Survey: Many parents spend on kids' sports over retirement

- An astonishing 34 percent of parents of children who play sports believe their kids will either go to the Olympics or go pro, according to a new study.

Gary Graham's three children play soccer in a desirable soccer club in Manhattan. He has sacrificed a lot of his time and invested plenty of money in their sports aspirations. He says he hopes this is an investment that might pay off with college scholarships.

A new survey by TD Ameritrade says 63 percent of families spend between $100 and $499 per month per child on sports, 18 percent spend between $500 and $999 per month, and 11 percent spend up to two grand per child per month. The money is for travel teams, personal trainers, equipment, tournaments, airfare, hotels, and food.

But the downside, the study found, is that 33 percent of parents are choosing sports over contributing regularly to their retirement account and 40 percent of the parents don't have an emergency fund.

Mike Trombley is a former pitcher with the Minnesota Twins. Now he is an investment retirement planner. He says that spending money on your child's sports should be your last priority. He says these should be the order of your financial priorities: 1, emergency fund; 2, retirement fund; 3, college savings; 4, sports or other activities.

Trombley says too many parents get wrapped up in the dream of their child going to the pros, which he says is understandable but highly unlikely. He says for every athlete that makes it for even a small amount of time in the pros, thousands of boys and girls never get there or even earn a scholarship.

So, save your money.

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