I have been going to the LASD Retiree Roundup in Laughlin for many years. When I was an active member, Brian Moriguchi and myself would attend with the PPOA crew, and I remember thinking, “Man, retirement cannot come soon enough — these folks are having fun!” But I also remember not knowing many people there. The numbers ranged about 700 back then, steadily growing. Each year, I noticed more and more of my friends now attending as I closed in on retirement. I have now been retired for a few years, and as expected, I know many more people at the Roundup as they retired around the same time as me.
For people still working, and people I talk to, they will tell you that I am the “retirement guy.” I have sat down with countless active members of all ages and explained to them how our retirement works. Many of those I have spoken with realized they can retire “today” after I help them understand that their situation allows it. I have made hundreds of spreadsheets for people and explained that life doesn’t end with retirement — it literally begins.
One thing I will say that helps convince people to take that step is my talking about the Roundup. I tell them that every year I go, I try to talk to as many retirees that I can, and ask them, “Did you stay too long, or not long enough?” The universal answer is “too long.”
I feel that LASD is one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the world. Not because of its leadership, but because of the people. We have had some amazing leaders and some questionable leaders at all ranks. When I see people cringe during those dark times of poor leadership, I remind them that we are a successful agency despite those poor leadership times, not because of them. The many hardworking and dedicated people of all classifications are the ones who make the Department so great.
While enjoying this last Roundup, I made some connections with people there for the first time and connected with some I know will be there every year. (Skrnich: Yes, I can count on you telling everyone around us how you had the dispatcher raise “Explorer Schallert” several times per week, noting that I had been a deputy for a decade at the time.)
PPOA hosted the annual Cigar Night, and it was a huge hit. The feedback was very positive, and we will continue to sponsor that event moving forward. It was great to see so many people laughing and having a great time at the Roundup. Moon Mullen and his team did a fantastic job once again organizing this event.
For those of you who read my articles and are still working, take a moment to talk to a retiree about life after your career. We can offer some pretty good planning advice and help you seamlessly enter into retirement. I will say the first few months will be hard, but it can be done! It’s a weird moment when you turn your stuff in and sign a form saying you acknowledge you are no longer an active law enforcement officer. It’s surreal.
With that said, I will close with this: PPOA now represents several thousand retiree members, and that membership demographic continues to grow at a fast pace. I appreciate every one of you, and I am here to help with any issues you may encounter as a retired PPOA member. Naturally, we have challenges arise regularly, and that will never stop. Be sure PPOA has your current email address on file because as the next generations retire, we will likely steer more heavily toward electronic communication. Any feedback on this from retirees would be appreciated. Let me know what you think. Until next month, please be safe and reach out to me at email@example.com if you need anything.