- Fumbled opportunities? Nearly one in six NFL players goes bankrupt within 12 years of retirement.
- (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Despite big paydays, many National Football League
players run into financial trouble after they retire and nearly one in six files for bankruptcy within a dozen years of hanging up their cleats, according to a new analysis.
“Players with median-length careers earn about $3.2 million in a few years. If they are forward-looking and patient, they should save a large fraction of their income to provide for when they retire from the NFL,” Kyle Carlson
, Joshua Kim
, Annamaria Lusardi
and Colin F. Camerer
wrote in a working paper
released this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research
Instead, the researchers found that 15.7% of players file for bankruptcy within 12 years of retiring from the league, with little difference based on career length or earnings. “Having played for a long time and having been a successful and well-paid player does not provide much protection against the risk of going bankrupt,” they wrote.