Financially Smart Jock: Detroit Lion Ryan Broyles Lives on $60,000 a Year

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Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles has made national headlines for doing something so financially outrageous, it is trending on all the major news sites. ESPN reported Broyles lives on a $60,000-a-year budget supporting himself, his wife and his newborn son. Broyles was drafted by the Lions in 2012 during the second round draft. He signed on for a cool $3.6 million with $1.42 million guaranteed.

“Whatever comes, it’s just a blessing. But I got the mindset of a businessman off the field, I’ll tell you that,” said Broyles.

Broyles and his wife drive Mazdas. He still has the 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer he drove in college.

Many American families survive on much less than $60,000 a year. But why is this news? Broyle’s financial attitude is such a contrast to the financial decisions and lifestyle choices of others in the world of professional sports that stories like this cause amazement, mixed with a consuming curiosity to see exactly how these larger than life people are just like us.

According to Broyle’s ESPN interview, “It all started after a meeting with a financial adviser soon after being drafted in 2012. The adviser gave Broyles some advice he used to shape his life: Spend as you would like over the next few months. Figure out your means. Then set a budget, live within it and invest the rest.”

After living expenses, Broyles’ money has been allocated to investments, retirement savings and life after football. Smart move. In sports, those millions, which seem like a lot at first, are meant to last after the game ends. These sort of careers are often cut short because of injuries that result in medical bills that still keep coming even when the career is over.

In our society, celebrity extravagance is the norm and the latest millions-to-zero bankruptcy story isn’t worth the double click. In 2009, Sports Illustrated even went in-depth on the professional athlete bankruptcy phenomenon that said “by the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.”

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