Professional sports and the railroad industry have been among the sectors hit hardest by COVID-19, and Harman Wealth Management in The Woodlands, Texas, has helped clients who work in both those industries navigate the various challenges created by the pandemic, according to Dean Harman, managing director of the hybrid RIA.
Most clients of the firm, which manages about $500 million combined for its clients, are 45 to 70 years old, he told ThinkAdvisor during a recent phone interview. And that means many of them fall within the demographic most at risk with the virus.
Harman’s clients include a Major League Baseball coach in his early 60s who has worked in the league as a player and then a coach for a total of more than 40 years, the advisor said.
The coach, who is also a friend of Harman’s, left his team during spring training after a family emergency and then went back, but MLB then shut down due to COVID-19 in March, Harman recalled.
MLB then restarted and the teams were practicing for the abbreviated 60-game season. “It just got impossible,” however, with all the pandemic protocol complications and the coach left the team after a few weeks and decided to sit out the season, Harman said.
Fortunately, “he’s going to have enough money coming in from Major League Baseball for the rest of his life in pension [so], if he wants to, he is able to retire and be done” right now, the advisor said, noting he went over the coach’s finances with him and made it clear he was in a good place with his portfolio and could opt out of the season if he wanted to.
A lot of coaches in general tend to be “in more vulnerable age groups” when it comes to COVID-19, Harman noted. That includes some clients of his who are NFL coaches and are “just navigating this whole process” now ahead of that season, he said, pointing out one thing they’re concerned about is what happens if there winds up not being an NFL season due to the pandemic.
Two specific concerns of theirs: Will they still be paid? And how would that affect their financial situations?
One client of his is an NFL coach in his late 50s who didn’t get picked up by a team and went to work for the XFL, but that league canceled its planned 10-game season after just five games due to the pandemic, Harman noted.
That client had a residence in Phoenix and one in San Diego and couldn’t afford both anymore, Harman said, noting he’s helped the coach reduce expenses. One bit of advice the client is following: Giving up the San Diego residence and remaining in Phoenix because it’s cheaper.
In that client’s case, “I had to communicate that he couldn’t retire” yet based on his financial situation, Harman recalled, adding he thinks the coach may have to get another job for at least the time being and needs to continue working for another six years before retiring.