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27 Apr 2017

An Open Letter To The 2017 NFL Draft Picks From The YNAB Team

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by Lindsey Burgess

An Open Letter To The 2017 NFL Draft Picks:

Big day for you guys—congratulations!

I have to believe this is the realization of a dream you’ve been working toward for your whole lives. A dream that so few people will ever achieve but you and your hard work and natural talent landed you right in the middle of it all. Also, all those dollar signs!

I can’t say that I know much about football or becoming a millionaire overnight, but I do know a bit about money management and here is the thing: no amount of money is enough money to overcome poor money management.

Your money is finite—even your huge, new piles of money—it will run out at some point.

In fact, your prospects don’t even look all that great. According to the NFL Players’ Association, the average NFL career lasts 3.3 years. More importantly, the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that 78 percent of players go broke within three years of retirement and 15.7 percent file for bankruptcy within 12 years of leaving the league.

Money does not solve money management problems.

But you have such an opportunity right now!

With just the NFL Minimum Salary: 

4 years = $2,310,000 | After agent fees and estimated taxes = $1,299,184

If you live off $10K/month, and invest $17K/month for four years, this will happen:
In 20 years = $2,873,227
In 30 years = $5,145,513
In 40 years = $9,214,830

And if you happen to be the 1st Overall Pick: 

Estimated 4 year salary (plus bonuses) = $46,455,981 | After agent fees and estimated taxes = $25,533,661

If you live off $10K/month, and invest $522K/month for four years, this will happen:
In 20 years = $87,875,582
In 30 years = $157,371,784
In 40 years = $281,828,897

Yowza. Now those are some big numbers. Compound interest for the win!

So, celebrate! Reward yourself! And then plan to live off of a reasonable fraction of your money, and save well.

Save as if you won’t be making this much forever (you won’t!).
Save as if you could get injured tomorrow (you could!).
Save as if you were setting yourself up for financial independence (you are!).

And just because we know most of us were never taught money management growing up (and because Marshawn Lynch might be busy), YNAB will give all the NFL draft picks lifetime subscriptions to YNAB for free! And, heck, we’ll even throw in a coaching session with our CEO, Jesse Mecham!

Best of luck on the field and with all that compound interest!

The YNAB Team

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