Why Every Student-Athlete Needs Financial Wellness Training

Mar 7, 2023

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4 Reasons Why Every Student-Athlete Needs Financial Wellness Training

According to recent surveys, only 57% of U.S. adults are financially literate, and Gen Z has the lowest financial literacy scores. That shouldn’t come as a surprise—most people learn financial wellness the hard way—through trial and error—but it poses a real threat to student-athletes who are earning money for the first time.

Without basic financial literacy, student-athletes are more likely to run afoul of tax laws or fall victim to bad actors. That’s why ALC offers tools to help athletes look out for themselves.

Consider these four reasons why every student-athlete needs financial wellness training.

Student-Athletes Have Complicated Taxes

Student-athletes are independent contractors. Unless they partner with a service like ALC, which offers consolidated 1099s, student-athletes could have dozens of 1099s to file and a crippling tax bill waiting in April. Of course, there are ways to avoid that springtime sticker shock, such as paying quarterly tax estimates on NIL income or making contributions to a SEP-IRA.

NIL deals may also impact whether or not athletes can be claimed as dependents by their guardians. Financial wellness training can help athletes understand how and when they should be making tax payments.

Student-Athletes Want To Make Smart Credit Card Choices

The credit cards that college students open now can have a long-term impact on their credit scores. According to a recent GOBankingRates survey, 30% of Americans have over $1000 in credit card debt, 15% have more than $5,000 in credit card debt, and 6%—or 14 million Americans—have more than $10,000 in credit card debt.

While Gen Z is notably debt-averse, student-athletes should know how their credit card usage, APR, and minimum payments can affect their overall financial health. Financial wellness training can help athletes avoid the common pitfalls of credit card debt and learn how to use credit cards to build good credit.

Student-Athletes Can Get a Head Start on Retirement

Sure, it’s weird to contemplate an exit from the workforce before you’ve really entered the workforce, but setting aside small amounts toward retirement can help student-athletes reach their long-term financial goals faster. Think of it this way: A 27-year-old would have to stash away $214 a month to retire with $1 million; a 47-year-old would have to save $1491 per month to reach the same target. The earlier you start saving, the less you have to save each month.

Student-Athletes Can Maximize Their Earnings Through Investments

What’s the best plan for student-athletes who want to start investing? It depends on whom you ask. While newer offerings like cryptocurrency and NFTs have earned buzz (and criticism) in recent years, a more conservative financial strategy is to diversify holdings or invest in index funds. Financial wellness training can highlight the differences between various investment channels and help athletes make informed decisions about how and where to invest.

Student-athletes have unprecedented opportunities to establish financial stability before they even finish college, but most of these young adults need guidance and coaching to make better financial decisions. ALC is equipping college athletes with the tools and expertise they need to maximize their earnings. Through this partnership, ALC and Financial Finesse are empowering student-athletes to find financial success now and in the future.