the most important step in this process. This will allow you to have enough income to live comfortably during the season and off-season (NFL players are paid their base salary from teams over the course of the regular season only). Furthermore, it will provide savings for your life after playing.

  • The NFLPA has created the Financial Advisors Registration Program, the first of its kind in professional sports, which provides NFL players access to a diverse group of qualified financial advisors.
  • This program is the first of its kind and was designed by the NFLPA to help connect NFL players with qualified advisors.

  • The advisors in the program have gone through an extensive process including background checks and have no civil, criminal, or regulatory history related to fraud.

  • Advisors have a minimum of 8 years of licensed experience. Furthermore, advisors must attend training symposiums provided by the NFLPA at which they are provided information and updates on player benefits, contracts, and general issues that players face.

  • Advisors are given a direct line of contact with the various departments with the NFLPA that are designed to help players be successful both on and off the field, and also after their playing careers.
  • Check to see if they are registered through the NFLPA Registered Player Financial Advisors Program at is a good initial filter to make sure they have gone through the background checks and other filters designed by the NFLPA to help protect players.

  • Hire an advisor with the CFP® designation.
    A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ has been required to go through extensive training to develop their theoretical and practical knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a personal financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board. They must also pass a rigorous exam and meet experience requirements. They are also required to meet the ongoing certification requirements including continuing education and ethical business practices. Due to the extensive nature of their training, a CFP® may be able to help you have a more holistic view of your financial plan and better work with other professionals in your life such as attorneys, insurance agents, etc. You can verify an advisor’s status as a CFP® at

  • Although the NFLPA has done much of the homework for you, you can check on an investment advisor’s background on your own using FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool at FINRA is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and is an independent, not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly. Investment brokers must be licensed and registered by FINRA, pass their qualification exams, and satisfy continuing education requirements. BrokerCheck reports for individual investment brokers includes information such as employment history, professional qualifications, disciplinary actions, criminal convictions, civil judgments and arbitration awards.

  • Interview your prospective advisors to see if there is a good fit. You will want to understand how they work with clients, whether their approach to financial planning is holistic, and if they are going to meet your needs to help you with your financial education and development of a long-term plan. Also, check to see if they are willing and prepared to work with the other advisors in your life including agents, realtors, accountants, etc.

The NFLPA partnered with Financial Finesse to provide financial education tools for the players.

  • Broadcast Boot Camp
  • Business Management & Entrepreneurial Program
  • Coaching Internships
  • Career Transition
  • Continuing Education
  • More info on the web at
  • 60% of players have not set up their login for the benefits website which includes access to information and management of retirement assets. This can be accomplished on the web at You can call 800-638-3186 for assistance.

  • 58% of players do not have post-career plans.

  • 75% of players expect to earn 50% of their current income in their post-NFL careers; the median income is $115,000 per year which is much lower than even 50% of the current minimum NFL salary.

  • The majority of players calling Financial Finesse have questions/concerns over budgeting/savings, lack of investment knowledge, insurance, and life after football.

  • Former NFL Players next career stage by percentage includes: 44% – starting own small business, working in sales, or managing clients; 13% – moving into related athletic professions such as coaching; 4% – transitioning into TV or radio.
  • How much do NFL Players make? Despite what most people think, not all NFL players are millionaires. For example, in 2020, the minimum salary for rookies on the 53-man roster was $610,000. Every year, each team is given a cap on how much they can spend on the players called a salary cap ($198.2 million in 2020). The best players, usually the starters, take the most room under the cap. Qualifying players also receive a wide variety of benefits including pre-season pay, life, dental and medical insurance, severance pay, disability benefits and pension coverage.

  • How long do most NFL careers last? The average length of an NFL career is about 3 and a half seasons. Although there are some exceptional players who have long careers that extend 10 or more seasons, most players only stay active for about 3 seasons. Players leave the game because of injury, self-induced retirement, or being cut. This also means that while players may make more money than most people, they are only making it for an average of 3 and a half years. To make sure they are successful in the future, players must save and invest their money well and make plans for another career when they can no longer play football.

  • Why is education important in becoming an NFL player? Education is crucial for success to become an NFL player or success at any career. Completing a college degree will not only prepare players for life after football, but it also seems to pay off during a player’s career. Players with degrees earn 20 to 30% more than players who don’t have degrees. They also have a career that lasts about 50% longer. While there is not one answer for why players with degrees have stronger careers, one theory is that players who show the intelligence, concentration, and mental discipline to complete a degree show these qualities on the field more. Doing well in school from an early age also helps players develop the concentration they will need to memorize plays and avoid eligibility problems in high school and college.

  • What can I do to help my chances of becoming an NFL Player? Working hard and practicing on-the-field skills are not enough to become an NFL player. Because there are so many people who aspire toward this goal, a potential NFL player must excel in many categories. You must be the best on and off the field. Important skills include strength, speed, agility, ability to listen to coaches and follow directions, intelligence, concentration, ability to keep grades up, and the discipline to stay out of trouble off the field.

  • What does the NFLPA do? The NFL Players Association is a union devoted to helping players past, present and future. The NFLPA serves over 1800 active players, 2700 former players, and regulates 800 agents. They help players find legitimate and registered agents and financial planners, negotiate contracts and salary, obtain benefits, file grievances, get involved in licensing and marketing programs, and gain access to membership programs. They negotiate on behalf of the players to protect their rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Located in Washington D.C., the NFLPA keeps abreast of issues affecting professional football players like antitrust legislation, workers compensation, artificial turf and injuries.

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