I woke up today and Jim Harbaugh’s name is still trending. Every major football analyst has a take on where he will end up and when. Many continue to link him to Mark Davis and the Las Vegas Raiders. This comes as no surprise as Harbaugh finds his name swirling midst the rumor mill every off-season. There is one major part of this puzzle that the sports analysts fail to recognize. That is the way in which his contract is built. Unlike some of my counterparts in the industry, I happen to be in a unqiue position to understand the ins and outs of his contract. This due to the fact that I used to run a financial practice of my own.


Why Listen to Me

Prior to stepping away from the finance industry and focusing solely on my passion for football scouting, I was a licensed financial advisor and helped countless families, businesses and individuals. I did this by helping them utilize tools like the one Michigan uses to compensate Harbaugh, whole life insurance. Using whole life insurance can be complicated and writing about it here could be confusing. One should look to a great advisor to learn more about it. I always recommend the team at Meehan Capital Advisors. Joey and his team are the only team I send all my good friends and acquaintances to.

Basically, it works like this, back in 2016 Jim Harbaugh and the University of Michigan sat down and came up with a financial plan that both sides found suitable going forward. ESPN touched on it back then. The deal they ended up shaking hands over was one that involved $2 million a year being paid into a whole life insurance policy. There are many different ways a whole life policy can be written. How to design it depends on each person and their personal needs. You could choose basic whole life, an IUL, or maybe a variable life policy. Yeah, I know, it’s all a bit much but if you want to learn more about it read another more in depth article from thinkadvisor.com.


Why would he Leave?

Now that we’ve talked about the glue that has kept Harbaugh in Ann Arbor, we must focus on the fact that supposedly Michigan is no longer on the hook for the insurance premiums. Although they may no longer be liable for his insurance payments, I believe that Harbaugh understands how great the financial benefit is to having Michigan continue to pay his premiums.

To keep it simple each time $2 Million is paid in, Harbaugh will see an even larger amount in retirement due to interest, and compounding interest is amazing. Not only does the cash value he can use grow year after year, but it is basically tax free if it is done correctly. He can even access the money now if he wants. This all depends on how his policy was originally designed.

In my opinion, Harbaugh should continue at Michigan and ask for Michigan to continue to fund his insurance policy. I mean he would be providing for himself and his family financially in a smart and creative way. He would also be able to provide for his family for generations to come. Outside of the financial realm, Michigan just finished the season as a CFP team and produced a plethora of NFL talent for the 2022 NFL Draft. Harbaugh’s Wolverines also produced Aidan Hutchinson, who nearly won the Heisman Trophy.

Harbaugh couldn’t ask for a better outcome after starting the season unranked. Moving forward he has great momentum to return Michigan to being an NCAA Football powerhouse. I mean he has some major talking points when recruiting this year that he hasn’t had in some time.


Moving Forward


Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

I’m not sure if Harbaugh wants to be an NFL coach again or not. However, knowing how his contract has been put together in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if after all the dust settles this offseason we see him back on the sidelines in Ann Arbor. From a financial standpoint, he couldn’t really get a better deal then Michigan can offer if they keep funding his insurance policy. Even if another team offered him the same plan, it wouldn’t be as profitable. As for coaching positions, Michigan is far from the bottom of the barrel. Heck I’d choose Michigan over the silver and black, sorry Raiders’ fans.

For all the fans that read this far, I recommend looking into creative ways like this to supplement your retirement income and protect your family (check out the advisor above). You may not even like Jim Harbaugh as a coach, but you can’t deny his intelligence and financial savviness. I applaud him for his outside the box thinking. I even wish NFL teams would look into this tool for their players. If I were a GM, I would definitely look into it. We must remember that although football is a game, it is a business and a way for players and coaches to provide for themselves and their families.


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