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Ex-NFL Player Mario Henry: How to Avoid Fumbling Your Retirement Money

Image: Ex-NFL Player Mario Henry: How to Avoid Fumbling Your Retirement Money

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Nov 2017 01:59 PM

Eighty percent of retired NFL players go broke in their first three years out of the league, according to Sports Illustrated.

I was one of them.

Out of football and money at age 28, I saw the financial woes of big-money ballplayers as symptomatic of a larger problem plaguing average Americans – a retirement problem. Experts say many people are inadequately prepared or poorly advised when it comes to retirement planning. As a result, they outlive their funds.

Surveys this year by the National Institute on Retirement Security found 88 percent of Americans fear a retirement crisis, and 60 percent are behind schedule in what they need for retirement savings.

My mission since I left football has been to educate and help people avoid the pitfalls of retirement planning. When I played football, we practiced against the worst-case scenario that we could face on game day. Many Americans are not planning for those worst-case scenarios in the fourth quarter of their lives, and some who believe they are prepared may have a false sense of security.

I can think of three definite “don’ts” when planning your financial strategy for retirement. No. 1 is don’t leave your house paid off. Home equity and leverage can be a very powerful path for retirement income. That is probably one of the biggest secrets that most financial experts are not aware of.

What we do not know and understand is that having a paid-off home effectively traps all the money that homeowners have given to the bank, plus appreciation in the house. The only way you can use the home’s value is to take out a loan with the house as collateral, or sell the house outright.

Second, don’t forget to factor in variables. For instance, your financial adviser must factor in things such as your life expectancy, the possibility of having a catastrophic disease, and at least a 3 percent inflation rate. Don’t be satisfied when your financial adviser tells you how much money you should have saved by the end of your working years. Instead, ask what that translates to hypothetically on a yearly net amount of income.

Wall Street has absolutely zero to do with you having enough life-long income.

Pensions are disappearing and now the middle class is having to gamble on the stock market.

Third, don’t buy into the 401(k) myth. On the front end, you’re delaying paying taxes on income you invest in a 401(k). But the back end can be a big problem; you have to pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it – and at age 70 ½ you are required to start making withdrawals whether you want to or not. This could be onerous, depending on your other sources of retirement revenue.

Many commonly accepted financial strategies such as using a 401(k) are, in reality, more myth than fact. If people really understood all the negative implications of delaying taxes, they might think twice about using a 401(k), which wasn’t designed to provide life-long income, and search for some alternative retirement planning.

Our nation is facing a retirement crisis in which the current financial methods in the near future will possibly fail millions of people. There are going to be millions who will run out of money in the very near future unless they open themselves to new ideas.

Mario Henry, a former National Football League player, is a financial services professional with 18 years of experience in the industry and author of How to Hire Your House, an innovative guide on how to create a tax-free pension and sustain sufficient income through retirement. Mario also is a licensed insurance broker and a national motivational speaker. He was a wide receiver with the NFL’s New England Patriots and a scholarship football player at Rutgers University.

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Eighty percent of retired NFL players go broke in their first three years out of the league, according to Sports Illustrated.I was one of them. Out of football and money at age 28,
nfl, player, fumbling, retirement, money
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2017-59-22
Wednesday, 22 Nov 2017 01:59 PM
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