Who hasn't envied the professional athlete? And what sports fan hasn't fantasized about rounding third base, heading for home to win the World Series, or sinking the tournament-winning putt? For must of us, those dreams remain just that, and we end up in more prosaic jobs, with retirement coming after perhaps 40 years of work.
For those with the talent, dedication, and luck to make that dream a reality, the life of a professional athlete can be on par with that of a rock star or Hollywood heavyweight. But even the most successful athlete has to face the reality of retirement—and much sooner than someone in a less glamorous field.