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4 Athletes Who "Un-Retired" and Came Back Better Than Ever Thumbnail

4 Athletes Who "Un-Retired" and Came Back Better Than Ever

About the author: Lamar Watson, CFP®, is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor in the Washington, D.C. area that works with clients virtually across the country. Lamar's work with his clients starts with a focus on budgeting, insurance, optimizing employee benefits, investing, and retirement planning. Dream Financial Planning is a Fiduciary Financial Planning firm specifically designed to help individuals in their 30s and 40s take control of their finances and fulfill their dreams. Feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn how we use the DREAM Financial Planning Process ™ to help our clients achieve their goals. 

Knowing when it's the right time to retire can be difficult, especially if you love your job. Even professional athletes have a hard time knowing when to walk away. These four athletes thought they were ready to literally throw in the towel but ended up "un-retiring" and coming back better than ever. Please take a look at our Retirement Guide below to make sure you don't have to come back to work after you retire unless you really want to.

Work Optional Lifestyle

Do you know how much you'll need to save to achieve a work-optional lifestyle? Unlike these athletes, I'm guessing you'll want to retire for good once you retire. If you're thinking about retirement, you should look at our Retirement Checklist below.

What Issues Should I Consider Before I Retire?

This checklist covers 32 of the most important planning issues to identify and consider for someone who is about to retire. It's structured as follows:

  • Cash Flow Issues
  • Health Insurance Issues
  • Asset & Debt Issues
  • Tax Planning Issues
  • Long-Term Planning Issues
  • Other Issues

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is one of the most decorated Olympic athletes of all time and had claimed a total of 22 medals (18 of them gold) when he announced his retirement in 2012. But he dove into the pool once more for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and won six more Olympic medals, including five gold medals. Phelps then announced his official retirement after 16 years of competing in the Olympics. He's still close to Team USA and served as part of the NBC commentary team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the most iconic boxers in the world and famously came out of retirement after his fourth retirement announcement to fight Conor McGregor in 2017. With an undefeated streak of 49–0, he figured why not take another crack at the ring. He won the fight and secured his 50–0 streak, surpassing Hall of Famer Rocky Marciano's 49–0 record.1

Despite announcing his retirement after the McGregor fight in 2017, he returned to fight YouTuber Logan Paul in the summer of 2021. Technically, this was an exhibition fight, so it didn't count for his professional career, but Mayweather can't seem to leave the ring for good.

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson had a superstar NBA career and retired in 1991 after announcing he was HIV positive. He then played in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game, earning the MVP award. He wanted to play in the 1992–1993 season, but the comeback got scrapped in the preseason. He went on to play 32 games in the 1996 season and then retired for good.

Tom Brady

Of course, we had to close with one of the most recent "un-retirements" in today's news, Tom Brady's. After the 2022 NFL season, missing out on another Super Bowl showing, Brady announced his retirement, only to roll it back about a month later. His retirement barely lasted 40 days. After reflecting, he stated that the time will come when he is ready to retire, but it's "not now." Instead, fans can expect to see him playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd season.2

Finding the right time to retire can be challenging—just ask these athletes. It's an important life milestone that requires careful planning and consideration. But no one ever said you can't "un-retire" and come back better than ever.

Dream Financial Planning Process ™

Do you know how much you need to retire? The DREAM Financial Planning Process™ for established professionals is tailored to the unique needs of those already retired or 15 years or less from their ideal retirement date. Since many established professionals are approaching retirement age, we wanted to create a more customized way of tending to your financial needs and goals. With this process, we're able to uncover untapped opportunities and discover gaps in your current strategy that could prevent you from enjoying a long and fulfilling retirement.

Complimentary Consultation

With uncertainty surrounding the economic stability of our country, it's okay to have fears and anxieties surrounding your own savings and investments. The most productive course of action from here is to reach out to Dream Financial Planning (or whoever your trusted advisor might be) and discuss your options. It's easy to have knee-jerk reactions when it feels like the bottom is falling out, but it is imperative to make decisions using research-backed data and a level head. If you'd like a Complimentary Review and risk assessment of your investment portfolio, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Monthly Newsletter

In the June Newsletter, I provide a market update and a PDF guide with tips to help you handle inflation. I also shared a CNN article where I shared my thoughts on Crypto and NFTs, 5 savings mistakes people make when building their financial life. If you find any of this information helpful, feel free to sign up to receive future e-mail updates. If you find any of this information helpful, feel free to sign up to receive future newsletters via e-mail.


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  1. https://www.liveabout.com/floyd-mayweather-jr-career-record-424303
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/tom-brady-reverses-retirement-decision-says-play-least-another-season-rcna19859
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