Two years ago

Can an NBL career set you up for life?

As an above average NBL player with a 14 year career, can you retire forever and live off the fortunes generated?

Are there many who have done this or do most pros move on to less glamorous type of work following bball??

Topic #43371 | Report this topic

Two years ago

Yes if a top player who saved and didn't waste money. Which probably none have especially if not single.

Reply #689601 | Report this post

Two years ago

14 x $150,000 per annum

40% goes in tax

That leaves you with 90k Per annum

Even if you didn't spend a dollar that isn’t enough to set you up for life

Reply #689607 | Report this post

Two years ago

"14 x $150,000 per annum

40% goes in tax"

Please I urge you to get a new accountant ASAP because you are getting seriously ripped off.

Reply #689614 | Report this post

Two years ago


Reply #689616 | Report this post

Two years ago

Nick Kay is on a nice earner for the next 3 years, play in Europe at seasons end on short term contract and be smart you should have a nice nest egg.

Reply #689619 | Report this post

Two years ago


Most guys don't play anywhere near that long.
Usually waste 4 years at college, and few would be on top money straight away.
Keep in mind that until recently the salary cap was $1M, and whilst some guys are now getting much more, we don't know how sustainable that is.

Do they earn more than your average Joe? Yes, but not enough to retire after 10 years.

In my observation, even those smart enough to accumulate a nest-egg, make a couple of mistakes:
Too often they invest that nest-egg into a business, that they have no real idea how to run. Eg a retail shop, or cafe, etc.
I recall a certain famous Wildcat, who nearing retirement, and despite a LONG career, was basically broke because of failed businesses.

The other one is that they slide into sub-optimal employment, such as running a shop, or working for charity, not realising how quickly that nest-egg will run out.

In my view the smart ones are those who decided on a 2nd profitable career, and make the transition early. Haven't come across any ex-Wildcats, but I have worked with several ex-Eagles in the Mining Industry.

Reply #689625 | Report this post

Two years ago

Waste 4 years at college is a big call, who wouldn't want to get a degree while playing ball. Hodgson and sobey both have US partners.
Big assumptions made by all so I might have a crack.

Most smart players will be setting themselves up for after sport. Is that study, business, building contacts who knows depends on the person but most will have to work or generate some form of income aftersport. Even if they didn’t would you just stop even the filthy rich want more.

Reply #689629 | Report this post

Two years ago

Maher became a fireman, not sure if he's still doing it but perfect example of needing employment after playing. Doesn't strike me as someone that wasted his cash.
As for wasting 4 years in college, having a degree from a good school would be perfect for life after basketball. And if you go to the right school alumni would open doors over others. Better than having to pay big money for a degree here.

Reply #689630 | Report this post

Two years ago

#607 obviously OP meant players well over $150K. You can't on that amount.

Reply #689632 | Report this post

Two years ago

The majority of guys don't earn more than your average financial accountant or low end lawyer. None of those people can retire on 10 years salary.

There’s a misconception of huge money ($400k Lolz) in the L but for real, these guys don’t do big bucks, not most of them

Reply #689636 | Report this post

Two years ago

If you are one of the best ever players you can continue to earn huge dollars as a coach despite having NFI what you are doing.

Reply #689644 | Report this post

Two years ago

Once you'd hit say 30 you'd want to look more closely at the network of sponsors etc that you're working with and hope that you can be a spokesperson and face to that company for the next ten years or so and hopefully that opens some doors but realistically you won't have enough to love off of.

Fascinating to know who wants to work a real job post career (Like Maher as a fireman and Redhage as a financial advisor I think and they are higher echelon money earners) and those that work with foundations and charities and those that are basically starting for scratch from the back of the Centrelink queue

Reply #689645 | Report this post

Two years ago

They simply don't earn enough to be set up for life.

Very few are earn $500k+ for more than say 2 or 3 years.

Most players start on a smaller contract have a peak earning period of 3-5 years at say $250 to $400K pre tax which isn't gonna set you up for life.

If a player lived in Melb/Sydney and earnt $1,500,000 pre tax over a 8 year career they'd still not likely own their home in a reasonable suburb however if you live in a cheaper place like Adelaide/Cairns etc the amount required to at least own your home is very different.

Reply #689652 | Report this post

Two years ago

Its possible although unlikely.

A big advantage would be if the players had accommodation sorted by the club

Not paying high rent in a major city would mean they can save a high percentage of their income.

If they don't have an army of kids and/or get divorced and save over half their take home pay for 10 years and invest well they should be in a decent spot.

While perhaps not setup for life they may be in a spot where they have a bit of freedom to not take a crappy job at the end of their career and follow their passion (if they have one outside basketball) or get into a coaching role or something along those lines.

There would also be decent networking opportunities throughout their career that they may be able to take advantage of.

Reply #689657 | Report this post

Two years ago

You have to have a long career in the NBA to live comfortably off your playing career days. And even then some NBA stars blow it all with bad investments etc and have to get a job.

That just isnt possible for an NBL career. Or AFL for that matter.

Playing 4 years at college will get that player a degree with the idea being to transition that qualification into a post ball career. Sounds like a smart concept rather than a waste of time.

Reply #689660 | Report this post

Two years ago

I'm not sure how useful a degree is if you don't do anything with it for 5+ years. At least they aren't taking on a lot of debt to get the degree.

Reply #689665 | Report this post

Two years ago

I don't think most players salaries would set them up but if they are smart about it the contacts they make can put them in a good situation to have a good post basketball career. Definitely examples of that around Perth anyway.

Reply #689669 | Report this post

Two years ago

Well, most players move into coaching or Basketball Administration of some sort. And as someone eluded to earlier the whole point of getting a 4-year ride at an American college only helps you for life after basketball. These guys get to spend the majority if not their whole lives doing something they love. I still have my crappy sales targets to achieve and slog for my commission lol.

Reply #689670 | Report this post

Two years ago

A lot of the degrees from American colleges are not recognised around the world without doing back up university work in your home country when you get back, normally another year or two.
All sports people normally try and work when there careers are over or you go mad.
No sport people who only play in Australia can retire after there career is over except for a very few afl players right at the top end for all there careers. Most don't earn that much so clubs can afford the Martins, Fyfes, Franklins of the league.

Reply #689672 | Report this post

Two years ago

"You have to have a long career in the NBA to live comfortably off your playing career days. And even then some NBA stars blow it all with bad investments etc and have to get a job."

Not at all. Even 5 years in the NBA making minimum (close to a million) would go a long way to setting you up for the rest of your life if you invested wisely and lived within your means. Then if you manage even one season at the average salary of around $8m, you can absolutely set yourself up for life. For NBA players it is certainly achievable. The reason so many don't achieve it is because they don't spend wisely.

NBL players will need income after hoops though, and the smart ones are thinking of this during their playing time and working on their post basketball careers from day 1. AFL teams do this well these days with internships and the like to get players some experience while earning isn't an issue.

Reply #689680 | Report this post

Two years ago

I think just as much as it might put you in good stead, there'd be countless examples where it's hampered a professional life. e.g., while your peers get their finance degree, you're a dev player for peanuts. Then maybe you're 11th man while friends are finishing degrees and cutting their teeth. If you haven't studied or built up something on the side, you might be mid-twenties and starting cold while others are entrenched in a solid job.

Even if basketball puts you in a reasonable position, you still have to do something with your time. You probably still have to transition to a different trade/job where you're 10-15 years older than others with similar experience.

Reply #689682 | Report this post

Two years ago

I think it only puts you significantly behind if you let it.

I'm no professional athlete, but lived a fairly nomadic life for 12 years, where I worked whatever job I could get when out of Australia, but tried to find better jobs any time I was home. Sometimes that meant less money, but a better industry (I switched from Finance to Government and took less money for a future career I'd be more interested in).

No jobs were for longer than a year and a half and most far shorter. The gaps on my resume were a bit of a hindrance, for sure and I'm a little bit behind friends my own age, but not a lot considering they've been slogging away for years and I've been doing what I wanted.

Reply #689688 | Report this post

Two years ago

It won't set you up financially for life strictly on playing income as most NBL careers are lucky to last 10 or so years.
Most players would have some kind of plan outside of hoops.

Reply #689690 | Report this post

Duke Fan  
Two years ago

Hit up Hammer to invest your dollars, you'll be sweet

Reply #689694 | Report this post

Two years ago

I get my WNBL tips from him.

Reply #689699 | Report this post

Two years ago

If you are looking to make money, build a career, or become a professional ball player, then spending 4 (or 5) years bumming your way through a "General Studies" degree at some 4th-rate American college is definitely a waste.
Not saying its not a good time or a worthwhile experience, but it doesn't really enhance the bottom line.

Obviously if it leads to a pro career, it may be time well spent.

The other mistakes retiring players make is thinking there will always be a job for them in Basketball. Sure if you retire as a "name" there will be plenty of places prepared to offer you a role, but eventually you need to demonstrate some aptitude for coaching.

Reply #689724 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Two years ago

I think the average (mean) NBL career is only about 75 odd games (I stand to be corrected if someone has the data), which is say 4 to 5 seasons. Assuming the mean salary is say $90K ($1M spread over a couple of imports and locals), then the average lifetime earnings is only about $400K for a player, which with a good accountant could be taxed lightly.

That $400K (less tax) could be used as a nestegg for later, or a great divorce payout for a spouse or child support..... "18 years, 18 years, she has one of your kids, she got you for 18 years..."

Short answer is "No", an NBL career doesn't set you up for life financially, but if you are a smart guy, then "yes", it won't set you up financially, directly, but the contacts made through the sport could be used to further your career if you are studying.

For example, Jacob Holmes studied law, is now tied up with the NBL player's association so he is using his experiences as a player to benefit others and setting himself up.

Reply #689733 | Report this post

Two years ago

"then the average lifetime earnings is only about $400K for a player, which with a good accountant could be taxed lightly."

LOL. There's not much you can do if you are on a wage. "Taxed lightly" lmao, it's called the tax bracket, good luck.

Reply #689742 | Report this post

Two years ago

My query is about some of the older bench players and how they made ends meet. Some veterans being described as being "on the minimum" yet they have a family to support. Makes you query how accurate the rumoured salaries are - maybe the role players get paid more than we think?

Reply #689767 | Report this post

Two years ago

There are income averaging provisions.
There is also a well-now exploit for deferring income that is widely in place amongst AFL stars, and I would imagine NBL also.

Reply #689772 | Report this post

Two years ago

Averaging helps with tax but not cash flow week to week so much if you are in a lean contract year which was the question.

Reply #689774 | Report this post

Two years ago

NBL players can live a glamorous lifestyle, but may require employment later in life.

The cars, money, mansions, and women dont hang around!!

Reply #689783 | Report this post

Two years ago

Recent tax changes announced in the 2018 Federal Budget will hit some NBL stars too- but probably only the stars.

Image rights will no longer be able to be assigned to trusts or companies.

Essentially, any income from image rights will need to be taxed in the individual's name.

Reply #689828 | Report this post


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