They haven’t played for years, yet these sports superstars still rake in the cash even in so-called retirement. According to Forbes magazine, these are the Top 10 highest paid retired athletes in the world. Their income comes from a number of sources including endorsements, public speaking and book deals. Let’s see who makes what:
Pele is synonymous with soccer. Forbes magazine says that the 73-year-old has earnings of $15 million. Even though he hung up his cleats way back in 1977, the Brazilian footballer is still a major sports star especially with Brazil hosting the World Cup this summer. Corporate endorsement deals make up the lion's share of Pele's earnings.
9. Greg Norman
Greg Norman is the first of several golfers in the Top 10. Norman, 59, retired in 2012. Forbes says The Shark's earnings are about $16 million. Norman has a diverse business portfolio including a line of clothing and wine. He also has numerous corporate endorsement deals.
8. Wayne Gretzky
According to Forbes, Wayne Gretzky has earnings of about $17 million. The Great One is the only former-hockey player in the Top 10. At age 53, #99 keeps busy with various endorsement deals and a growing wine business.
7. Gary Player
Golfer Gary Player retired in 2009. Now 78, the South African keeps the money rolling in by designing golf courses and with numerous endorsement deals with companies like Rolex and Callaway. His earnings are estimated at $19 million.
6. Shaquille O’Neal
Forbes ranks Shaq as the 6th highest paid retired athlete. The 41-year-old basketball superstar retired in 2011 but still has earnings of $20 million. Shaq's income comes mainly from endorsement and licensing deals.
5. Magic Johnson
Earvin "Magic" Johnson retired in 1996 and still has earnings of $22 million. Forbes says that the five-time NBA champion made more than $100 million when he sold off 105 Starbucks franchises and his interest in the L.A. Lakers. The 54-year-old owns a stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers and has numerous other business interests.
4. Jack Nicklaus
Another golfer to make the list is Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear earns much of his income from designing and building golf courses. According to Forbes, his company, Nicklaus Design, has built more than 380 courses and has 55 in the works. Nicklaus retired in 2005 and today, at age 74, still has reported earnings of $30 million.
3. David Beckham
Becks is the youngest entry in the Top 10. He retired from soccer last year and now, at the age of 38, is focused on several business deals including with a cologne company and clothing manufacturer. He's also involved in several deals in Asia and is currently in the process of bringing a Major League Soccer team to Miami. Beckham earned $37 million last year.
2. Arnold Palmer
At the age of 84, Arnold Palmer shows no sign of slowing down. And neither does his income. The golf great won his last PGA Tour in 1973 and officially retired in 2006. According to Forbes he rakes in $40 million per year and 2013 was his most successful in terms of earnings. His income comes primarily from licensing his name to various products including a line of beverages.
1. Michael Jordan
Former NBA superstar Michael Jordan tops the list with earnings of $90 million. The 51-year-old retired in 2003, but his personal brand remains huge. Forbes says that the “five-time MVP gets a cut of every Jordan shoe, hoodie and pair of shorts sold by Nike under the Jordan Brand.” He also owns the majority share of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.