Public Safety Retirement Tips (part 1)

Today’s video is dedicated to the men and women in public on the front line every day. 

Now, while this video is geared towards these cops, firefighters, paramedics, and nurses, the information here is sound advice for all, and everyone from any line of work can benefit from it.

It doesn’t matter what sector of public safety you choose, going through paramedic school, or fire academy, or police academy, just graduating and getting a job is your number one goal.  I totally get it, during paramedic school, I couldn’t wait for class to be finally over and have the National Registry ‘glitter patch’ on my shoulder.  No one in the class was thinking about their retirement years, only graduation but this is a mistake and one that will follow you for the rest of your life.  But do not fret, if you follow my advice in this video when you retire, you will be a millionaire.

You are going to work an ambulance, fire truck, or patrol car for the better part of the next 25-years before you can retire with a pension.  This is hard work and at the end of it – we all hope there is a comfortable retirement ahead.

Over the years you watch your buddies retire, some live great lives on the golf course, or fishing at the lake, or whatever it is that they love to do. 

Others are forced to sell their homes, not out of a desire to downsize to a smaller home, no this is because they cannot afford the same lifestyle during retirement.  Sadly no one ever taught them how to build financial freedom.

So what can cops, firefighters, and paramedics do to almost guarantee a comfortable retirement?  Follow these simple steps.

But before we get to that, please make sure you like this video, subscribe to my channel and comment down below.  Doing so really helps with the YouTube algorithm. Thanks.

This video is sponsored by Police.Link – a mobile app that provides driver’s license scanning, VIN barcode decoding, GPS positioning, property location checks, and more to law enforcement agencies nationwide.  Check it out at www.Police.Link – a link is in the description below.

As you know I am a volunteer paramedic, a tech entrepreneur, and a real estate investor. What I haven’t already told you is how I grew up in a law enforcement family, my grandfather, dad, and step-dad all retired after long careers as cops and my stepbrother is nearing his 20th year as a police officer.  I have been in Fire/EMS for over 20 years.  So, yea, basically, public safety is in my blood.

Ok, now let’s get to it.  I will list these out as steps to go in-order, but actually many of them you can do concurrently.  Stay to the end of this video for a few tips to accurate this process.

Step #1: Budget

The first step is to create a budget, yes, yes, I know nobody wants to make a budget, but making a budget does not need to be difficult.  Gone are the days of having to memorize Excel spreadsheet formulas, no, now there are great free and inexpensive budgeting tools.  A simple one to use is Mint by Intuit, you know the guys that make TurboTax and QuickBooks, yes, those guys.

A budget puts you in control and tells your money where to go, instead of you wondering where it all went at the end of the month.  It is proactive instead of reactive. Budgeting is a process and by mastering this process you unlock the door to your financial future

Don’t worry, you’re not going to get your budget right the first time.  Just relax.  If you notice you did not budget enough in a specific category, say maybe groceries for example.  Then next month increase it a little.  But you must remember your paycheck is finite, so what you give to one category you must take from another category.

It doesn’t matter how much you make, whether you are pulling in extra overtime, or have a side-hustle where you make extra money.  You still need to budget.

So you’ve got your budget, right?  Ok, cool, onto the next step.

Step #2: Get out of debt

Now that you have your budget, you know where your money goes in and goes out each month.  You need to allocate as much of your income as possible to pay off high-interest credit cards and vehicle payments.

Now is NOT the time to be investing large sums in the stock market.  Think about it.  On average the S&P returns between 7-10% per year annually if you invest for at least 10 years.  But your credit card interest is probably like 15-30% per year.  Just paying off your credit cards now, you instantly make an extra 8-20% because you did not waste it on interest payments.  This is by far the biggest obstacle to overcome for most people, but it really is not difficult.  It just takes time and dedication.

There are many strategies to getting out of debt.  One is called the snowball – in summary, you take the credit card you owe the least on and put as much money towards it each month.  The goal is to get it paid off, while at the same time all of your other cards just pay the minimum monthly payment.  Once that first card is paid off, take the amount you were paying on it, and add that to the next lowest card.  Rinse and repeat.

Another strategy is to work on paying off the cards with the highest interest rate first.  EX: If your Capital One card has 19% interest, but your Amazon store card has 26%, focus on the 26% card first.

Either strategy can work, choose one that works for you.  The first has the emotional benefit of seeing more cards go to a $0 balance quicker.

Step #3: Emergency Fund

It is imperative that you set aside in a savings account a minimum of 3-6 months cash reserve to cover all of your expenses.  Yes, I know, this is easier said than done, so start off with a savings of $1,000.  Then work your way towards one full month’s of your expenses, then two-months, three-months, etc.  With the goal of getting 6 full months of all of your expenses saved up.

This way if something unexpected happens, like losing your job, or getting hurt off-the-clock, etc., you can pay your bills without going past due until you get back on your feet.

Step #4: Build your credit

Many underestimate the power of having good credit.  Having a good score makes the difference in getting good interest rate on your house mortgage, your car loan, it also impacts your insurance rates and in some cases also your career options.

Now that you have completed step #2, getting out of debt.  Use your credit cards wisely.  Keeping less than 10% of your total available balance used at any time.  For example, if you have one credit card with a $10,000 limit, then you should not charge more than $1,000 on it.

I know, you are saying, “what?  Only $1,000?”  – yup, do not charge more than $1,000 on it, and in fact, you also need to pay it down to zero each month as to not waste money on interest.  Remember, we are trying to build wealth for you, not the bank.

As you expand your credit you can take advantage of those zero-interest programs, you know the one that gives you 12-month, 18-month, 24-month, you get the point.  But you still need to keep your total utilization to less than 10%.

This step really requires a full video, I will work on one to cover all the details of building a solid credit score.

Step #5: Start your retirement accounts

As I covered in my video “Starting at age 16 – How to become a millionaire with only $16 a day in the stock market.” And in my other video “Response to Meet Kevin: 3 Reason I Won’t Use the Roth IRA’ it is vitally important for you to get your retirement accounts set up as early in your life as possible and to set up automatic investments.

A great option for getting started is to use Webull stock trading app, as they give you two free stocks to start out, with one of them being valued up to $1,400 when you open your account and deposit $100.  I love their app because they also allow you to buy and sell after-hours, so when a great deal on a stock is available you can snap it up with Webull before anyone else.

Also, If your employer has a 401k or SIMPLE IRA with matching, you would be a fool to not take advantage of this.  You should max this out without question because the money they contribute is free money.  In fact, in this case, you should start this even if you are still in debt as the free money your employer is giving is just too good to pass up.

Bonus Optional Step: Start a side-hustle

Like I said earlier in the video, your paycheck is finite.  Of course, you can pick up some overtime, get promoted, or get hired at a different department for better pay, but you are still limited to the pay per hour.

Create a side hustle that generates extra cash.  This could be anything from producing YouTube videos, writing a book, selling real estate, teaching/coaching, etc.  Honestly, this is limitless.  Pick a subject you enjoy, learn as much as you can about it, then find a creative way to make some extra cash each month.

For me, my book America Hijacked brings in $500-1,000 a month in revenue.  Some months are better than others, some pretty much suck.  But it is continuous money each month, auto deposited from Amazon.

While I’m on that subject, if you enjoy politics, or at least enjoy learning how both parties have lied, cheated, and stole from the American people, you should grab a copy of my book.  A link is in the description below. 

Should I make a whole video dedicated to how to create a side-hustle and generate an extra $500 a month cash?  If so, comment down below and tell me what ideas you would like me to cover.

Bonus Tip: How to accelerate this process

While I listed the five items as a ‘step-by-step’ to be done in order, you actually can do most of them at the same time.  Creating your budget with a service like Mint only take you 20 or 30 minutes to get started.  Then open a savings account with an automatic deposit of $50 or whatever you can afford per paycheck into it.  This is to build up your $1,000 first milestone.  Open your Webull stock trading account and deposit $100 in it today, as they are going to give you two free stocks with one stock valued up to $1,400.  That is just free money waiting for you.

While you are building your emergency fund, max out on all retirement accounts that have matching from your employer. 

Now you are ready to start coasting.  Knocking down your debt and building your credit concurrently.

Depending on your debt-level within a year or two, you should be debt-free from your credit cards.  Now is the time to go full force into your retirement investments.

Thank you very much for watching, I hope you enjoyed this video.  Please make sure you like, subscribe, and comment on this video.  Doing so really helps with the YouTube algorithm.

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