Financially savvy athletes know how to live below their means and invest in their personal brand. The same goes for average Americans, too.
Professional athletes earn huge sums of money at a young age, but their sports careers are often short-lived due to injuries, underperformance or other factors. Many wind up destitute later in life, not unlike lottery winners with a sudden influx of cash and little experience managing money. An infamous 2009 Sports Illustrated story reported that more than three-quarters of former NFL players were bankrupt or financially strapped within two years of retirement and 60 percent of former NBA players went broke within five years of retirement.