According to Sports Illustrated, 60 percent of NBA players either face financial hardship or bankruptcy within five years of retirement. NFL players face a worse fate, with a reported 78 percent of former professional football athletes afflicted with financial hardship after they stop playing.

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Like many Americans, pro athletes don’t plan for their financial future, or make attempts to invest but fail to see their investments payoff. Proper education is key to avoiding unfortunate money situations for athletes and non-athletes alike.

However, not every athlete meets financial hardship after retiring. Notable athletes such as Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky have been known to maintain their wealth long after retiring, but who else was able to wisely invest?

We examine seven former professional athletes who were able to take their skills beyond their respective sport in order to produce a promising financial future for themselves. One has even grown so rich his net worth is in the billions.

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