The Ties that Bind
According to Sports Illustrated, nearly 80% of NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress within two years of retirement. Financial experts say friends and family are one of the leading causes, as players have been conditioned from a very young age that when they ‘make it’ they are expected to take care of the people around them.
“You are now the CEO of your own bank. You’re the loan officer and the collection officer,â€ says Barksdale. “Many of us are not so good at the job of collection officer.â€
“When we help someone in need, we get a rush of dopamine that is the same as the release when we feed an addiction,â€ says psychologist Dr. Jeanette Raymond. “We’re chemically wired to be drawn to situations where we can rescue someone. It’s very hard to stop,â€ she adds.
Raymond adds that it’s important to remind ourselves that we have value beyond our money. “Be a friend. Help them make a financial plan. Just be with them during a challenging time.â€ In addition, she says make the person in need very aware of how a financial loan would affect your personal economy.
Helping relationships are also good. Let someone know that you are being pressured to lend money and ask them to help you stay focused on your own goals.
If you do decide that it is within your budget to provide financial assistance, “Make it a business arrangement. Get a contract that sets clear repayment terms,â€ says Raymond. You can find contracts and templates at office supply stores.
Barksdale says he wishes he would have thought of that. “I would have actually sat down and said what are we really doing here? Let’s put the friendship aside and sort out the details of the transaction and the pay-back plan. I would have also saved more money before I made a loan.â€
Barksdale learned his lesson and made sure to first take care of his own financial needs and goals. He went on to start a successful video surveillance company.
In the coming weeks we will be examining the often tricky yet enlightening dynamics at work in money and relationships on our website, in our magazine, and in our Women of Power television show.
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