What it takes to win in sports and in the wealth game!

By Marjanne Olesen, Country Manager Norway, Lombard International Assurance

A summer of sport is well and truly upon us. From the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to Wimbledon’s Centre Court, the next few months will see the world’s greatest athletes push themselves to their limits for pride and glory.

The sporting events taking place are varied not just in discipline but also in format. Some, like the FIFA World Cup or the Women’s Hockey World Cup are national team events taking place every four years while others, such as the Tour de France and Wimbledon are annual prizes.

These events differ greatly, but the athletes involved all share one thing in common: preparedness is essential if they hope to succeed. From training and tactics to travel and diet, all aspects of an athlete’s life require intense preparation.

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Financial planning is also an essential aspect of preparedness for an athlete.  In their early careers, many will be focused solely on one objective – winning their match or race or event.  However, as they become more successful they need to think about how to prepare for the futures after their sporting careers. Recent research in the US has highlighted that 78% of NFL players face bankruptcy or serious financial pressure within only 2 two years of retiring, and 60% of NBA players face a similar situation within 5 years[1]. These are shocking statistics, especially given that these athletes are some of the highest earners in any sport around the world.

Sports stars tend to have shorter careers, and therefore often focus on their shorter term objectives. However, a shorter career also means a shorter time span to build their wealth, and it is essential that these individuals find advisors that are able to help them plan for the longer term too.

Sports stars may not necessarily have had the same experience of commerce and finance as some of their HNWI peers, and while there is no ‘no size fits all’solution to effectively managing wealth, expert wealth planning is essential to preserving and protecting the wealth of these individuals.

Taking into consideration the international style of an athlete’s life, unit-linked life insurance can be an efficient wealth planning solution. From a regulatory perspective, unit linked life insurance is an efficient vehicle to support long-term wealth planning across the globe in multiple jurisdictions. Unit linked life insurance solutions are often used to support cross-border investments, therefore providing great portability from one country to another. It caters to a wide range of family situations, international lifestyles and changes in residency.

The investment strategy is flexible and can be used in conjunction with the asset manager chosen by the policyholder.

Additionally, unit linked life insurance policies allow payments tobe made at any timeand there are limited restrictions to withdrawals, therefore has the flexibility to accept top ups and grow in tandem with the sportsperson’s career.

The more successful an athlete becomes, the greater the importance of financial planning in order to secure a bright future, way beyond the stadium lights!

[1]http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1153364

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