Celebrity Retirement Scorecard: Roger Clemens

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Roger ClemensLoser: Roger "Rocket" Clemens
Former occupation/notable position held: Major League Pitcher
Activities during retirement: Testifying before Congress; filing defamation of character suits; tamping down infidelity accusations
Retirement Report Card Grade: F

It wasn't simply steroids buzz that landed Clemens an "F" grade. His widely-suspected juice use is symptomatic of his failure to plan for retirement; not the main reason he failed. In fact, if the six-time Cy Young award winner did seek anabolic help, it was to prolong a career that started fraying at the seams.

Clemens tried to retire for good in 2007, but wound up coming back to the Yankees instead."Well, I guess I failed retirement again," he declared to the press. Little did he know, that was no throwaway line.

A competitor of Rocket's caliber had to know that last year was the end, and it only got clearer with each start. But while the competitive juices still pumped, his aging body whispered what Senator Mitchell's report would soon shout from the mountain, albeit for different reasons: "it's time."

Clemens is spending his retirement's early days attacking his accusers and various detractors the way he attacked the strike zone, living in the past rather than trying to move forward with new projects. It's a function of his personality, but it's also a waste of whatever value is left in his reputation. Imagine what he could do if he took that same competitive fervor – that stubborn tenacity – and channeled in a positive direction, whether for the good of the game that made him wealthy, or the world at large? Think of the kind of businessman a guy like Clemens would make: the kind that would make his competitors even better, spur innovation. But there's no danger of that anytime soon from the Rocket.

Michael Burnham is CEO of My Next Phase, a consulting firm offering non-financial retirement planning products and services (www.mynextphase.com).
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