With a league minimum salary of close to half a million dollars, the NFL is creating a steady stream of new millionaires. Often, these young athletes end up blowing much of it on extravagant cars, big entourages of their high school buddies, and bling. Lots and lots of bling. The smart ones like FortuneBuilders CEO Than Merrill invest. The money is phenomenal, but the average NFL career is less than four years. They will make a lot of money in a short time. Investing is crucial to surviving after football.
Fortunately, players are getting smarter. Buying property has become more common. A few of them have even taken their NFL salaries and built empires. Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys is a great example. He retired from football before the days of the multi-million dollar contracts, and was still able to use the popularity gained playing football to sell cars and real estate very successfully. John Elway of Denver Broncos, also made a fortune after retiring from the game.
These days, the mind boggling salaries of the players allow them to retire comfortably. That is, as long as they spend their money wisely. More and more of them are buying houses. Even when there is a fair chance that they will be traded to another team and have to relocate. Real estate holdings by NFL players in the San Diego area alone are impressive. Here are just a few that invested in San Diego property:
• LaDainian Tomlinson. Mr. Tomlinson bought a house San Diego for $3.5 million. It has roughly 10,000 square feet, with lots of extras. Outside, there’s a waterfall and a rope bridge. Inside, there’s a hidden home theater.
• Philip Rivers. The long time quarterback for the Chargers owns a $3.3 million home with six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a wine cellar, full bar, library and a media room. Outside, there’s a courtyard with a fountain, an outdoor fireplace, built-in BBQ, swimming pool with a waterfall and private rose gardens.
• Quentin Jammer. His 4,300-square-foot home sold recently for $1.2 million. It’s a highly-upgraded model with 5 bedrooms and 4.5-bathrooms. It has custom cabinetry, a state-of-the-art entertainment system and his-and-hers closets.
There are many other professional athletes living in the year round warmth of Southern California. Many of them never played for a local team, but retired to the area anyway. I can’t say I blame them, do you?