New Survey by The Hartford Finds Student-Athletes Optimistic and Realistic About Life After College Sports

Survey shows most student-athletes are thinking about financial success beyond

the playing field; findings reflect differences based on gender, types of

sports played and size of school's athletic programs.



Mar 02, 2005, 00:00 ET from The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

    HARTFORD, Conn., March 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With only about one
 percent of NCAA student-athletes making it to the professional arena, it's no
 surprise that today's collegiate competitors are looking beyond the playing
 field to secure their financial future.
     According to a new survey by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
 (NYSE:   HIG), student-athletes are, for the most part, realistic about the many
 money hurdles they will face when their collegiate playing days are over.
 Almost six in ten (59.6 percent) have begun planning their financial future
 and more than three quarters (75.1 percent) wish they had been taught more in
 this area by this point in their lives.
     The Hartford Financial Game Plan Survey coincides with the launch of The
 Hartford's Playbook for Life, an educational campaign designed to help
 student-athletes develop a game plan for their financial future.  The campaign
 includes a series of speaking engagements by former student-athletes at
 college campuses across the country, along with a 25-page guidebook and
 companion Web site http://www.playbook.thehartford.com that includes practical
 information about investment, savings and debt management.
     One of the key factors that may signal a readiness to tackle the world
 beyond college is the degree to which a student-athlete has already begun to
 plan.  Throughout the survey, the nearly 60 percent who say they have begun
 planning their financial future exhibit more hands-on-management of their
 financial affairs, more reliance on expert advise, and more optimism about
 their own future than the approximately 40 percent who have not.
     The following table, drawn from the responses to the survey, compares
 student athletes who say they have already begun planning their financial
 future with those who have not.
 
     Student-athletes who ...
                                                ... have already ... have not
                                                 begun planning   yet begun
                                                    financial      planning
                                                     future       financial
                                                                    future
 
     Expect to be a millionaire in their lifetime        44 %           24 %
     Manage their own credit card                        67 %           57 %
     Expect to start building lifetime
      wealth right after college                         60 %           36 %
     Use a financial advisor                             23 %           16 %
     Read financial planning-related books               22 %           10 %
     Manage their own auto and home insurance            22 %           17 %
     Read financial planning-related magazines           21 %            9 %
     Manage their own health insurance                   18 %           13 %
     Own shares of individual company stock              13 %            5 %
     Watch financial planning-related T.V. shows         13 %            4 %
     Have an individual retirement account                8 %            2 %
     Use a stock broker                                   7 %            3 %
 
     The survey also tapped into a variety of other issues with interesting
 results.  Among the findings observed in this first The Hartford Financial
 Game Plan Survey are feelings related to "going pro," optimism for future
 wealth, gender differences, whom student-athletes turn to for advice, and how
 much debt (educational and credit) student-athletes are carrying.  The
 following is a synopsis of some of those findings:
 
     Dreams of Going Pro.
     * Less than 13 percent of student-athletes say they would most like to be
       a professional athlete.
     * Men are nearly three times (19 percent) more likely to want to follow
       the career path of a professional athlete than women (7 percent.)
     * Among Division I male athletes, the number increases to 21 percent.
     * Among those who play collegiate basketball, the number jumps further, to
       28 percent.
 
     Financial Optimism.
     * Among college athletes, 36 percent expect to become a millionaire in
       their lifetime, with men more than twice as likely (49 percent) to feel
       that way than women (22 percent)
     * In all, 83 percent of respondents expect to live more comfortably than
       their parents from a financial standpoint.
 
     Planning for the Future.
     * Almost 73 percent of the student-athletes polled who expect to become a
       millionaire are already planning for their financial future after
       college.
     * These optimists (those who expect to become millionaires) are also more
       likely than their fellow student-athletes to own stocks, shares of
       mutual funds, IRAs and bonds.
     * Furthermore, 22 percent of these optimists say they are already using a
       financial advisor and 8 percent use a stock broker.
 
     Female Athletes Focused On Their Future.
     * Female student-athletes are prudent planners and want more instruction
       in personal finance: 78 percent of women student-athletes wish they had
       been taught more, compared with 72 percent of men.
     * Women (62 percent) are slightly more likely than men (59 percent) to
       have begun planning their financial future (this result is inside the
       margin of error).
     * Of the 480 female student-athletes surveyed, only 7 percent said they
       would like to follow the path of a professional athlete, compared to
       nearly 19 percent of men,
     * Among women, 93 percent of women said they would like to follow the path
       of someone at the top of a chosen profession other than professional
       sports, vs. 81 percent of men.
 
     Seeking Advice.
     * In all, 95 percent of student athletes rely on one source or another for
       financial advice.  Parents are by far the most relied-upon source for
       advice among student-athletes with 85 percent relying upon them (88
       percent of women vs. 82 of men.)
     * After parents as advisors come friends at 48 percent (46 percent of
       women vs. 49 percent of men), teachers at 25 percent (22 percent of
       women vs. 28 percent of men), the Internet at 24 percent (17 percent of
       women vs. 31 percent of men), financial advisors at 20 percent (23
       percent of women vs. 17 percent of men), financial books at 17 percent
       (14 percent of women vs. 20 percent of men), financial magazines at 16
       percent (13 percent of women vs. 19 percent of men), financial TV shows
       at 9 percent (6 percent of women vs. 12 percent of men) and stock
       brokers at 6 percent (4 percent of women vs. 7 percent of men).  Only 5
       percent of respondents said they do not rely on any of the preceding
       for financial advice.
     * Interestingly, volleyball players seemed the most intent on getting
       professional advice.  Among volleyball players, 32 percent said they
       used a financial advisor, compared with 25 percent for those involved
       in water sports, 19 percent for soccer and basketball players, and 16
       percent for football players.
 
     Getting a Jump Start.
     * A majority of the student-athletes are considering both their long- and
       short-term financial goals for their first years out of college.
     * More than 50 percent say they want to cover their living expenses, pay
       off debts like student loans and credit cards, and begin building their
       wealth with investments and retirement savings.
     * Approximately 35 percent say they'll be focused on covering expenses and
       repaying debt, but do not cite long-term planning as a priority.
     * 14 percent expect only to focus on current living expenses without
       focusing immediately on debt reduction or long-term planning
 
     Student Loan Debt.
     * The numbers of students graduating from college with some form of
       education-related debt is a well-known issue, and with student-athletes
       it is no exception.  Among student-athletes, 72 percent expect to have
       some debt when they graduate college, vs. 28 percent who expect to be
       debt-free.  The extent of that debt varies, according to the survey,
       with 12 percent of respondents expecting to have under $5,000 of
       college loan debt, 29 percent expecting to have between $5,000 and
       $20,000 in college loan debt, 14 percent expecting to have between
       $20,000 and $35,000 in college loan debt, 10 percent expecting to have
       between $35,000 and $50,000 of loan debt, and 7 percent expecting to
       have more than $50,000 in loan debt.
 
     Credit Card Debt.
     * Another issue often cited in stories about the challenges facing
       students entering the real world is the extent to which they have
       already amassed some credit card debt upon graduation.  In The Hartford
       survey, 47 percent of respondents reported that they expect to have
       some credit card debt upon graduation.  One-in-four (25.5 percent)
       expect to have under $1,000 in credit card debt, and 15 percent expect
       to have been $1,000 and $5,000 in credit card debt.  Only 7 percent say
       they expect to have more than $5,000 in credit card debt.
 
     The Hartford Financial Game Plan Survey was conducted among 1,001 student-
 athletes in all NCAA divisions by Impulse Research Corporation in December
 2004 with a margin of error of 3 percent.
     The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and
 universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for
 more than 360,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and
 universities.  Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA
 Championships in Division I, II and III sports.  For more information, go to
 http://www.ncaa.org.
     The Hartford is one of the nation's largest financial services and
 insurance companies, with 2004 revenues of $22.7 billion.  The company is a
 leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits;
 automobile and homeowners products; and business property-casualty insurance.
 The Hartford's Internet address is http://www.thehartford.com.
 
     Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking
 statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
 We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees
 of future performance, and actual results may differ materially.  Investors
 should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual
 results to differ.  These important risks and uncertainties include those
 discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2004 Annual Report on
 Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.  We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as
 of the date issued.
 
     Contact(s):
      Pamela Rekow                  Ilene Lefland
      860-547-8990                  203-378-1152 x109
      pamela.rekow@thehartford.com  ilene@cjpcom.com
 
      Joshua King                   Gail Dent
      860-547-2293                  317-917-6119
      joshua.king@thehartford.com   gdent@ncaa.org
 
 

SOURCE The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
    HARTFORD, Conn., March 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With only about one
 percent of NCAA student-athletes making it to the professional arena, it's no
 surprise that today's collegiate competitors are looking beyond the playing
 field to secure their financial future.
     According to a new survey by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
 (NYSE:   HIG), student-athletes are, for the most part, realistic about the many
 money hurdles they will face when their collegiate playing days are over.
 Almost six in ten (59.6 percent) have begun planning their financial future
 and more than three quarters (75.1 percent) wish they had been taught more in
 this area by this point in their lives.
     The Hartford Financial Game Plan Survey coincides with the launch of The
 Hartford's Playbook for Life, an educational campaign designed to help
 student-athletes develop a game plan for their financial future.  The campaign
 includes a series of speaking engagements by former student-athletes at
 college campuses across the country, along with a 25-page guidebook and
 companion Web site http://www.playbook.thehartford.com that includes practical
 information about investment, savings and debt management.
     One of the key factors that may signal a readiness to tackle the world
 beyond college is the degree to which a student-athlete has already begun to
 plan.  Throughout the survey, the nearly 60 percent who say they have begun
 planning their financial future exhibit more hands-on-management of their
 financial affairs, more reliance on expert advise, and more optimism about
 their own future than the approximately 40 percent who have not.
     The following table, drawn from the responses to the survey, compares
 student athletes who say they have already begun planning their financial
 future with those who have not.
 
     Student-athletes who ...
                                                ... have already ... have not
                                                 begun planning   yet begun
                                                    financial      planning
                                                     future       financial
                                                                    future
 
     Expect to be a millionaire in their lifetime        44 %           24 %
     Manage their own credit card                        67 %           57 %
     Expect to start building lifetime
      wealth right after college                         60 %           36 %
     Use a financial advisor                             23 %           16 %
     Read financial planning-related books               22 %           10 %
     Manage their own auto and home insurance            22 %           17 %
     Read financial planning-related magazines           21 %            9 %
     Manage their own health insurance                   18 %           13 %
     Own shares of individual company stock              13 %            5 %
     Watch financial planning-related T.V. shows         13 %            4 %
     Have an individual retirement account                8 %            2 %
     Use a stock broker                                   7 %            3 %
 
     The survey also tapped into a variety of other issues with interesting
 results.  Among the findings observed in this first The Hartford Financial
 Game Plan Survey are feelings related to "going pro," optimism for future
 wealth, gender differences, whom student-athletes turn to for advice, and how
 much debt (educational and credit) student-athletes are carrying.  The
 following is a synopsis of some of those findings:
 
     Dreams of Going Pro.
     * Less than 13 percent of student-athletes say they would most like to be
       a professional athlete.
     * Men are nearly three times (19 percent) more likely to want to follow
       the career path of a professional athlete than women (7 percent.)
     * Among Division I male athletes, the number increases to 21 percent.
     * Among those who play collegiate basketball, the number jumps further, to
       28 percent.
 
     Financial Optimism.
     * Among college athletes, 36 percent expect to become a millionaire in
       their lifetime, with men more than twice as likely (49 percent) to feel
       that way than women (22 percent)
     * In all, 83 percent of respondents expect to live more comfortably than
       their parents from a financial standpoint.
 
     Planning for the Future.
     * Almost 73 percent of the student-athletes polled who expect to become a
       millionaire are already planning for their financial future after
       college.
     * These optimists (those who expect to become millionaires) are also more
       likely than their fellow student-athletes to own stocks, shares of
       mutual funds, IRAs and bonds.
     * Furthermore, 22 percent of these optimists say they are already using a
       financial advisor and 8 percent use a stock broker.
 
     Female Athletes Focused On Their Future.
     * Female student-athletes are prudent planners and want more instruction
       in personal finance: 78 percent of women student-athletes wish they had
       been taught more, compared with 72 percent of men.
     * Women (62 percent) are slightly more likely than men (59 percent) to
       have begun planning their financial future (this result is inside the
       margin of error).
     * Of the 480 female student-athletes surveyed, only 7 percent said they
       would like to follow the path of a professional athlete, compared to
       nearly 19 percent of men,
     * Among women, 93 percent of women said they would like to follow the path
       of someone at the top of a chosen profession other than professional
       sports, vs. 81 percent of men.
 
     Seeking Advice.
     * In all, 95 percent of student athletes rely on one source or another for
       financial advice.  Parents are by far the most relied-upon source for
       advice among student-athletes with 85 percent relying upon them (88
       percent of women vs. 82 of men.)
     * After parents as advisors come friends at 48 percent (46 percent of
       women vs. 49 percent of men), teachers at 25 percent (22 percent of
       women vs. 28 percent of men), the Internet at 24 percent (17 percent of
       women vs. 31 percent of men), financial advisors at 20 percent (23
       percent of women vs. 17 percent of men), financial books at 17 percent
       (14 percent of women vs. 20 percent of men), financial magazines at 16
       percent (13 percent of women vs. 19 percent of men), financial TV shows
       at 9 percent (6 percent of women vs. 12 percent of men) and stock
       brokers at 6 percent (4 percent of women vs. 7 percent of men).  Only 5
       percent of respondents said they do not rely on any of the preceding
       for financial advice.
     * Interestingly, volleyball players seemed the most intent on getting
       professional advice.  Among volleyball players, 32 percent said they
       used a financial advisor, compared with 25 percent for those involved
       in water sports, 19 percent for soccer and basketball players, and 16
       percent for football players.
 
     Getting a Jump Start.
     * A majority of the student-athletes are considering both their long- and
       short-term financial goals for their first years out of college.
     * More than 50 percent say they want to cover their living expenses, pay
       off debts like student loans and credit cards, and begin building their
       wealth with investments and retirement savings.
     * Approximately 35 percent say they'll be focused on covering expenses and
       repaying debt, but do not cite long-term planning as a priority.
     * 14 percent expect only to focus on current living expenses without
       focusing immediately on debt reduction or long-term planning
 
     Student Loan Debt.
     * The numbers of students graduating from college with some form of
       education-related debt is a well-known issue, and with student-athletes
       it is no exception.  Among student-athletes, 72 percent expect to have
       some debt when they graduate college, vs. 28 percent who expect to be
       debt-free.  The extent of that debt varies, according to the survey,
       with 12 percent of respondents expecting to have under $5,000 of
       college loan debt, 29 percent expecting to have between $5,000 and
       $20,000 in college loan debt, 14 percent expecting to have between
       $20,000 and $35,000 in college loan debt, 10 percent expecting to have
       between $35,000 and $50,000 of loan debt, and 7 percent expecting to
       have more than $50,000 in loan debt.
 
     Credit Card Debt.
     * Another issue often cited in stories about the challenges facing
       students entering the real world is the extent to which they have
       already amassed some credit card debt upon graduation.  In The Hartford
       survey, 47 percent of respondents reported that they expect to have
       some credit card debt upon graduation.  One-in-four (25.5 percent)
       expect to have under $1,000 in credit card debt, and 15 percent expect
       to have been $1,000 and $5,000 in credit card debt.  Only 7 percent say
       they expect to have more than $5,000 in credit card debt.
 
     The Hartford Financial Game Plan Survey was conducted among 1,001 student-
 athletes in all NCAA divisions by Impulse Research Corporation in December
 2004 with a margin of error of 3 percent.
     The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and
 universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for
 more than 360,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and
 universities.  Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA
 Championships in Division I, II and III sports.  For more information, go to
 http://www.ncaa.org.
     The Hartford is one of the nation's largest financial services and
 insurance companies, with 2004 revenues of $22.7 billion.  The company is a
 leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits;
 automobile and homeowners products; and business property-casualty insurance.
 The Hartford's Internet address is http://www.thehartford.com.
 
     Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking
 statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
 We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees
 of future performance, and actual results may differ materially.  Investors
 should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual
 results to differ.  These important risks and uncertainties include those
 discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2004 Annual Report on
 Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.  We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as
 of the date issued.
 
     Contact(s):
      Pamela Rekow                  Ilene Lefland
      860-547-8990                  203-378-1152 x109
      pamela.rekow@thehartford.com  ilene@cjpcom.com
 
      Joshua King                   Gail Dent
      860-547-2293                  317-917-6119
      joshua.king@thehartford.com   gdent@ncaa.org
 
 SOURCE  The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.