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Beyond the Spotlight: Crafting a Financial Game Plan for Athletes

Growing up, like many kids, I dreamt of becoming a professional athlete. The allure of game 7 heroics, the sound of cheering fans, and the promise of a good life was irresistibly magnetic. And I did get a taste of that life – jet-setting across the country, playing on storied fields, and watching my dad sign autographs. Memories I'll always cherish.

However, behind the glamorous highlight reels is a reality most overlook. The pressure to retain one's position, the relentless travel, and the constant relocations can be exhausting. Becoming a pro athlete is as much a triumph as it is a unique challenge.

Now, as a wealth advisor specializing in athletes and entrepreneurs, my mission is to equip clients with robust preparation and planning. My seasoned business partner, Steve Ruvituso, often shares the 5 P’s mantra: “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” It's not just a catchy phrase; it's pivotal for our client relationships.

For athletes, financial planning is a vast landscape – covering lifestyle, cash flow, estate matters, retirement, taxes, risks, and even contingencies for unexpected career ends. And it's vital to grasp their unique career timeline. Although we hear stories of athletes with decade-long careers, the reality is the average professional stint is between 3 to 5 years. Pair this with evolving sports technologies that, while boosting performance, also increase injury rates, and you get a complex financial scenario. It's imperative for these professionals, even those with extended careers, to consider life after their sports tenure.

Consider this: a 15-year athletic career culminating at 40 still means 50 years of financial planning, unlike a regular professional retiring at 65 with around 25 years to plan for.

One question I'm consistently approached with, especially from young athletes on the brink of their professional journeys, is, "What's the single most vital piece of advice you could offer?" Time and again, my response remains unwavering: It's about the caliber of people you align yourself with.

As an up-and-coming athlete, you're not just choosing an agent or a wealth advisor. You're selecting partners for one of the most crucial phases of your life. Your agent will be the face representing you, negotiating on your behalf, and guiding your career trajectory. Meanwhile, your wealth advisor isn't just managing your finances; they're helping prepare for your future, to help ensure that the money you earn during your athletic career supports you after you leave the field.

Make these choices with the utmost care. Ensure that they not only understand the nuances of your profession but are genuinely invested in your success. The impact of these decisions will reverberate for years to come, so lean into expertise and choose partners who champion your best interests.

So, to all rising athletes out there, I urge you: Be deliberate. Seek counsel, do your research, and when you're ready to make those pivotal decisions, remember that at SYKON Capital, we pride ourselves on bringing innovative, value-focused financial planning solutions tailored to your unique journey. Let's craft that future together.

-Shawn Teufel

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