Brian Tramuel helms this series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.
When I moved to Charlotte I worked for a small Equity Real Estate Investment Trust. They acquired and leased units for two apartment communities in Charlotte. One had an A+ rating and because of its amenities, short-term lease options, convenience to the airport, interstate, coliseum, stadium and Uptown Charlotte, it became a favorite for newly signed Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers players.
As part of the due diligence I performed site visits and worked directly with the community manager. We developed a rapport and our conversations often moved beyond the scope of business.
The recent stories of Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks and Ryan Broyles of the Detroit Lyons bring to mind an older story. A resident stormed into the community manager’s office after receiving a letter about moving one of his vehicles, he owned three. Two apparently never moved from spaces close to his apartment building and although there was no assigned parking, other residents complained. Aside from fairness, he could have easily accommodated the request to move them and allow other residents the opportunity to park their vehicles closer. Garages were available (for a premium) and he was given approval to move both to parking allotted for guest / visitors. Later she told me that he was a member of the Carolina Panthers and had signed a short-term lease as he was building a home.
I didn’t recognize him or his name, what stood out were the vehicles, clothes and jewelry. I don’t know his specific situation but we read about many professional sports players failing to plan for their future and lacking a basic understanding of money management. According to the NFL Players Association the average career is about 3.3 years and I imagine most professional athletes, no matter how celebrated and internally invincible, have no money in a 401(k), no savings in case of a career-ending injury and no trusts held for access at a later in time.
I believe many professional teams are starting to offer financial counseling (if not, it has been widely suggested) for their players. Nothing is ever promised to any of us, especially a pro athlete and making our money last is a financial challenge we all face whether we make millions of dollars per year or thousands.
Lynch announced his retirement and along with it came a report that he saved all of his playing money and lived strictly off of his endorsements. While Broyles and his wife live on a $60k year budget despite a contract worth more than $3.5M.
Being mindful about how we save, spend and invest our money; an education all of us can learn.
Play to win.