We have all read stories about professional athletes who struggle financially, and we often wonder how a person who was raking in millions at one point could suddenly be completely broke. We may assume that they were simply spending irresponsibly and that is all. However, like any person who is struggling with debt, there are often multiple factors that make it difficult for a person to avoid filing for bankruptcy

Professional athletes who come into sudden wealth may not be equipped to handle the influx of money. It can be quite difficult to know how to manage finances at a certain level. Imagine only being responsible for a small, easily-calculated sum of money for years and then being handed millions of dollars saddled with investment opportunities, increased tax responsibilities and business proposals. On top of that, there is also the expectation and eagerness to start living a more lavish lifestyle. So people spend, spend, spend but when their career ends, that money can be gone, gone, gone.

In addition to a lack of financial education, the shortness of an athlete’s career can also contribute to financial woes. While players in the NFL, NHL, MLB or NBA may have much shorter careers than people in traditional occupations, they may not know how long it will last in the first place. One injury could end a player’s career five years early. Unexpected job loss can be the source of many people’s financial troubles.

Professional athletes may also have enormous medical bills. When they are active players, they are likely covered to receive the best care available. But after their career ends, many injuries do not just go away. Some players require a lifetime of medical treatments. And as many of our readers know, medical debt is one of the most common types of debt that people across Milwaukee have to deal with.

When you break down these factors, it may make you rethink the financial problems of professional athletes. In many cases, they are dealing with the same financial obligations and responsibilities that the rest of us are, but maybe on a larger scale and in a condensed amount of time. But no matter who you are, there are ways to work through financial problems and seek debt relief solutions.

Source: The Fiscal Times, “When Hoop Dreams Turn to Bankruptcy Nightmares,” Christina Couch, March 14, 2014