5 Careers A Frugal Athlete Can Excel In After Retiring From Sport

Professional athletes are some of the earliest professionals to retire. The great Michael Jordan retired at the prime age of 33 and David Beckham retired at 38. Having to leave so early from the profession you spent your whole life working towards can prove to be quite a challenge. Many athletes find it difficult to transition from a fast-paced athletic lifestyle, to retirement, to entering another career entirely. It’s a growing trend for pro athletes to encounter financial difficulties after losing their high-paying jobs. Therefore it’s important for athletes to look into financially viable jobs after they’ve left their professional career. For those in this position the job market is looking good. The US Department of Labor unemployment reading on FXCM’s economic calendar is at 3.6%, which indicates that job growth has surged in the country. With the growth of potential job markets, there are plenty of opportunities for athletes looking for a new career. We’ll look at five jobs suited for a frugal athlete looking to stay financially stable.



Sometimes we forget that legendary coaches like Lenny Wilkens and Phil Jackson used to play in the NBA before becoming coaches. Coaching for the pros is a very lucrative industry, and if you do it well, you’ll be in high demand. However, coaching for in the professional ranks isn’t the only option. Some professional athletes also coach at high school and collegiate levels, and are doing very well. Coaching is a skill that comes naturally to professional athletes – largely due to how playing in a professional league trains them to be good communicators and motivators.


Forbes shared a LinkedIn study that looked at the professions of former NFL players. The study found that the top profession for former NFL players is small business owners. While most recently retired players will stay in sports or coaching, those who’ve been out for 10-20 years are likely to be in entrepreneurship. The great thing about entrepreneurship is that former athletes can still integrate their love for the sport into their business. After Magic Johnson retired for example, he transitioned into the business world through his company, Magic Johnson Enterprises. Through his business, Magic bought the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014. While not all athletes retire as rich as Johnson, a business that incorporates sports or sporting goods is a viable option for former pro athletes.

Sports Broadcasting

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Sports broadcasting is another viable industry for former pro athletes. Sports analysis comes second nature to them, and they help give voice to the game by depicting what goes on in an athlete’s mind from past experience. Doug Collins who used to play for the 76ers in the 70s is now one of the most popular on-air NBA analysts.

Sports Administration

Every team needs a manager. Former athletes who’re still looking for a fulfilling career in sports should look into sports administration. The best part is, administration exists at various levels: from high school, to college, and up to the professional leagues. Those who work in the professional and college levels can even have salaries in the six figure range or more. What better person to look after a team than someone who knows what it's like to be a team member themselves?

This blog was written by Ralph C. Johanson