Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan earned over $100 million in 2015Reuters

Michael Jordan and David Beckham – two of the most popular athletes of all-time – are still cashing in the big bucks even after retiring from their respective sports. Jordan leads the way in the Forbes list of highest-paid retired athletes 2016, with David Beckham coming in second. Pele, despite retiring in the 1970s, still manages to find his name in the coveted list.

Retirement usually means a drop in revenue for normal people, but Jordan keeps going from strength to strength as far as his earning power is concerned, owing largely to his Nike Jordan brand. The legendary basketball player, who became an iconic name in the sport during his stint with the Chicago Bulls, earned $110 million according to Forbes' retired rich list of athletes.

The staggering bit about Jordan's earnings is that, despite retiring in 2003, he will be the highest paid athlete, active or retired, in 2016.

Coming in right behind Jordan is Beckham, the man who had, and continues to have, as much delirious support as the latest boy band, with the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder earning a cool $65 million.

The golfing legend Arnold Palmer is third on the list with earnings of $40 million in 2015, while former NBA and NFL players Junior Bridgeman ($32 million) and Jerry Richardson ($30 million) come in fourth and fifth respectively.

Jack Nicklaus, arguably the greatest golfer of all-time, is sixth on the Forbes list of richest retired athletes with $26 million in earnings, with the big man – Shaquille O'Neal ($22 million) – coming in seventh. Roger Penske ($20 million), Gary Player ($19 million) and Magic Johnson ($18 million) finish off the top ten.

Pele, who bid adieu to his playing career in 1977, still earned $14 million in 2015, the same as retired Chinese tennis player Li Na, the only woman in the top 14.