Retirement pays: Schumacher to earn $26 million in 2007

Michael Schumacher is the highest-paid figure in sports, and next year he'll be the highest-paid figure not in sports. Emerging reports speculate on how much the 7-time (maybe 8-time) world champion will be earning in retirement, and if the staggering figures are right, he'll still be making more than any of the drivers remaining in F1, including his successor Kimi Raikkonen, current defending champ Fernando Alonso and his own brother Ralf.

Schumacher's manager Wili Weber is already lining up the sponsorship deals, declaring his goal to turn the driver into an "advertising emperor" after the end of the season in October. Personal sponsors Shell, Omega and Deutsche Vermogensberatung (DVAG – the logo on his hat), have reportedly already renewed their contracts, and with more time on his hands, the living legend is likely to find more sponsors who'd be keen to latch on to the Schumacher image...for big bucks.

Schumacher's net worth is estimated at around $800 million; enough to personally finance the 29% stake in Ferrari parent company Fiat is repurchasing.

And those guys on the welfare line thought it pays not to work!


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