The NFL and the NFL Players Association have teamed up to build a comprehensive wellness program that helps retired football players make a better transition into a life without football, both financially and emotionally.
A recent article in The Employee Benefit News, "NFL aims to keep players financially fit," describes "The Trust," which officially launched in 2013. It's an extensive financial wellness program that includes education, lifestyle, health, and career services. It has helped about 1,000 former players each year.
Players who enroll are assigned a case manager who identifies their key issues. Then The Trust and its service partners devise a customized "game plan" that tells the player where he is financially, where he should be, and how to get there. A critical part of the program works to create a community for these retired players where they share their personal stories with each other and mentor others who are in need.
The most popular financial topics are estate planning, setting up college funds for players' children, business counseling, and investment strategies. The Trust also offers advice on health, fitness, relationships, mental health, new careers, and going back to school.
Many players who retire from pro football—frequently earlier than expected because of injuries—must deal with mental health issues. It's a big letdown when their playing days are over. When it ends, they can be left feeling alone and uncertain about what will come next. Plus, many players are managing money for the first time.
Reference: Employee Benefit News (November 23, 2015) "NFL aims to keep players financially fit"