Something strange happened in my bank account last week. In addition to my normal paycheck, a much larger, more significant deposit was made: $99,763.68 showed up in my account. Before I even noticed the hugely increased balance I was notified by my employer that there had been an error and that they were fixing the problem. I was not going to get to keep this unexpected windfall.
It got me wondering though. How much would I need to make to get regular paychecks of $99,763.68? I get paid 26 times a year, so that would be an annual net income of $2,593,855.68. Assuming that puts me in the top tax bracket, and assuming that tax bracket is 36%, that means I would have a gross pay of $4,052,899.50. That doesn’t include things like saving for retirement or dental insurance, but I think if I made this much those types of payments become negligible.
So who makes $4.05M? The obvious place to start is athletes.
If this was my regular paycheck I would make about the same as:
The 170th top paid NBA player, Lavoy Allen from the Indiana Pacers
The 321st top paid NFL players, Kory Lichtensteiger from the Washington Redskins and Brandon Fusco from the Minnesota Vikings
The 194th top paid NHL player, Jake Gardiner from the Toronto Maple Leafs
All of these players have an annual salary of $4,050,000
The MLB 279th highest players are Jeurys Familia from the New York Mets and
Ivan Nova from the New York Yankees with an annual salary of $4,100,000
Now, I’m not a huge sports fan, but I live with a huge sports fan and I watch shows on ESPN at least weekly and I’ve never heard of any of these players. Maybe they are big names, and I’m just ignorant, but it makes me wonder where a $4.05M annual salary is in the rankings for each of the pro sports.
In the 2014-2015 season, Business Insider reported
NBA average annual salary: $4.58M
NFL average annual salary: $2.11M
NHL average annual salary: $2.62M
MLB average annual salary: $4.17M
So I’m going to put this in perspective. The epic, mammoth mistake of a check that I received this week is about the size of an average MLB player’s paycheck and less than the average NBA player’s paycheck.
The average MLB and NBA player takes home over $99,000 every other week.
It’s staggering to think about. It makes me understand, a little bit, why professional sports players are draped in gold, put diamonds the size of marbles in their ears, have huge mansions and drive amazing cars. They make a staggering amount of money. So much, that it’s almost hard to conceptualize. So here are things you could do with that much money.
You could buy a new Tesla 90D, my dream car, every other week at a cash price of $97,500. That’s twenty-six new Teslas a year.
Mortgage calculators show me that buying a $5M house, and putting down one bi-weekly paycheck as a down payment would lead to a $31,000 monthly payment, easily doable with a $198,000 monthly salary. Heck, you could probably swing two $5M houses and still have plenty left over for groceries.
Your daily paycheck would be $7,106. You couldn’t quite afford to buy a new 65″ OLED TV every day – the most expensive I could find on Best Buy – but you could come close.
Every single hour of your year you would be making $296. Even while you were sleeping. That’s a 32 GB iPod Touch and a $50 iTunes gift card to go with it every hour. (Okay, maybe only a $25 gift card if you include tax.)
Now if you ever find yourself in a lucrative career, say as an average MLB player, and are offered $4M annually I hope you find my analysis helpful as you decide how to spend your new found wealth. Sadly my windfall disappeared from my bank account, but we’ll see if the mistake shows up again next pay day! If so, I’ll be better prepared.