For many of us older fossils, we can conjure up in our mind a famous scene from the 1985 movie, Back to the Future. A movie produced before many of our current-day cops and firefighters were even born.
For the younger folks, let me hit on some of the highlights for you. The movie featured a DeLorean sports car. Then you had the crazy Dr. Emmett Brown, who had perfected a way to modify the DeLorean and travel back to the future. Then, throw in Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly. As Marty is filming the Doc preparing to blast off and back into the future, they are ambushed by a group of Libyans. During the scene, the Libyans get the drop on the Doc and riddle him with automatic weapon fire. It had the makings of a really sad ending.
But, as the movie progresses (spoiler alert here), we learn that Doc had been wearing a bulletproof vest. So, no, he did not die.
You might be wondering just exactly what the heck any of that has to do with the PORAC Retiree Medical Trust. Well, just about everything. You see, Doc had the good foresight to prepare for his future. He wasn’t sure exactly what path he was going to travel down or what he might encounter during that journey. But, for sure, he knew he wanted to be prepared.
And so it is with the post-retirement years for most of us who spent a lifetime chasing bad guys or putting out fires.
If you make a plan today for your future somewhere down the road, then more than likely you will be better prepared. In the case of health insurance premiums and medical expenses, no one knows exactly how much money we will be needing. However, we can make some reasonable predictions. We know for certain that the most expensive years are those between retirement and Medicare. Then the cost goes down.
For example, when you retire, you (and a spouse if you have one) will need a decent health insurance policy. You simply can’t work your whole life, buy a house and amass a collection of toys, only to risk losing all of that. Your coverage will need to be kept current until you are eligible for Medicare. At that point, you need to consider that Part A is covered for you, as most retirees get that for free. However, you will need to purchase Part B, Part C and Part D coverage.
The RMT is a way for you and your employer to plan on how to pay for those expenses. Money is contributed pre-tax while you are working. We have it professionally invested. Then when you retire and become age eligible, benefits are returned to you. There is no tax on the benefits paid to you.
It’s really a pretty slick way to save money on expenses that you are going to have to deal with after you retire.
Just the other day, I was speaking with a participant from Chico POA. He is still working but within months of retiring. He asked me what his RMT benefit was going to be. I asked him if he had created his online account with the RMT. He had not, but he did so while I was on the phone with him. He was pretty jazzed to learn that his monthly benefit, depending upon exactly when he retires, should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $609. That benefit is anticipated to be available to him for the rest of his life. If he precedes his wife in death, then she will be eligible for half that amount for the rest of her life.
Currently, there are 52 police and fire associations participating in the RMT. We have around 5,600 monthly contributors. During the first week in November, our portfolio was sitting around $86.5 million.
I routinely like to remind folks that the day will likely come when you will need to fund your own health insurance, along with paying for deductibles, co-pays and prescriptions. The RMT might just be something that could help you address that situation once you get there.
We are available to meet with you and your association. Plan for your future, just like Doc Brown did.
This Trust is run by full-time and retired LEOs for the benefit of both police and fire.
Stay healthy and be safe.