Do you have what it takes to be smart with money?
I know that the statistic in the title is shocking. But, that doesn’t make it any less true. For 15% of all NFL players to go bankrupt 12 years after retiring, we are doing something gravely wrong with our financial literacy.
In conducting research for this article, I learned of that statistic from a study on ScienceDirect called “The Psychology and Neuroscience of Financial Decision Making.” Yes, it’s a bit nerdy, but the thought of NFL players (who many of us aspired to be growing up) blowing millions of dollars because of a lack of basic financial knowledge is incredibly unnerving.
The thought that comes to my mind is this. If NFL players — and who knows maybe this is representative of many high paid athletes — can’t manage their retirement while earning millions, what chance is there for the rest of us to reach our coveted FIRE goals?
Well, I’m glad you asked. The truth is that you don’t need to make millions to retire early and live a great life. Like anything in life, it’s about doing the small (albeit important) things well. You know the things that aren’t fun, aren’t sexy, and aren’t what all the cool people are doing.
It’s about the grind and the hustle. You have to learn, implement, fail and correct course. Then, you have to repeat about a million times.
What you will probably find is that among the 85% of NFL players who aren’t bankrupt, some are on the brink of losing it all, some are mediocre at best, and some are killing it. Those that are killing it did something similar to what got them to the NFL in the first place. They figured out the process.
Yes, the infamous process. Indulge yourself in enough personal development and business jargon like I have and you hear it often: trust the process. The Philadelphia 76ers even used it as their motto as they were rebuilding their team between 2014 to 2017.
OK, so what is the process? Well, I’ll lay it out for you below.
But, I’m warning you: it’s not fun. And it’s nothing earth shattering. It’s pretty basic stuff.
How willing are you to commit to this process though? Sure, it may be basic, but living it is a different story. Let’s dive in.