Endurance athletes live exceptional lives. This means that their financial planning needs to be a bit different than their non-athletic friends. In this episode of Money Mile, you’ll learn the key differences endurance athletes need to consider in their financial planning.
Since the vast majority of triathletes and distance runners pay out of pocket for the opportunity to push themselves to new limits, it is important to be aware of the financial impacts of these decisions over time. The more you learn, the more you can make knowledgeable decisions.
Come share a mile with me to learn how to improve your finances and live a better life.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Financial independence for endurance athletes [1:22]
- Cash reserves for endurance athletes [5:02]
- How cash flow is different for endurance athletes [6:55]
- Gear [8:02]
How is financial planning different for active people?
There are several key differences in financial planning for endurance athletes.
- Financial independence – As an endurance athlete, it is important to plan for an increased life expectancy. The average lifespan of an American citizen is 79 years, however, a healthy triathlete can expect to live 7.2 years longer. That’s an 18-38% increase in time spent in retirement. Does this mean that your nest egg should be 18-38% larger? That depends on your goals and resources. Whatever your goals, resources, and retirement timeline is, as an endurance athlete, it is important to consider the impacts of increased longevity on your retirement.
- Cash reserves – The typical advice is to have 3-6 months of expenses set aside as cash reserves. But as triathletes and elite runners, we need to consider what those expenses include. Should you include your gym membership, coaching, additional nutrition, and race fees in those expenses or are they discretionary? Everyone’s answer will be different. The key is to find a cash reserve target that fits your needs and lifestyle.
- Cash flow – Competing in triathlons can be an expensive hobby. Gym memberships, coaches, gear, maintenance, race fees, and travel can add up. However, there are things you can do to make the sport more or less expensive. Use my Foundations for Financial Independence for Triathletes guide to help you plan your goals and preferred level of involvement in the sport.
- Gear – Triathlete gear can be much more expensive than that of a runner. Between the wet suit, helmet, shoes, watches, and of course, the tri-bike, these expenses can really add up. One way to get more out of your bike is to perform maintenance to extend the usability to get a more functional life out of your bike. Listen in to hear why it is so important to replace your helmet periodically.
For your homework, consider how being an endurance athlete impacts your timeline for financial independence. Next, consider the amount in cash reserves that you are comfortable maintaining. Then write all of this down so that you are clear on what you are working toward. Lastly, if you haven’t already, integrate a budget for sporting gear. Thanks for investing a mile with me! Keep in mind that if you work out, just about everything else will too.
Resources & People Mentioned
- USNews article on retirement age
- World Bank economic data
- Exercise longevity study
- Endurance athletes and delayed cognitive decline
- Foundations for Financial Independence for Triathletes
- Replace your helmet every 5-10 years