Our mission at Cops Alive is “Saving the lives of the people who save lives.” I’ve shared many times about the many hidden dangers of law enforcement. We’re reminded of the 73 officers murdered each year, but we rarely acknowledge the 400 plus officers who take their own lives each year by suicide.
The list of stressors that lead cops to commit suicide is long, but one that certainly plagues a great number of us is stress and worry about money. Financial mismanagement does not always lead to suicide, but it’s definitely a contributor.
We train hard and allocate resources to shooting and unarmed tactics, yet ignore the more probable risk factors like alcohol abuse, marital problems and personal finance issues. Stress at home distracts cops from doing their job effectively, opening them up to greater risks on the streets.
We ought to use the same strategies to manage the hidden risks that we do to plan tactical situations. For example, imagine how… Continue reading
I was hooked from the very beginning. Rarely can I say that a book about personal finance is entertaining, but I just finished reading How to be Rich: The Couple’s Guide to a Rich Life Without Worrying About Money from our very own CopsAlive contributor, Chuck Rylant. Chuck is a retired detective from California and has written this very unique book on personal finance for couples.
“This book is amazing. Chuck blends an impressive ability as a storyteller with his extensive experience as a financial planner to draw the reader into a real-to-life story that subtly gives them financial education and guidance for their own lives.
The interesting thing about this book is that it is a story about a young couple and one of the characters in the book is a police officer.
In the story, the couple has many of the financial struggles common to those in law enforcement. Throughout the story, the reader learns a simple system of organizing their money through the financial ups and downs the characters go through.
I was surprised at how much I could relate to the characters in the book and if you’re a reader of this blog you likely will too. The book covers some of the basics of personal finances such as getting out of debt, getting a mortgage, and planning for retirement, but what is different is how this book changes interest rates and mutual funds into real world ideas and emotions that real families face with their money.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their financial situation but doesn’t know where to start. The book is a quick read and you will learn a lot, and have fun doing it.”
CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival. We invite you to share your opinions in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.
CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence.
We will help your agency create the kind of place that supports and protects officers so that they can do their jobs better, safer, longer and survive to tell their grand kids all about it.
We do this by Helping Law Enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful lives on the job and beyond. We think the best strategy is for each officer to create a tactical plan for their own life and career. We call this Tactical Wellness planning.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) works with individuals and organizations to help them create and sustain success in their lives and careers as law enforcement professionals. It is the primary goal of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute to become the preeminent source for training, resources and information about how to create and sustain a happy, healthy and successful life and career while providing superior law enforcement service to your community.
At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement.
We provide stress management and Tactical Wellness for police officers and other law enforcement professionals.
CLICK HERE to read more about The Law Enforcement Survival Institute.
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I’m John Marx, Founder of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and the Editor of CopsAlive.com. Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Recently I had a chance to interview Howard Jaquay a retired Police Chief from Colorado who had over 31 years experience in law enforcement and who has a distinct passion for helping other law enforcement professionals learn more about finance and economics. During his career he consulted with numerous agencies on pension design, administration & investment and testified before several state legislative committees on police & fire pension issues
Howard now teaches a class for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Denver entitled “Set Your Own Financial Course: How To Think About Money & Finance”. Howard thinks it’s very important for you as law enforcement professionals to take ownership of your financial future both to reduce your stress about money matters but also… Continue reading
Many have searched for the pattern, or a model, to explain why the rich are rich. Thomas Stanley has made a living studying and writing about wealthy people. He found consistent behaviors among them and first wrote about it in the “Millionaire Next Door.”
In the classic book published in 1937, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill wrote about the “16 laws of success” after twenty years of studying wealthy people.
Certainly many things separate the rich from the poor. Contrary to what the poor want to believe, it’s not only luck or fate. Of the 2009 Forbes 400 richest, 274 (68%) are self-made, but… Continue reading
Personal finance is an area most people struggle with, but police officers face unique challenges. There are five distinct emotional cycles that most cops go through in their relationship with money. The first cycle is honeymoon.
More often than not, new police officers come from middle class families and it’s not uncommon for them to have grown up very poor. Although the trend is changing, the majority of entry level cops have no formal education beyond high school. Aside from low wage jobs, most cops did not have a career before becoming a cop and few enter law enforcement as a career change.
Because most police officers had entry level jobs before entering the business, they’re not used to the significant salary increase they earn when hired. Frequently cops double or triple their salary immediately upon taking their first police officer position.
This creates an immediate surplus of money that the young officer does not have the experience to handle. Young, single officers with no children and minimal financial responsibilities now see the opportunity to buy things they only wished for before. How many of you bought your first new car just after landing your police officer position? It’s very common.
Since the officer has gone without these luxuries his whole life, he does not have the patience to wait any longer and starts buying stuff. This alone is not a significant problem; however it leads to… Continue reading
If you’ve followed my writings for a while, you may have noticed my slant on financial planning for police officers is less about money and more about a rewarding and satisfying life. Money is a necessary part of life, but not the purpose of it. Sometimes as cops, we get so focused on earning money, that we forget what that money is for.
Here is a tale that always brings me back to reality when it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. I’ve seen this many places so I don’t know who credit as the original author.
“It had been almost two years since the American businessman, with an MBA from a prestigious Ivy League school, took a vacation. He had a very important role as a business advisor at… Continue reading
Previously we calculated how much we are really worth per hour as police officers and how it is far less than we thought. Now I hope to pull it all together into a usable concept. Believe it or not, figuring your true hourly wage is all about debt. Doing this exercise will help you get, and stay out of, debt forever. The reason we all go into debt is to overcome some unhappiness in our life.
We as police officers and sheriff’s deputies use debt to live a life we really can’t… Continue reading
I had a chance to meet bestselling author Robert G. Allen on our law enforcement retreat at sea as part of our CopsAlive Cruise last January. At the time he was just another guest of our larger group of people who were interested in doing business on the internet. He was planning the internet promotions for his newest book which just came out two weeks ago, called: “Cash in a Flash: Fast Money in Slow Times” that he co-wrote with Mark Victor Hansen. I was honored to meet Robert because I have read a couple of his books: “Multiple Streams of Income”, “Nothing Down”, “Cracking the Millionaire Code” (also co-written with Mark Victor Hansen) and was very impressed by his books and ideas. I was also surprised that someone at his level of success was still learning about internet marketing at the same level that I was as the editor of CopsAlive.com.
I think anyone in law enforcement can benefit from the concepts in “Multiple Streams of Income” because it broadened my horizons. Before reading it I thought multiple streams of income meant that I worked off-duty jobs for multiple employers like… Continue reading
In my last post I suggested that the hourly wage your agency exchanges for your life, working as a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, is worth far less than you think. In this post I’m going to help you get a better handle on what that number really is.
To correctly estimate how much you’re worth per hour as a police officer… Continue reading
As a police officer have you ever wondered out how much your life is worth? I’m not talking about your value as a cop nor your net worth, which is the value of everything you own minus your debt. I mean how much are you trading your life in law enforcement for, in exchange for your employer’s money? Strange idea, isn’t it? But as cops we should really be doing some financial planning.