I'm sure that the top ones have some great post-skating possibilities, including endorsements. But the others, as Icey and FlattFan point out, lived humble lives as skaters (spending a lot of money on their sport along the way) and will live humble lives as ex-skaters. What will make the difference for them is not any fame they accrued as skaters (because often no one outside skating will know their name) but education. This is true of all athletes, not just skaters. After all, biathletes and bobsledders are even less well known than skaters, generally have fewer endorsements, and don't have any professional shows. It's education that will lift them out of waitressing and other paid-by-the-hour jobs.
Most, I suspect, will go to school. Shows are good ways of staying with the sport for a while after retirement, but they eventually end for various reasons--definitely not the best option for long-term planning.
Even Yuna Kim, who has sponsorships thrown at her almost every time she turns around, has pursued a degree in physical education at Korea University.
. . . which is a nice way to stay involved in the sport, but it's a volunteer job. They get reimbursed for travel expenses, but that's it.
Originally Posted by Olympia