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Showing posts with label Athletes Still Go Broke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Athletes Still Go Broke. Show all posts

Despite the Best Pay and Pension Plans, Athletes Still Go Broke

By Anthony Marks

Professional athletes make what can only be described as an obscene amount of money. They are paid millions upon millions of dollars to play sports. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that they're not worth it. Professional sports such as the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB are billion-dollar industries. As part of the workers in that industry, athletes deserve to get paid and paid well. I don't begrudge them a single cent that they earn.

However, it never fails to shock me when I hear that athletes who played for years - in particular, retired athletes - are now broke. All those millions that they earned after years of play are gone. In some instances, it almost defies belief. For instance, the once-fearsome "Iron" Mike Tyson earned a reported $300-$400 million during his boxing career, but managed to fritter nearly all of it away in record time.

For most of the general public, it's an effort just getting our minds around the huge sums of money that professional athletes have to simply waste in order to end up broke. Sometimes it just doesn't seem humanly possible to have found pathways that would allow you to shed that much green that fast, because athletes earn so much. Case in point: Major League Baseball (MLB) players earn an average of $3.3 million annually.

In addition to the astronomical salaries, major league sports have some of the best retirement packages around. In the NBA, for example, a player qualifies for an annual pension of $57,000 after 3 seasons. However, a player must wait until age 62 to get full benefits, although reduced benefits are available starting at age 45. (To get the maximum benefit possible - $195,000 per year - a player must spend 11 seasons in the league.)

In short, it seems odd that between what they earn and the pensions that athletes should go broke. Still, it happens to even the best of them.

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