Would You Quit Your Job for a Lump Sum? Catch: You Can Never Do the Job Again

Aaron AvatarMany of us talk about quitting our job one day and never having to work again. But, here's an interesting scenario: Would you quit that job if you were offered a large lump sum of money? The only catch: You can never do that job professionally again.

This scenario could be facing a professional golfer named Anthony Kim. If you follow golf at all, you may be familiar with the name.

Kim was considered to be one of the brightest stars on the PGA Tour. A winner of 3 PGA Tour tournaments and a member of the victorious 2008 Ryder Cub team – he was well on his way to becoming one of the premier players of his generation.

Then, in 2010, he basically disappeared from professional golf due to injuries. In the 4 years since his injuries, he's yet to play in a professional event (much less, play the game).

Now, you may be saying “I could care less about golf Aaron!”. I hear you. But, hang in there with me – this is where it gets interesting.

Being a professional golferor a professional athlete for that matter – you are on a limited time frame for how long you can play at such a high level. Sure, pro golfers have a longer period which they can play their game (from the regular tour to the senior tour), but their careers can quickly cut short due to injury or even poor performance.

I didn't know this until I read this recent article – but many professionals have insurance policies on their athletic careers. Such was also the case with Kim. According to this report, Kim's policy pays out $10 million should he get injured.

The only stipulation? He can never play professionally again.

What would you do?

Granted, Kim is likely set financially and the money may not be as much of an issue as it could be to you or I. Still, to not be able to do something that you have (likely) trained and put your blood/sweat/tears into for most of your life – again – that would be a toughy.

This all leads to a fascinating question: would you leave your job (right now) even if it meant that you could never earn money from it again?

I'm not sure I would. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Interesting, Aaron!!! I think, as Andy so eloquently pointed out :-), it can depend on the profession too: If you really love what you do, it’d be tougher. If you don’t love it so much, piece of cake.

  2. There’s a lot for Mr. Kim to factor in here. First off, he’s only 29; however he has already earned $12.2 million in his professional career. Considering the policy would nearly double his lifetime earnings, this may be an attractive option for Mr. Kim if his body is really damaged to the point where playing at a high level will no longer be possible. But that doesn’t count sponsorship revenue, which boosts his lifetime earnings to nearly $35Million. If he comes back and is only marginally effective, he may be such a “personality” that he could make more than $10Mil in future sponsorships alone.

    There are also additional factors to consider. Does the ban on professional play expand to non PGA tours? Does is expand to the “Senior Tour”. What is the definition of “professional”? Believe it or not, the policy may be different than we think.

    But the last question: Would I take a payout to walk away forever? I’m a lawyer. Dumb question. I’m gone baby, gone ….

    • Thanks for the insights Andy. Was hoping you might chime in :)

  3. That is a tough one guys! To walk away from something that you truly love and enjoy. The money is really a moot point, unless you know your physical condition is worsening, never to get better.

    for me, I would say no completely. Money comes & goes and it really doesn’t make you happier in the long run. What you do defines your world and satisfies..

    • Great point!

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