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Why I retired early from a 100k police job

Posted by Anthony Grosso on July 23, 2018
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Since I started speaking at police precincts, firehouses and associations around the country promoting the benefits of financial education and real estate, I get so many questions from people, on and off the job, about why I left policing so far along. 

Firstly, it’s not about the money

If it was, I’d stay being a cop. I was halfway to retirement and in only 10 years I would have been free to do whatever career I wanted. I had one of the best benefits packages in the country as well as 6 weeks vacation a year plus, comp time, sick time and personal days. I know people who would pay me for that job.

It’s not about selling houses

“You can leave because you sell real estate”. I get this a lot because from the outside that’s what it looks like.  Yes I have built a successful real estate brokerage but I wouldn’t leave the PAPD to sell houses. It’s a cyclical career, where deals are made and broken by 8 people in every transaction. So no, selling houses isn’t my reason for leaving.

The people who really know me, my family, my friends, people who’ve worked with me, know my personality. I’m not one to sit still, I always want to be challenged and growing, learning something new, trying something different. I also want to use my talents and creativity to help people. Out of the box thinking isn’t really condoned in policing.  That’s something I would never get staying at my job.

So why are you leaving?

Life goes by way too fast as it is. We’re not guaranteed any tomorrow. So even though I could leave in 10 years, I can think of much more positive ways to fill those years. Your work life shouldn’t be about the end, rushing through and hoping for something to end. I want to enjoy everyday and I want them to last a lifetime. The next 10 years are solid working years, I’ve hit my stride in alot of aspects of my life and now’s the time to build something great. Living life rushing towards a finish line so I can be “free” from something is not a good life story.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not even close to being well off, but we did achieve financial freedom. We made some some good investments and kept expenses low which gave us an opportunity we had never given much thought to.

Success means different things to different people. For us it’s  freedom to live life by our own rules, not waiting for some magical day in the future to retire. Because most times when that day has come you’re not even prepared for it, which is why so many people die right after they stop working.

The purpose of life is to live a life full of purpose. Doing what’s safe for me doesn’t benefit anyone but myself.

I know staying at my job is safe. A ship that stays in port is also safe but that’s not what ships are built for.

Also, it’s not just about me

Janet has been crushing her tax and consulting business. She has been able to help out so many small businesses and loves what she does. With the hours I was doing her business was starting to suffer.  Even if I could tolerate putting my dreams aside, this one job, that I didn’t like, would ruin both of our chances at success.

Janet & I built something great together, built multiple businesses, and did what we did operating at 50% capacity. So much to the point that me leaving is not actually risky at all. We’re good at what we do, we’ve learned so much and we can help SO many people that are in our situation. All of our knowledge is self taught and from the ground up. I believe having gifts and not sharing them is the worst waste there is.

At the end of the day, and as opposite as it may seem, it’s whats best for my family. The only job that really matters is the one I do raising my boys and being a husband.

Is staying at work really safe?

I worked 40 (even more because of forcing) hours a week, and would have to continue for another 10 years just to say I retired. For me, I was looking at a pension of 60-80k a year. If my kids are still going to be in school & I haven’t built any life or hobbies outside of work, I’m going to rush to retirement just to find a part time job to live. It’s not like you leave in 20 years and you’re rich. And a job is not scale-able, there are limits on what you can make since you’re doing a direct trade, your time for money. And if you’re trading your time at home for hours at work, (especially when it’s a job you don’t enjoy) that’s not living.

Also, to juggle the life we were building I was putting myself through midnight shifts & sleeping 3-4 hours a day. I was on a guaranteed path to take years off my life. Once we made the decision to go my health, attitude and sleep changed instantly. I know we had good health insurance but I’d rather live a life where I don’t need to use it for preventable issues.

Summing it up

We’re all built differently, and there is no right or wrong way to do anything. To me I value freedom & living a life I design more than security. I have an entrepreneur soul, this is just me, just like I couldn’t change someone who craves the safety of a paycheck. We’re all just wired different. If you look at things from our perspective and look forward at what’s to come, not what I’m giving up, there is no risk at all. 

We’ve done goals together for 10 years, and every year we systematically and strategically tackled them one by one. Building on our successes until the point of financial freedom. I don’t have to sell a house, Janet doesn’t have to do a tax return unless we choose to. Our lives are not dependent on any one source of income. But in that worst case scenario I’ve also learned so many life skills and lessons that I could get a job doing anything I want and be successful. We’ve kept our overhead low, expenses at a minimum and we are as lean as you can be.

We’ve defied common advice, negativity, and we now live by our own set of rules and ideas that most people don’t even understand. We design our own life from here on out. We can’t depend on a government or any other entity to take care of us, so win or lose we’re making our own way.

Janet and I have always wanted to do this and we have big things planned. Teaching, educating and, more importantly, helping others do and build, is what makes us feel the most useful in this world. We have a way of explaining things and breaking things down that make the most complex issues simple. Our goal is to help others achieve what we’ve done and focus on our life purpose.

That’s what our masterclasses are about, we’ve taken the most useful lessons in our lives and created courses to help others get on the path to financial freedom. Just recently I heard something that resonated so well with me. The secret of life is being given to us everyday, and unfortunately most times it’s when people are nearing the end of theirs. When they look back at their lives, they don’t say “buy more stuff” or regret all those overtime shifts they passed up. They tell us, don’t stress the little things, enjoy and spend as much time as you can with your family. And most importantly,  just be happy.

This may not pan out the way we planned but isn’t that the point? We have one life, there are no rehearsals, no do overs. So whatever happens we’ll figure it out. The one thing I know is I’d regret not taking the chance to live a life with no regrets.

Be happy guys,  91-98




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