London 2012 Olympics
With the 2012 Olympics in London having drawn to a close, athletes need to think about their futures and financial planning. They need to make the most of the opportunities available to them, by keeping in top physical shape, entering more sporting events to earn income, quickly choosing good product endorsements to capitalize on their Olympic appearances and investing their earnings wisely. If there is time in their schedules, they should also attempt to branch out into other endeavors that can supplement their incomes, as one is only an athlete for so long.
It's easy to think the money will always be there, but for quite a few people it did not turn out that way. The smartest investment one can make right now, especially if one lives in a nation whose economy is depressed, is purchasing a home. Stay within your income bracket, via what you can comfortably pay for and if you can, find a fixer upper at a lower price. That way, you can have work done on it and end up with equity in the property, if you choose the right renovation projects (kitchen and bathrooms usually bring in the best financial return). If the house in your price range is too small for your long term needs, you can always add a room or two later as your earnings increase.
Avoid risky investments, especially those promising too great a financial return, well above the national and international average. Avoid loaning large sums of money to others, as you may not get it back. Avoid getting into business schemes family or friends with no real experience think is a great idea, but established business principles dictate is likely to fail. Risking your financial future on a hunch someone close to you has can go very wrong.
Always put money aside for your taxes in your country of residence, because most governments get hot under the collar when they don't get their money. Be careful accumulating too much debt. Avoid giving others power of attorney over your money and property. Always check your accounts on a regular basis. It may be an inconvenience to read through financial statements, but think of the inconvenience and distress you would experience if someone steals your money and flees town.
Do not give in to the idea that you must have an entourage. Having to pay for food, airfare and hotel for a group of people who may not have your best interests at heart, to appear cool in the press, is costly and can set you up for a fall if someone decides to sell secrets about you or you go bankrupt from bankrolling said posse.
In matters of love, be careful. Beware of people that are too money oriented (i.e. gold diggers). If someone cares about you, they will not use you or constantly want you to spend lots of money on them. Giving a love interest your debit card, credit card or access to your bank account(s) is not a good idea. And lastly, enjoy this time in your life. Savor it. Do good and productive things that make you happy.