Given the salaries that professional athletes make, their wives generally do not need to work or embark on their own careers. Yet some do and become very successful on their own. In other cases, pro athletes fall for and marry women who were successful in their own right before entering the relationship. Here are a few of the most successful examples of professional athletes' wives, along with their estimated net worth (from most wealthy to least wealthy).
- Gisele Bündchen – Mrs. Tom Brady could be considered the family breadwinner, if such a term exists for the super-rich. The Brazilian-born supermodel has a net worth of approximately $360 million through her successful modeling career and subsequent business ventures. The Brady family's collective net worth is approaching half a billion dollars.
- Shakira – For an international entry, consider the pop star Shakira. The singer of Colombian and Lebanese descent has sold over 70 million albums and is currently worth approximately $350 million. Many in America are familiar with Shakira for her stint as a judge on NBC's The Voice. Shakira is married to soccer player Gerard Piqué, who as of this writing is with FC Barcelona as a central defender.
- Candice Crawford – Now known as Candice Romo, after her marriage in 2011 to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, the former beauty queen and reporter for several TV stations is worth a reported $10 million.
- Kristin Cavallari – The actress and fashion designer is the wife of Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears quarterback. Cavallari, known primarily for her appearances on the MTV reality shows Laguna Beach and The Hills, has an estimated net worth of $2.5 million.
Unfortunately, because of the short careers of pro athletes and the lifestyles of famous couples, pro athletes and successful wives usually do not co-exist for long. Either one retires, or the couple splits. Here are a few other couples to consider within the recently retired, the recently separated/divorced, or both.
- Victoria Beckham – "Posh Spice" of the Spice Girls and her husband, ex-soccer star David Beckham, are one of the longest tenured couples pairing a professional athlete and a separately successful wife. The Beckhams have been married since 1999. David Beckham retired in 2013, but the couple is quite well off. Victoria is reportedly worth $300 million in her own right.
- Brooklyn Decker – The recently retired tennis star Andy Roddick can now rely on wife Brooklyn Decker for some extra pocket change. Decker transitioned from being one of the top swimsuit models into an acting career, and is worth approximately $4 million — although thanks to Andy's tennis career, their combined net worth is approximately $34 million.
- Khloé Kardashian – The youngest of the famous (and ubiquitous) Kardashian sisters is worth approximately $20 million. Things have taken a dramatic and tragic turn with Khloé and her estranged husband, former NBA star Lamar Odom. Odom was recently found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel after allegedly mixing cocaine with sexual enhancement drugs. As of this writing, Odom had regained consciousness, but showed signs of a brain injury and is now facing a long recovery. While still legally married to Lamar, she has been romantically linked to current NBA star James Harden. You may also have heard of her sister Kim, who was married to pro basketball player Kris Humphries for 72 days before filing for divorce.
- Keyshia Cole – The R&B star with three platinum albums was married to Daniel "Booby" Gibson of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2011 to 2014 until their separation. Cole's net worth is currently around $9.5 million. Gibson has since left the NBA to pursue a rapping career — although arguably the NBA left him first.
Photos of Gisele Bündchen, Shakira, Victoria Beckham & Khloe Kardashian by ©iStock.com/EdStock. Photo of Candice Crawford by Andrew Rhodes from St. Louis, MO, USA - Miss Missouri. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of By Nick Step (Kristin Cavallari) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Brooklyn Decker by Joella Marano from Manhattan, NY (Brooklyn Decker) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.