YES. It is very possible to go poor after a successful professional career where you making millions of dollars (per year sometimes).
I found a really interesting and rather scary article the other day on Professional Wrestler Ric Flair. Anyone that remotely followed prowrestling will know the name and the legend that surrounds Ric Flair. Flair has been around since the 70s and he still wrestles to this date.
The character of “Ric Flair” is played by Richard Fliehr. The character is sort of difficult to define if you haven’t seen it. In a nutshell, Ric Flair is (in his own words) a:
Stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun!
You can check out the article here: The Wrestler In Real Life. For now let’s get back to the whole point of the article. How did this man go from a highly lucrative career to being in debt and still working into his 60s?
How can you go broke when making millions? How can you be poor when you make more money than most people?
Horrible investment decisions.
This article goes over some of the horrible investment decisions that one can make. Everything is covered from life insurance to opening up a gym without knowing much about the industry. The truth is that often times the best investment is the investment that you don’t make. There’s nothing wrong with storing your fortunes in a high interest savings account.
Getting conned by close friends.
If you want to make a plethora of friends all you need to do is brag about how much money you have. At least that’s what it seems like.
The author of the article describes how Fliehr trusted individuals that he considered to be close friends with his savings. In the end he got screwed over a few times. It’s a shame to read about this because I still want to believe that you can trust your friends.
The simple formula for success in personal finance has been and always will be: spend less than you earn. There are many more principles that you can add to this. The point being is that if you spend more money than you have coming in, you’ll never be able to save anything.
Fliehr in this case decided that instead of trying to appreciate the money that he had coming in, he would spend way more money. He would buy things that he just couldn’t afford. An ex-wife of Fliehr mentions that on top of being in debt the couple would spend $5,500 per month on clothing and $2,000 on eating out. That’s a lot of cash to be blowing when you owe money.
Poor marriage choices.
Nobody gets married planning to get divorced. It just sort of happens. However, I’m assuming that most people that get into a marriage understanding that they can only be with one person. It seems to me from this article that Fliehr got into every marriage without any intention of being faithful.
I can’t judge his actions. I can comment on the fact that poor marriage choices or getting married when you’re not totally ready can lead to you going broke.
There you have it. A clear cut way to go broke after making millions of dollars in your life. I don’t mean to be completely facetious. I just wanted to share the interesting (and sad) points that I picked up from this piece.
On a more serious note, articles like this really make me sad. I don’t mean to pick on Fliehr because there are many horror stories about athletes that retire poor. This article just really hit home for me because I’ve always been a fan of his work.
Ask the readers: what do you think of these horror stories about celebrities that make a fortune and retire poor? What would you do in this situation?