All FinLit Things Future Athletes & Celebrities Should Know Before Graduating. The Why!

All FinLit Things Future Athletes & Celebrities Should Know Before Graduating High School. Part 1 of a 3 Part Mini Series

I’m in the sixth week of teaching a Teen Empowerment class this summer as I have done every summer for the past 14 years.  I interview each teen before accepting them into the program, and one of the questions I ask is, “What do you see yourself doing as an adult in the future?”  Typical responses are becoming an engineer, lawyer, nurse, pediatrician, or teacher. Then I get the responses of becoming an NFL or NBA player, singer, famous actor/actress or celebrity.

I’m sure you’ve heard similar responses when you ask your youth about their future aspirations. When it comes to pro sports, I always ask what are you going to do for a back-up in case of injury or you don’t make it to the pros.  Normal response is, “I won’t have to worry about that.” That’s when I point them towards the sign below.

Odds of Making it to Pros. Click on Picture to enlarge
Odds of Making it to Pros. Click on Picture to enlarge

In most cases the sign doesn’t even faze these young dedicated hard chargers.  Oh, what confidence! If they only had that level of confidence and applied it towards their education.  Telling them about the things that could happen if they reached or didn’t reach their desired goal normally goes in one ear and out the other.  I decided to show the Teen Empowerment class the movie “Broke” by ESPN. The teens and I held a lively discussion after watching it.

I am also offering you the opportunity to watch this movie with your children. I’ve embedded “Broke” into this post below, not so much for its entertaining qualities but for the educational value it delivers.

While watching the movie, “Broke” you will observe that the National Football League Financial Education Program (FEP) now provides players with valuable knowledge to manage their personal finances and improve financial decision-making. The objective of the program is to ensure the long-term financial stability of players throughout the league.

The program offers players resources and a realistic perspective on the current economic environment. These noncredit seminars teach players about cash management, insurance, tax planning, estate planning, investments, retirement planning and other related topics.

The problem is its too-little-too-late.  With getting an average $250,000.00 and up weekly or biweekly paycheck along with promises of salaries in the millions over several years, these players are already blinded by the money, lost mentally into the glitz and glamour their new found wealth.  Personal money management training, at this point of their addiction for spending, for the average player is useless.  They just aren’t hearing it.  Especially when their family and friends all have designs on how to spend and manage the players finances as is so amply demonstrated in the ESPN’s movie, “Broke.”

The above is one of the areas in my Blog on that I am trying to help you and the youth in your life if their aspiration is for pro sports or celebrity status of any kind.  Building wealth and freedom at a young age is what is about.IMG_5771

According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 60 percent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress. They have been enticed into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical problems, and then you have those who are naturally prone to showing off and competing with the Joneses. Many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life.

My teens were shocked by these numbers.  They were amazed to hear about some of their favorite idols being caught in financial quagmires and losing all they got to scam artist. “An eye opener,” said one of the Teen Empowerment teens, “We don’t hear this kind of stuff on the news.”

I asked how many people they know would willingly admit they made a stupid investment and lost $50,000.00, or they knew of someone that lent another person upwards of $100,000, and know can’t find the person the money was  lent to.  Not many! Well, it’s no different with a superstar.  In fact, they like to keep their losses really private from the public’s eyes and pretend they have more than they really do by living above their means. We know that’s a recipe for trouble.

Would you admit to mistakes you’ve made financially so others could learn from them?  Leave a comment below.

Read my next blog, Part – 2:      of this 3 Part Mini Series

All FinLit Things Future Athletes & Celebrities Should Know Before Graduating to learn the type and level of financial education any student should have long before signing with any professional league or celebrity contract.  Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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