Stoke City midfielder Nick Powell has had a fascinating career. A product of the Crewe Alexandra academy, Powell broke into the first team aged just 16, and went on to make a significant impact for the club – including winning all five of Crewe’s end of season awards in 2012 aged just 18.
This remarkable success earned him a move to Manchester United the following summer, before going on to ply his trade with Wigan Athletic and, most recently, the Potters.
Now, at the age of 29, Powell has an eye on his future and is adding another string to his bow, training to be a financial adviser.
In an article he wrote for Money Marketing in February, Powell explains how he’s approaching this transition from the football pitch to the financial advice office, balancing his football career with his new ambitions.
Crucially, Powell’s process also demonstrates the importance of planning for your future and your wealth. So, here are a few lessons you can take from his experience.
You need to start planning sooner rather than later
Nick Powell’s story is fairly unique for a couple of reasons: firstly, not many players will turn to financial advice for their second career; but also, more importantly, he’s looking ahead earlier on than other players might, thinking about his future at the age of just 29.
Many players may still be focusing entirely on their football careers at 29 – indeed, Jamie Vardy was just hitting his stride at 28 when Leicester City unexpectedly won the Premier League in 2015/16, while Luka Modric is seemingly only getting better as he rapidly approaches his 40th birthday.
But even so, it may be a sensible course of action to keep an eye on the future, even in the middle of your career.
For Powell, he always had an awareness that this was something to consider. As he explains, a football career is “much shorter than most professions but, thankfully, I planned and invested early to support my retirement at any time.”
The lesson is simple: you should start planning sooner rather than later. Thinking about how you’ll organise your wealth so that it helps you live your desired lifestyle might well prove to be a prudent decision, even if you’ve only just signed your first pro contract.
You never know what might happen down the line
Another reason that it may be sensible to plan early, just as Nick Powell has, is that you never know what might happen down the line. This is particularly important as a professional footballer, since there are various specific risks associated with your occupation that could affect your ability to earn and provide for your family.
“As a sportsperson, you have little control”, explains Powell. “Your body and mentality play a big role, plus injuries, being in favour in a team, personal issues, and constant changes to your location or team dynamics.”
While you might play until 35 or older, the nature of your occupation means that you may have to retire earlier than you might expect.
Whether it’s because you sustain an injury, your contract runs out and you don’t have another club lined up, or one of the other reasons Powell cites, there are various risks associated with professional football that means your career may be suddenly cut short.
As a result of these factors, you can see the importance of comprehensive planning, protecting against these outcomes to ensure you always have financial stability and independence.
You have a range of options at your disposal to create stability for your family
Powell’s decision to pursue a career in financial advice will undoubtedly give him many advantages in managing his wealth moving forwards. His additional awareness of the issues footballers can face – and what you can do to combat them – will likely stand him in good stead for the future.
But while you might not be training as an adviser yourself, you still have these various options at your disposal.
The points that Powell himself notes in his Money Marketing article include:
- Making a will
- Being protected against death, injuries, and illness
- Having contingency funds
- Using the right tax allowances.
By considering all these aspects and more, you can develop a financial plan that protects you and gives your family stability for the future.
At ProSport, these are exactly the kind of elements we’ll consider to help you plan for the future. We’re experts in helping professional footballers to make the most of their wealth, providing bespoke solutions that help you use your money to live the lifestyle you want.
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If you’d like to find out the most suitable ways for you to plan for your future, please do get in touch with us.
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This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.
The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate will writing or tax planning.