GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - A recent survey by American Express found that more than 75 million Americans are now playing fantasy football. While many of us obsess about drafting the right players and making the right moves, financial professional Justin Halverson with Great Waters Financial says fantasy football can also teach us some lessons about better managing our money.
Q: Who makes up the perfect fantasy team when it comes to your finances?
• There are some lessons we can learn from a few of last year’s stars that make them the perfect financial fantasy team.
1- Quarterback Tom Brady
• You need a good leader because financial planning is a team game.
• Planning for something like retirement is a lot for one person, the good news is you don’t have to do it alone!
• A trusted financial professional can help you navigate all of the decisions and make the right calls for your financial future.
2- Running Back, Doug Martin
• After two really bad years this Tampa Bay running back bounced back as the second-leading rusher in the league last year. (source if you choose to use stat: ESPN )
• In finance, you can bounce back and play catch up.
• Retirement accounts are designed to help older workers by allowing additional catchup contributions for workers age 50 and older.
• Younger workers are capped at saving $18,000 per year in their 401(k) and $5,500 in their IRAs for 2016. However, older workers can save an additional $6,000 in a 401(k) and $1,000 in an IRA.
• I have a retirement calculator on my website, greatwatersfinancial.com that can help you get started.
3- Wide Receiver, Julian Edelman
• You need to be able to make adjustments.
• This New England wide receiver was a quarterback in college but knew his best chance to make it in the NFL was by switching positions. (source if you choose to use stat: Bleacher Report )
• A financial plan isn’t something you can set and forget.
• You need to adjust your financial plan- especially when entering a new phase of life like having a baby, getting married or divorced, or having a child or grandchild entering college.
4- Tight End, Rob Gronkowski
• This Patriots tight end is universally considered the best fantasy option at his position. (source if you choose to use stat: Fantasy Pros )
• He’s a no brainer in a fantasy football draft, just like taking free or easy money should be when it comes to finances
• More than one-third of people who are putting money into employer-sponsored retirement plans are not taking full advantage of their employer’s match. That is like throwing money away. (Source if you choose to use stat: Vanguard).
• I recommend putting 10-15% of your salary into a 401(k) or IRA but if you can’t do that at least contribute enough to get the company match.
5- Kicker, Adam Vinatieri
• You need to think long term
• The 43 year old Indianapolis Colts kicker is the oldest player in the NFL. (source if you choose to use stat: CBS Sports )
• All that time has added up. He is currently third on the all-time scoring leader board (source if you choose to use stat: pro football reference )
• While each game or month matters, it is the overall points or savings that really helps down the road.
• Even low interest gains can add up, and that’s why it’s important to start saving early and think long term.