Sadly, hearing about a professional athlete falling victim to his own financial mismanagement, or the mismanagement of another, is an all-too-regular occurrence.
That’s why it’s such a pleasure to know the story of Ryan Broyles.
Broyles, a wide receiver out of Oklahoma, was chosen by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. Currently a free agent, Broyles recognized something early on in his professional career that still seems to escape far too many players: That the average length of an NFL career is just a few short years, and so it is in one’s best interests to be as smart as possible with one’s contract money.
Broyles took that to heart, and has opted to live WELL below his means for throughout his own career. Although his Lions contract was worth millions, the young player has opted to live on just $60,000 a year…and invest the difference.
And a big part of what make this work for him is that Broyles took a chapter out of the book used by financial planners everywhere when he made the decision to “automate” his finances. An article over at CNBC.com details that Broyles, who wasn’t always this prudent, has his bank account set up so that his obligations are met through an autopay feature.
“When the Lions drafted me in the second round of the 2012 draft and I got my signing bonus, the first thing I did was pay down my debts and put my bills on autopay — the first steps to getting my credit right,” says Broyles, who began his professional career with a $3.6 million rookie contract.
Personal finance guru David Bach is a huge fan of automatic payments. In his bestselling book The Automatic Millionaire, he writes, “You'll never forget a payment again — and you’ll never be tempted to skimp on savings because you won’t even see the money going directly from your paycheck to your savings accounts.”
Of his own financial perspective, Broyles says, “The goal was to play 10 years in the NFL. But financially, I planned like I wouldn’t make it past the next 10 minutes.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large