I know retro is on everyone’s mind, what we got, what we should have gotten etc. What everyone needs to focus on now is that’s all the past. My feeling is not getting raises those years helped keep me focused on my path to leave early. And while it might have been easier with more money at the time, most likely I would have increased my lifestyle to match making it harder to leave. Because that’s what we do when we get raises. Most of us would have bigger, cars, home loans, boats and pools but not be in a better place financially.
The only thing that matters now is what you do with it. Take this lump sum and make it work for you for the rest of your life.
That’s why I thought this was a perfect picture from 10 years ago. I was in your shoes. As cops we all make the same money. The only differentiator between us is years on the job and overtime. And everyone knows how I felt about OT. So instead I learned everything I could about real estate. And most years, contrary to what everyone thinks, my peers doing OT made more money than I did. The difference is I invested every dollar acquiring assets using leverage that would eventually get me where we are today.
For most of us this will be the biggest check we get outside of selling a home. You have an opportunity to change your life in a real meaningful way.
I wish I had an answer for everyone who has been asking me how to invest. Real estate is the only thing I know because it’s the only investment I ever felt I had control of. 2008 taught me enough about the financial industry where advisors bragged about only being down 40% when everyone was down 50%. Like that was supposed to make me feel better?
I immediately stopped putting money in my deferred comp.
So just be weary of dumping it into a 457k or mutual funds because those are products created by banks & financial institutions. They take their fees no matter what, up or down and when the shit hits the fan you will always be the last to get paid.
I feel like this was a good year for me to be on the PBA book because I’m in a position to help more than I could if I was still on the job. For any of Janet’s PAPD tax clients she will be doing 2019 projections based on your retro estimates to help you make informed decisions in the new year. I’m working on some ideas to try and reach the membership, whether it be going to roll calls or just setting up shop at the commands for a few hours to answer questions. I wish I had someone like me to ask questions to 10 years ago when we took that picture.
If I can help someone invest and make their life better, whether it’s having to do less OT, being secure in their finances or other investment ideas, there are going to be questions along the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out.