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Study reveals NFL players not immune to need for bankruptcy

Land a solid pay check and never worry about finances again -- that is the dream for many people in Washington. Sadly, reality is much more finicky than that, and even those who draw in a steady, high-figure pay check can find themselves on the brink of financial disaster. A recent study found that even professional football players are not immune to this, and many find that bankruptcy is the most appropriate course of action to deal with overwhelming debt. 

The study found that approximately 2 percent of professional players for the NFL file bankruptcy papers after being off the field for two years. After being out of the game for 12 years, that number rose to 16 percent. The researchers noted that being paid relatively well did not provide players with any sort of protection against the need to file for bankruptcy.

The length or prestige of an NFL career does not seem to matter either, as those who were stars on the field have a roughly equal chance of filing for bankruptcy as those who mostly warmed the bench. Even Warren Sapp -- a defensive tackler in the NFL Hall of Fame -- once had to file for bankruptcy. His filing came five years after he left the field for good. 

While risky investments were cited as one possible reason for former NFL players' bankruptcies, it is likely that these individuals also faced life events similar to those of everyday individuals in Washington. Medical emergencies can affect virtually anyone from any walk of life, and, as most people know, medical bills can pile up in the blink of an eye. No matter a person's job, income or length of his or her career, bankruptcy can serve as an effective means to address the accumulation of overwhelming and destructive personal debt.

Source: CNN Money, "One in six retired NFL players goes bankrupt", Chris Isidore, April 15, 2015

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