5 Keys to Planning For Retirement after a Police Career

Planning for retirement is important for police officers.For many cops, retirement is the furthest thing from their mind when hired. Between school, trainings, and a very eventful career, there is a lot more to think about. But, like any career, planning for retirement is significant. Rookies and veterans must plan for retirement and there are a few tips we have that can help not only the planning process, but during your retired years.

Tips for Before and After Retirement:

1. Plan to Fill Post Retirement Time Retirement means more than just not having to clock in for work. You’ve spent years, if not almost your whole life working, committed to your job, and working really hard. If your third week off the job is filled with nothing, you may end up feeling depressed and stir crazy. This doesn’t mean you can’t take some time to relax, see your family or go on vacations. But, make sure you pick up a hobby or volunteer to keep yourself busy and feeling ‘normal’. Many officers become resource police officers in retirement to help protect schools. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities out there for retired police to help out. Start by asking other retired cops in your town how they have helped in your community. 2. Pick up a Hobby Hobbies are a wonderful way to decrease stress, keep busy and provide an outlet for your creativity. It actually can be very beneficial to have a hobby while in the workforce.  If you already have an idea of what hobby you would like to try, dive in! When it’s time to retire you will be happy if you have something else you are passionate about than work. 3. Don’t Ignore Your Health Police officers should make physical and mental wellness a big part of their retirement plans. Stress is a huge factor during the job, and can lead to an array of other health issues. For example it can lead to alcohol and tobacco abuse. Remember to use these in moderation. Exercise regularly, unless your job keeps you going all day. Officers need to be familiar with their retiree health care plan before their last day on the job. Officers are often surprised when it comes to reduced coverage and higher premiums. Remember that mental health is just as important. Reach out for help if you need it. An organization such as, Safe Call Now can help both current and retired law enforcement officers seek help confidentially. 4. Get your Finances in Order Many police academies have financial advisors available, so take advantage of these. Some cops go straight from school to the military to the workforce and may not have made a lot of money to put away. It is important to be saving during your working years for retirement. If you’re close to retirement and haven’t saved enough, then begin looking at secondary employment. Is there something you enjoy doing that could earn you enough money to put towards savings? Regardless of where you are at in your career, make sure you are familiar with your pension plan. 5. Continue Your Education Take this time to get a degree, or another degree. Maybe you always thought about being a teacher or a counselor? You can get a masters in social work or leadership. There are also continuing education training programs for officers.You can never learn too much. Retirement can be both exciting and overwhelming. These 5 tips should help guide you through the process. Are you a retired officer? If so, what tips do you have for your fellow officers facing retirement?
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