It can be difficult to even define retirement.
Retirement marks the permanent cessation of employment for some people. Others may experience it more as a change in perspective, a career change, or a period during which they are not required to work to support themselves.
Most people only have one chance to prepare for and enjoy retirement, which typically begins in our 60s. However, lessons about what constitutes a financially secure and prosperous retirement can be learned from other aspects of life.
One is that we can see how professional athletes retired when they were younger. To learn more about what the NFL and their experiences taught them about retirement planning, I recently spoke with a number of former and retired NFL players.
You’re never too young to retire, says Marques Ogden
Let’s start with my good friend Marques Ogden, a former offensive tackle in the NFL. Marques was the only offensive lineman selected from Howard University to date and played for six seasons in the NFL.
You can retire at any age, according to Ogden, who shared with me his biggest retirement lesson from the NFL. “Your football career could end in the blink of an eye. I discovered through league play that every player’s next play, regardless of how good they are, could be their last.
Everyone can experience this; your health or company budget cuts may force you into retirement.
Ogden mentioned that other players, including Hall of Famer Ed Reed, taught him how to plan for retirement.
“I discovered the importance of always being ready for an early retirement. Other than my brother, Ed Reed was a man from whom I learned a lot, according to Ogden. Ed Reed was very good at living within his means. He wasn’t flashy or out partying; instead, he was concerned with leading a good life, excelling in his field, and planning for the future.
This is a great reminder to save money whenever you can, to enjoy life, and to make sure we are saving money for our retirement. No one else is going to save for us if we don’t do that.
Think Ahead About a Career After Retirement, advises Mike Hollis
NFL kicker Mike Hollis, who played nine seasons, said the league taught him a lot about planning for the future and dealing with challenges.
According to Hollis, an NFL player’s career only lasts an average of three years. Therefore, it’s crucial for everyone to be realistic when it comes to the statistics, including NFL players who need to consider their post-retirement options.
After nine years of playing, Hollis’ career was cut short by an injury, and he was forced to retire.
Because I cherished the game, Hollis admitted, “I was not mentally prepared for this.” “However, because I prepared realistically for my post-football career, I was able to enter the industries I had considered and planned for during my playing years with relative ease. After experimenting with other business opportunities during the first three years after officially retiring, this is what ultimately motivated me to start up my own kicking instruction company. The ProForm Kicking Academy of Mike Hollis is about to celebrate 18 prosperous years in business!
Hollis was able to adapt his mindset to a career after the NFL and rewire how he went about starting a career. Many Americans also need to figure out how to work after they retire in order to find purpose in life and maintain their financial situation.
David Carter: While you still have your NFL money, learn how to make new money
It’s never simple to get used to life after retirement and change. But losing something you love is even more difficult. Former NFL lineman David Carter found it difficult to adjust to life outside of the league.
Carter admitted, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and it was all my fault. “It’s difficult to adjust to a regular life after the league, including a regular job, less money, and regaining your confidence to start something new. A word of advice: Start learning new money making skills while you have your NFL money and the support of the team around you.
Because paychecks stop and you have to reinvent your next phase, both financially and emotionally, retiring is difficult for many people.
Health and nutrition are Carter’s areas of passion.
I was 320 pounds and a vegan while I was in the league, earning the moniker “300-pound Vegan,” according to Carter. “From there, I made a Netflix NFLX documentary about my hobby called “Game Changers” and appeared on the Netflix program “What the Health.”
Learn the Language of Money to Make Smart Decisions, advises David Tyree
David Tyree’s journey from Super Bowl champion to NFL retiree has been amazing. When Tyree decided to leave the NFL, budgeting was his biggest adjustment.
I mentally prepared myself for the change. I refinanced my house to lower my payments, and I cut out all the bad spending habits,” Tyree said. “We worked to tighten up a loose budget that we had. However, nothing could have prepared us for the 90 percent drop in income, from over $1 million to just $100,000.
Tyree added that budgeting and the adjustment to lower incomes depend on one’s education.
Tyree declared, “Money is a language like any other foreign language. “In order to make wise decisions, we must understand the language of money. Our relationship with money will improve as a result of language learning. To make sure we can make the most of the resources and increase wealth, everything starts with a budget and figuring out healthy spending habits.
Reggie Walker advises first figuring out what you want from life
Reggie Walker, a seven-year veteran of the NFL, offered advice on living life intentionally rather than by accident.
The most important lesson Walker took away from his experience was the need to first figure out what he wanted to get out of life before planning his future. “If I based my life on what other people want for me, I would never be happy. Although it seems easy to understand, it’s not.
He added that you need to be aware of your financial situation and align it with your life.
Walker said, “You need to be aware of what’s happening with your money. “You need to find a way to educate yourself on the topic if you don’t understand the terminology or the system itself. YOU must assist you.
Use these lessons to improve your life
Even though everyone’s retirement is unique, there are a lot of universal principles that can be applied to our circumstances and lives.
Start by deciding on the kind of life you want to lead. Next, create a budget so you can see where you are spending your money and where you can make savings in case your retirement income declines. Then, study financial and retirement income planning, a separate, intricate field that includes investments, tax regulations, and strategies.
Additionally, you need to have fun and mentally get ready for retirement. As you leave the workforce, consider what else will keep you busy and give you meaning.
Finally, keep in mind that you must be ready for anything. It might be a forced retirement or a retirement that lasts longer than anticipated. Because life is unpredictable, it’s important to consider both the certainty of today and the uncertainty of tomorrow when making retirement plans.