My next door neighbor was a cop, still under 60, been retired for more than 5 yrs

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Submitted by jimmyle on May 29, 2012 - 8:17am

I am glad that I have retired a cop neighbor. He watches the neighborhood and points out when I leave my windows unlocked during the day.

This guy is very fit and strong, he can probably carry me and my wife with his arms so why is he retired? I am not jealous or anything but this is what is so wrong with our system. You have perfectly capable people doing nothing productive for 15+ years. And I don't understand the public's sentiment of that police work and firefighting are dangerous, physically demanding jobs. After all, my colleagues in a manufacturing environment are more likely to die on their jobs than cops and firefighters.

Why can't these over 50 yr old cops and firefighters work in 911 centers, schools or the office?

Submitted by Coronita on May 29, 2012 - 8:43am.

Oh boy.....Here we go again.

Submitted by no_such_reality on May 29, 2012 - 9:30am.

The short answer is because we have too much money in politics.

Submitted by SD Realtor on May 29, 2012 - 12:27pm.

The answer I have seen is quit whining. If you don't like it, you apply for one of those jobs to get those pensions and those benefits.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on May 29, 2012 - 2:35pm.

SD Realtor wrote:
The answer I have seen is quit whining. If you don't like it, you apply for one of those jobs to get those pensions and those benefits.

SDR: I don't want to be a cop. Loud noises and gunfire frighten me.

Having a car with a siren seems fun, though...

Submitted by SK in CV on May 29, 2012 - 2:39pm.

Why should they work in 911 centers or schools or in the office if they can afford and prefer being retired? You think they should be forced to work? Should everyone be forced to work until they're over 60 or just cops and firemen?

Submitted by EconProf on May 29, 2012 - 4:11pm.

SK in CV wrote:
Why should they work in 911 centers or schools or in the office if they can afford and prefer being retired? You think they should be forced to work? Should everyone be forced to work until they're over 60 or just cops and firemen?

Most people DO work until they are over 60. After all, they have to in order to pay for the cops who may retire at 50.

Submitted by an on May 29, 2012 - 4:19pm.

SK in CV wrote:
Why should they work in 911 centers or schools or in the office if they can afford and prefer being retired? You think they should be forced to work? Should everyone be forced to work until they're over 60 or just cops and firemen?

How many profession in the private sector can afford to retire before 60?

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 29, 2012 - 6:11pm.

AN wrote:
SK in CV wrote:
Why should they work in 911 centers or schools or in the office if they can afford and prefer being retired? You think they should be forced to work? Should everyone be forced to work until they're over 60 or just cops and firemen?

How many profession in the private sector can afford to retire before 60?

How many professions in the private sector put their lives on the line every day and typically have MUCH less than stellar working conditions (clean cubicle/office, multi-line phone, computer and gadgets at their constant disposal, restroom and lunch nearby, etc, etc).

AN, do you think hanging out on the streets of San Diego County (or its fwys) are more "fun" than what you, as a "white collar" worker are doing everyday?

IIRC, jimmyle's neighbor is living close to the SD substation where EVERY SD street cop begins his/her "lofty" career:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s...

Drive to SE Division Stn. Park in the parking lot. Lock your "luxury" car. Start walking eastbound. Get to know the folks out there. And ... have a nice life!

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on May 29, 2012 - 7:00pm.

bearishgurl wrote:

IIRC, jimmyle's neighbor is living close to the SD substation where EVERY SD street cop begins his/her "lofty" career:

Drive to SE Division Stn. Park in the parking lot. Lock your "luxury" car. Start walking eastbound. Get to know the folks out there. And ... have a nice life!

BG: While I take your point, I'd also opine that working Southeast doesn't comprise the bulk of most San Diego cop's careers, anymore than working "Shootin'" Newton (South Central LA) does for LAPD officers.

A good friend of mine, who is now with the FBI, worked Patrol, Narcotics Street Team and Homicide with SDPD before being accepted into the FBI, where he now works bank robberies. He was with SDPD a grand total of about 10 years and spent the bulk of his time in Patrol and undercover and fired his weapon a grand total of two times, never fatally. He worked some really bad neighborhoods, including Skyline, Encanto and Ocean Blvd. He also worked Patrol in La Jolla, Beach Patrol in PB and Mission Beach and Homicide out of downtown.

Law enforcement can be a dangerous profession, but I have plenty of cop friends, most of whom have never even drawn their weapon in the line of duty nor seen a shot fired in anger.

Conversely, all of my friends who have served in the military have been involved in shooting wars and dating back to the 1980s.

There's "dangerous" and then there's "Dangerous"; it's a matter of perspective, profession and venue.

Submitted by no_such_reality on May 29, 2012 - 7:56pm.

bearishgurl wrote:

How many professions in the private sector put their lives on the line every day and typically have MUCH less than stellar working conditions (clean cubicle/office, multi-line phone, computer and gadgets at their constant disposal, restroom and lunch nearby, etc, etc).

Pay no attention to CalPers own records showing California Safety workers (Police, Fire, etc), outlive the general population.

Submitted by moneymaker on May 29, 2012 - 9:13pm.

When I was younger I thought my dad was lazy wanting to retire at the age of 50. Now that I'm 50 I feel the same urge, if I could, I would, which makes me rethink, am I using my time wisely. If I were being paid more/earning more then I would be able to retire earlier. Truth be told though I think I would get bored if I were not working. Happily bored, but how do I know until I try it. I've worked 34 years continuously and have realitively little to show for it. If I weren't drinking wine right now I might even be depressed about the whole thing.

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 29, 2012 - 9:36pm.

Thats why we have wine....

Submitted by an on May 29, 2012 - 9:40pm.

Here ya go BG. America's top 10 most dangerous jobs: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/pf/j.... Tell me, where does Police Officer comes out comparing to the others? Then tell me, what are their median wage compare to those jobs that are more dangerous?

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 29, 2012 - 9:48pm.

Interesting thing about those jobs was it if you take out airline pilots and farmers (business owners) the more dangerous the job the less they seemed to pay and the lower the benefits.

Submitted by an on May 29, 2012 - 9:49pm.
Submitted by Ricechex on May 29, 2012 - 11:15pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
Thats why we have wine....

Concur.

Submitted by an on May 29, 2012 - 11:18pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
AN, do you think hanging out on the streets of San Diego County (or its fwys) are more "fun" than what you, as a "white collar" worker are doing everyday?

IIRC, jimmyle's neighbor is living close to the SD substation where EVERY SD street cop begins his/her "lofty" career:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s...

Drive to SE Division Stn. Park in the parking lot. Lock your "luxury" car. Start walking eastbound. Get to know the folks out there. And ... have a nice life!


What does my choice any anything to do with the argument? By that logic, since you're not a cop, your words are meaningless too.

Your memory is failing you. jimmyle's neighbor is living FAR FAR away from that point in the map you linked.

Why don't you drive to this police station, lock your luxury car and start walking eastbound. Get to know the folks out there and ... you might be freakin' terrified!!!

Submitted by joec on May 30, 2012 - 4:26am.

moneymaker wrote:
When I was younger I thought my dad was lazy wanting to retire at the age of 50. Now that I'm 50 I feel the same urge, if I could, I would, which makes me rethink, am I using my time wisely. If I were being paid more/earning more then I would be able to retire earlier. Truth be told though I think I would get bored if I were not working. Happily bored, but how do I know until I try it. I've worked 34 years continuously and have realitively little to show for it. If I weren't drinking wine right now I might even be depressed about the whole thing.

This is one reason to do the take time off if you can work it thing early in your work career (age 30-40) if circumstances lead to that. There was a discussion earlier about this on someone taking time off and most comments said to do it if you can afford it.

Bottom line is if you don't take it when you have the opportunity, you probably will never do it...pretty much kids kill any chance of this.

The downside with being a cop is you are generally a bigger target for the bad folks since you are out there in uniform.

I read about all the "downsides , but I think everyone would agree being a fire fighter or a cop is far better than being in the military with less pay, benefits and much higher risk of dieing (I assume, no data) in a very hostile environment with very little choice of where you end up.

Best deal nowadays is to probably work in a low stress public sector job with better benefits (healthcare is probably the most valuable thing now) and then retire once you qualify for the key items.

Submitted by SK in CV on May 30, 2012 - 8:18am.

bearishgurl wrote:
AN wrote:
SK in CV wrote:
Why should they work in 911 centers or schools or in the office if they can afford and prefer being retired? You think they should be forced to work? Should everyone be forced to work until they're over 60 or just cops and firemen?

How many profession in the private sector can afford to retire before 60?

How many professions in the private sector put their lives on the line every day and typically have MUCH less than stellar working conditions (clean cubicle/office, multi-line phone, computer and gadgets at their constant disposal, restroom and lunch nearby, etc, etc).

AN, do you think hanging out on the streets of San Diego County (or its fwys) are more "fun" than what you, as a "white collar" worker are doing everyday?

IIRC, jimmyle's neighbor is living close to the SD substation where EVERY SD street cop begins his/her "lofty" career:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s...

Drive to SE Division Stn. Park in the parking lot. Lock your "luxury" car. Start walking eastbound. Get to know the folks out there. And ... have a nice life!

I note nobody has actually answered my question of whether everyone should be forced to work until their over 60 or just cops and firemen. I don't know the circumstances of the retired cop in the original post. Maybe he has a rich wife. Or he saves pretty well.

What I do know is that BG is right. It's only anectodotal, but my brother has been a SD cop for over 30 years. He's 55 years old. He's had 2 knee surgeries, 2 back surgeries, 2 shoulder surgeries, and needs a knee replacement and a shoulder replacement. It's been more than 15 years since he went to sleep pain free. Every one of those injuries are work related. He's been shot at twice, had a brick dropped on his head, and hit with a baseball bat in the back. He's worked SE, and vice, and robbery, and homicide and arson. I've been trying to convince him to retire on disability, but he likes his work, so he hasn't.

His wife has been a cop for about a year less. For the last 15 years or so, she's been working with CPS, pulling kids out of dangerous homes. She's had at least 4 surgeries from work related injuries. She comes from a family of addicts, so she doesn't drink or take pain meds for fear that she'll get addicted. So she sucks it up every night, despite the pain from her torn rotator cuff surgery. She could retire on disability too, but she likes her work.

Both of them will be retiring before they're 60. Between the two of them, they'll have pensions a bit over $100K a year. Somebody here really think they haven't earned it?

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 30, 2012 - 8:33am.

If they were injured at work and can't perform the duties of their jobs they should collect disability. As for the danger in their chosen line of work, that is what they are paid for.

FWIW a friend of mine is 10 years younger that your brother. He has had multiple surgeries, both knees replaced and lives with constant pain. He was in plenty of fights growing up because hes a big guy people liked to challenge. He suffers from carpal tunnel and severe migranes related to work also. He's a stockbroker.

Submitted by no_such_reality on May 30, 2012 - 9:04am.

SK, nobody should be forced to work to any age, if they have saved and planned for their retirement. He hit the sweet spot. A sweet spot that means in reality we will have paid him more than 2X his income for his years worked.

The issue is the lucrative nature of even the "modest" retirement plans of the rank and file State workers. Even the 2.5% plan, allowing people to retire after 30 years with a 75% of their average 3 years highest incomes will take a 25% annual contribution to provide and that's not assuming COLA increases or health benefits or position promotions, which pushes it closer to 30%.

I'm perfectly fine with that plan as long as the employees are contributing say 20% a year and the state is contibuting 10% a year. At 10% a year, it would leave virtually every private company match plan in the dust.

For the cops and fire fighters that got the temporary 3%/50 deal, it's just ludicrous and morally indefensible (even if legal.

Prison guards are a good example. They will tell you they need to contribute 8%. Then in different part of the contract, the State commits to make that contribution for them. The net result, CalPers reports that as an employee contribution, when in reality the guards aren't contributing anything.

Submitted by Coronita on May 30, 2012 - 9:00am.

Stop just stop.
:) :) :)

Submitted by SD Realtor on May 30, 2012 - 9:42am.

I agree entirely with NSR.

SK I have no problem with what your friend gets as his pension. I do have a problem with the return on his pension being gauranteed by the state.

Why can't the state gaurantee the returns on my 401k?

It is a total fallacy that the state should gaurantee anything. You are a state employee, you get compensated for what you do. You should be given a selection of pension plans all with different returns AND RISKS ASSOCIATED with those returns. You want the big return, you take the risk, you don't get a gaurantee. You want the low risk, then accept the lower return like the rest of us.

You don't like any of the choices, then don't take the job.

No government institution state, local or federal should be in the business of backstopping pension returns with taxpayer money.

Submitted by an on May 30, 2012 - 9:48am.

Totally agree with SDR and NSR. I have no problem with anyone retiring early. I myself are planning on retiring before I'm 60 too. So, no, no one should be forced to work past any age. My biggest bone, like SDR and NSR stated is the tax payer backstopping pension. I'd say, convert pension to 401k, and if people start leaving because the pay is too low, then increase the pay to the point where people would stay.

Submitted by Arraya on May 30, 2012 - 1:05pm.

Fuck the police

Submitted by SD Realtor on May 30, 2012 - 2:10pm.

Wow that is intelligent.

Submitted by SK in CV on May 30, 2012 - 3:04pm.

SD Realtor wrote:
I agree entirely with NSR.

SK I have no problem with what your friend gets as his pension. I do have a problem with the return on his pension being gauranteed by the state.

Why can't the state gaurantee the returns on my 401k?

What you're arguing is that no employees should ever have defined benefit plans. But the fact of the matter is, thirty plus years ago, when my brother joined the police force, they were pretty common in private industry too. They're not anymore. But there are negotiated labor agreements. As those agreements expire, those retirement plans can be negotiated into defined contribution plans (like 401Ks), but that doesn't change anything in the past. These retirement pensions were negotiated and agreed up over the last 40 years. Arguably poorly negotiated on the part of the municipalities, but that doesn't mean both the recipients and the payors aren't getting exactly what they bargained for.

Submitted by davelj on May 30, 2012 - 6:24pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

There's "dangerous" and then there's "Dangerous"; it's a matter of perspective, profession and venue.

I was roommates with a cop about 20 years ago. Whenever someone asked him about the danger involved with the job he'd say, "I'm not worried about dying from injury; I'm worried about dying of boredom."

Submitted by blake on May 30, 2012 - 7:33pm.

I see cops involved in shootings, fights, and car chases all the time.

Especially, during prime time.

Submitted by CA renter on May 30, 2012 - 10:01pm.

AN wrote:
Totally agree with SDR and NSR. I have no problem with anyone retiring early. I myself are planning on retiring before I'm 60 too. So, no, no one should be forced to work past any age. My biggest bone, like SDR and NSR stated is the tax payer backstopping pension. I'd say, convert pension to 401k, and if people start leaving because the pay is too low, then increase the pay to the point where people would stay.

Taxpayers back an awful lot of things like Social Security, Medicare, FDIC, PBGC, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, FHA, some student loans, USDA loans, and all the associated "investors" of govt-backed debt, etc. Taxpayers pay for wars that disproportionately benefit certain corporations/industries, pay for infrastructure that often serves only a tiny portion of the population, pay for "welfare" that only a small portion of the population directly benefit from, etc. The taxpayers have also backed many corporations/entities that would have otherwise gone bankrupt, and have directly and indirectly paid for the egregious compensation packages "earned" by the top execs of those companies who led them down the sinkhole.

We taxpayers have an awful lot to complain about, and the compensation of hard-working cops, firefighters, teachers, etc. should be at the bottom of the list. Those are some of the very few people who actually *work for and earn* what they get from the government.

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