On the heels of the Super Bowl, the idea of the millionaire professional athlete is hard to ignore. But the truth is that most professional athletes are simply not very good with their money. According to Sports Illustrated, 78 percent of NFL players file for bankruptcy or face serious financial problems just two years into their retirement. Sixty percent of NBA players face the same fate within five years of retirement. For most, the problem is these individuals are at their peak earning years when they are too young to appreciate solid financial planning, amid a culture that extols profligate spending. Tone it all down by an order of magnitude, however, and the retirement struggles of pro athletes and ordinary people might not be so different, though.

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