After starting in 254 consecutive regular season games, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is finally hanging up his cleats. Favre, who has debated retirement for the past couple of seasons, announced his final decision March 4.
The 38-year old Sports Illustrated (TWX) Sportsman of the Year is ending a record setting career, including most career victories and most touchdown passes as a starting quarterback. Favre also set salary records: His 10-year contract extension in 2001 made him the first $100 million player in NFL history. After leading the Packers to the NFC championship game last season, Favre decided that another year would only be worth it if it meant a Super Bowl title. “Anything less than a Super Bowl win would be unsuccessful,” Favre told ESPN's (DIS) Chris Mortensen in a voice mail message. “And, honestly, the odds of that, they're tough. I guess it was a challenge I wasn't up for.”
Giving up the remainder of his contract was not an issue for Favre, who was banking about $10 million per season with salary and bonuses. But before you decide to retire, make sure you’re financially secure for the lifestyle you’d like for your golden years. For instance, are you going to stay in your current home, upgrade to an oceanfront villa, or scale back to a new condo? “Once you have a clearer idea of what that’s going to cost in a specific projection, you can then back into how much you’re going to have to retire,” says Charles Failla, a Certified Financial Planner and Principal with Sovereign Financial Group in New York. Be prepared to account for inflation. “If access to $100,000 of spendable money makes you happy today, you’ll need $200,000 to have that same kind of happiness 15 years from now,” he says.