In my post the other day I missed a large and obvious factor in the effort these guys put into balancing their checkbooks--family:
I think there's more to the money issue than squandering it or upgrading a lifestyle. These guys are under immense pressure not only to provide for themselves and whatever wives and children they have but for other family members as well. I think this also speaks to @Dex's point about winning the lottery. Is IS a bit like that. Especially when you consider that athletes do not typically have access to the "wealth networks" that people who've built money over time have access to (or, more likely were BORN into). That makes them more vulnerable to bad advice...something that plagues investors of all backgrounds.
One thing I think I've been thinking a lot about as the concussion issue gains steam is how much these brain injuries factor into their decisionmaking while they play which is directly related to the ability to transition in my opinion. We're finally beginning to understand how concussion affect players post-career--depression for example. I think the next wave will be understanding player behavior during their careers.
Good stuff, here. Part of the wealth gap isn't simply not having that down-payment for your first house, it's having to help support the household where you were raised. Most pro athletes can get past the latter, but the former will still be there.
More here and in the video below. Watch it. Lot of good arguments.