International Sportspeople: Strategic Wealth and Succession Planning for a Secure Future


The career of an international sportsperson is often characterized by substantial financial rewards, sponsorship deals, and various income streams. However, these careers are typically short-lived, with the average retirement age being relatively low compared to other professions. Consequently, it is crucial for athletes to adopt a strategic approach to wealth management and succession planning to ensure a secure financial future for themselves and their families. This comprehensive guide explores essential aspects of wealth management and succession planning for international sportspeople.

  1. Understanding the Unique Financial Landscape of International Sportspeople

International sportspeople face a unique set of financial challenges due to their atypical career trajectories, variable incomes, and exposure to different tax jurisdictions. As such, it is vital for athletes to understand their specific financial landscape and seek professional advice tailored to their needs. Key areas to consider include:

a. Career Lifespan: Athletes should recognize the limited duration of their careers and plan accordingly, investing in assets that can generate long-term, sustainable income.

b. Taxation: International sportspeople often have complex tax liabilities, with income generated in multiple countries. It is crucial to engage tax experts familiar with cross-border taxation to ensure compliance and optimize tax-efficiency.

c. Income Fluctuations: The variable nature of an athlete’s income, which may include bonuses, endorsements, and prize money, makes budgeting and financial planning more challenging. Athletes should prioritize establishing an emergency fund and budget for long-term financial goals.


  1. Building a Comprehensive Wealth Management Strategy

A well-rounded wealth management strategy is essential for international sportspeople to preserve and grow their wealth. Key components of a successful strategy include:

a. Diversification: Athletes should diversify their investment portfolio across various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and private equity, to mitigate risk and optimize returns.

b. Risk Management: As high-income earners with relatively short careers, athletes should carefully consider their risk tolerance and invest accordingly. Engaging a financial advisor experienced in managing the wealth of sports professionals can help in this regard.

c. Retirement Planning: With shorter careers, athletes must prioritize saving for retirement early on. They should consider pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and other tax-advantaged retirement vehicles to build a sustainable retirement income.

d. Insurance: Appropriate insurance coverage, including life, disability, and income protection, is vital to safeguard an athlete’s financial security and provide for their family in case of unforeseen circumstances.


  1. Succession Planning and Estate Management

Estate planning and succession management ensure the smooth transfer of wealth and assets to the athlete’s family and beneficiaries. Key aspects of effective succession planning include:

a. Creating a Will: A well-drafted will is essential for international sportspeople to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. Engaging an estate planning attorney with cross-border expertise can help navigate complexities and protect the athlete’s interests.

b. Establishing Trusts: Trusts can be an effective tool for wealth preservation and tax planning. They allow athletes to protect their assets, control their distribution, and provide for their family members, including those with special needs.

c. Business Succession: Athletes with business interests should plan for the transition of ownership and management to minimize disruptions and secure the future of their enterprise.

d. Philanthropy: Many athletes choose to establish charitable foundations or contribute to causes they are passionate about. Engaging a philanthropy advisor can help develop a strategic giving plan that maximizes impact and aligns with the athlete’s values and goals.


  1. Building a Team of Trusted Advisors

To successfully navigate the complexities of wealth and succession planning, international sportspeople should assemble a team of trusted advisors with expertise in various areas. Key members of

this advisory team may include:

a. Financial Advisor: A financial advisor with experience managing the wealth of sports professionals can help athletes develop a comprehensive financial plan that addresses their unique needs and goals.

b. Tax Consultant: Engaging a tax consultant with expertise in cross-border taxation is crucial for international sportspeople to ensure compliance and optimize tax efficiency.

c. Estate Planning Attorney: An attorney specializing in estate planning and cross-border issues can help draft a will, establish trusts, and provide guidance on other aspects of succession planning.

d. Insurance Agent: A knowledgeable insurance agent can help athletes determine the appropriate coverage levels for life, disability, and income protection insurance to safeguard their financial security.

e. Philanthropy Advisor: For athletes interested in charitable giving, a philanthropy advisor can assist in developing a strategic giving plan that aligns with their values and objectives.


  1. Preparing for Life after Sports

Transitioning from a professional athletic career to retirement or a new profession can be challenging. International sportspeople should consider the following aspects to ensure a smooth transition and maintain their financial security:

a. Education and Skill Development: Athletes should invest in their education and skill development to prepare for a career outside of sports. This could include pursuing a college degree, vocational training, or professional certifications.

b. Networking: Building a strong professional network can help athletes identify new career opportunities and ease their transition into the workforce. Networking events, mentorship programs, and professional associations can provide valuable connections and resources.

c. Financial Adjustments: As athletes transition from their playing careers, their income levels may change significantly. It is essential to adjust their financial plans and budgets accordingly to maintain their financial stability and achieve their long-term goals.



International sportspeople face unique financial challenges due to the nature of their careers and income streams. A strategic approach to wealth management and succession planning, supported by a team of trusted advisors, is essential to ensure a secure financial future for athletes and their families. By addressing the key aspects of wealth management, succession planning, and life after sports, international sportspeople can effectively preserve and grow their wealth, provide for their loved ones, and enjoy a fulfilling life beyond their athletic careers.

Contact us today to understand how we can help you – as we have helped other sports people including those that have been involved in football and Formula 1.