INDIANAPOLIS — A financial expert says a person could live well on what the average National Football League player earns in four years. In fact, the economist, Rhoda Israelov, says that four-year veterans have a chance to bank more by age 25 than most retirees have at age 65.
Israelov is an Indianapolis certified financial planner and a vice president of E.F. Hutton & Co. She bases her calculations on figures provided by Michael Duberstein, director of research for the NFL Players' Assn. Her study is of interest because one of the arguing points by the union in the current NFL strike is that players have such a short time, an average of four years, to make the big money that pro football offers.
The union says the average NFL player earns $215,000 a year and has a career of just less than four years. Players also receive a pension of $150 per month for each season played. That would be $600 a month or $7,200 a year for a four-year player.
Her hypothetical case study is as follows: "Let's have our frugal and extremely well-disciplined NFL player pay $20,000 to his agent, maintain a second residence during the football season, pay taxes and living expenses and save $100,000 each year for four years," Israelov says. "With conservative investments, he accumulates a kitty of $550,000. With more aggressive investments gone right, we could be talking $700,000 or more.