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The at risk checklist

An NFL agent of 27 years works with the financial community to develop a tool to help players see the warning signs of going broke. Jack Bechta

Print This April 10, 2013, 01:30 PM EST

One simple tool that I believe that can be helpful in evaluating one’s fiscal health is the development of an ultimate “At Risk Check List”. In speaking to a large group NFLPA certified Financial Advisors last week, I shared the idea of using a checklist. The feedback was positive and we, along with the NFLPA, have agreed to come up with a checklist players can quickly use to fiscally evaluate themselves and see if they are at risk for a fiscal Armageddon.

In order to make this tool a useful reality, I want to recruit some help from our audience, especially those who work in financial consulting, investments, accounting and/or banking. Additionally, I want feedback from current/former players and/or their spouses. The checklist should be simple with the ability to produce an immediate wake up call that they may be headed off a fiscal cliff of their own.

Here is the list I used in my most recent presentation to NFLPA certified financial consultants:

1) Do you know on average how much you spend per month?
2) Do you have a set budget in place and strictly adhere to it?
3) Do you own more than two cars?
4) Do you own more than 25k in jewelry?
5) Do you own more than two houses?
6) Is your marriage headed for divorce or separation?
7) Do you pay child support for two children or more not living with you?
8) Do you know your credit score?
9) Is your credit score below 650?
10) Do you buy or lease brand new cars?
11) Did you spend more than 60k for a new car?
12) Do you save at least 50%/40%/30% of your income? (Depending on income)
13) Are your monthly expenses over 10k, 15k, 20k, or 30k per month? (Income)
14) Is there a large portion of your contract that is guaranteed?
15) Do you gamble frequently or have you ever lost over 10k in one weekend?
16) Do you financially support other family members and or friends?
17) Do you have a professional helping you with your money and do you speak frequently?
18) Do you have a current financial plan in place and are you following it with discipline?

The checklist should not be more than 15 to 20 questions. The questions should be answered with either “yes” or “no” and then given a value in order to formulate some type of score that will indicate to the player if he is "At Risk" for going broke and to what degree. There may be some adjustments made for those making more than $2 million per year and again for those making more than $5 million per year.

Please use the comment section below for your input and I will take the best ideas and incorporate them into the ultimate At Risk Checklist for NFL players.

This checklist may not turn the tides but it may help players get a wake up call before its too late. 

Follow me on Twitter: @Jackbechta

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