Good morning, and welcome to another Working Women Wednesday! Today I have another amazing story to share with you – the story of Temple BoClair. She’s a retired police captain who earned six figures before retirement, and is currently a millionaire. In retirement she’s still working, helping to teach others about financial literacy. She was successful in the mostly male-dominated world of the police, and she’s been kind enough to stop by and share her story today.
So without further ado, lets learn more about her!
Tell us about yourself!
I’m a 50+ retired Florida native. My supportive, thoughtful and handsome husband and I have 2 sons who are 17 & 20. A little more than four years ago, I honorably retired from public service as a police captain of a major Metropolitan Police Department after 31 years of Law Enforcement.
Since retiring, I have opened (and closed) a home-based baking business, worked as a residential mortgage loan originator (licensed mortgage broker), conducted mystery shopping assignments and was named as a Successful Role Model to my hometown Hall of Fame. I currently utilize my years of training and education to facilitate classes & provide coaching in the areas of financial literacy. In short, I counsel and educate individuals in all areas of money & credit management.
My hobbies are baking, mystery shopping, and facilitating classes on financial literacy, reading & writing.
Let’s get some details – how much money do you make, and how long did it take you to get there? And are you a millionaire or are you on the way?
During my career, from 1982 through 2013 my salary ranged from $19k as an untrained police officer to $142k as a police captain. We attained millionaire net worth status approximately 5 years ago.
How did you get started in the workforce?
I’ve been continually employed from the time I graduated high school at 16 years old until I retired. In the 4 years between high school and the start of my career as a law enforcement officer, I was trying to “figure it out” and accepted very low paying, minimum wage type jobs as a department store shoe-clerk, a cashier, a cocktail waitress and a bartender.
At 20 years old, I was introduced to the hiring authority of the police department by my mother’s grammar school friend from Church. Within 6 months of the application process, I had tested well in all areas and received an offer of employment.
How did you get from where you started to where you are now?
I was hired, promoted through all the Department’s Civil Service ranks and honorably retired 31 years later. To earn each rank, I participated 6 times (twice per rank) in a process called Promotional Assessment. I spent most of my career assigned to the Internal Affairs Section (IAS) that investigates and disciplines its own employees.
When I was promoted to police sergeant and lieutenant, I was initially assigned to supervise road patrol officers and supervisors. As a sergeant, I was transferred to the IAS after a little more than a year. As a lieutenant, I spent two years road patrol & was transferred to the Budget and Planning Section and then back to IAS where I remained until I was promoted to police captain. I spent the rest of my career as police captain assigned to Human Resources and Personnel Section.
Since retiring I discovered that I have a passion to educate others in the areas of financial literacy. I volunteer and serve as a personal financial coach/consultant/educator. Recently, I have been inspired to create a website/blog about my 50+ years of knowledge and experiences, (successes & failures) with personal finance.
Where do you want to go in your career – and your financial life?
As I developed and honed my skills in my previous career and in other areas of my life, I’ll work hard to be an awesome blogger who delivers helpful, life-changing informational content & education. I’ll continue to volunteer my services as a personal financial coach & consultant as well.
Since we attained financial independence 5 years ago, we are what I would call F.I.B.B.s (Financially Independent Baby Boomers).
What do you see as the key to earning such a high salary?
In my mid to late teens I developed a habit to document goals, wishes and dreams on paper. So, 20 years later when our annual salary increases were threatened, I began to focus on earning more money. I wrote down $50K, then $65k, then $85k, and then finally, in my 40’s, I wanted to earn six figures, so I wrote $100k. Each time, I received the amounts I had written or more. The behind the scenes actions involved lots of sacrifices, and really – isn’t faith without work dead? I earned additional income through raises, promotions, working off-duty & overtime and brokered mortgage loans as a Licensed Mortgage Broker. To sum it all up, I planned my work and then worked my plans.
Quite honestly, I don’t believe that my accomplishments are particularly noteworthy. I did what hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of people did before me & will do after me.
Have you ever experienced issues in the workforce because you’re a woman? What did you do in response?
Yes, there were/are issues that I encountered as a woman in a male-dominated profession. As you can probably surmise, the disparity, the inequality and the sexual innuendos were/are pervasive. Additionally, I experienced an assumption that the highest-ranking officer/decision-maker MUST be male. Those mindsets will probably almost always be alive and well in environments where females and males coexist in the workplace.
I responded to negative treatment by following the advice from a senior female officer who said always do your best and NEVER compromise your values or integrity. So, as a rookie officer, and even more so as I began to climb the ranks, I was determined to become as successful as my own intelligence and hard work ethic would take me. I was also patently clear that I would not compromise my values or integrity, suck up to the establishment or brown-nose the bosses to get promoted or transferred to the preferred assignments. I kept my head down, learned my job very well and when eligible, I sought promotion. I tried to always give more than was expected and was recognized as being an outstanding employee.
Chief Mom Officer is primarily a personal finance blog – tell us about your saving and investment strategy
I’ve always believed in living well below your means and that essential and discretionary expenses should be kept between 75-85% of income while giving and saving the rest. It helps that I stay open for ways to save money when it comes to food, clothing & housing. During my working life, I almost always took lunch to work & replaced clothing only when necessary. Our home is the smallest model of homes in our neighborhood and was purchased at the low end of the market.
That said, on two separate occasions after I had struggled to become debt-free but the primary residence, I felt that I was rich and entitled. Both times I spent more money than I had coming in and turned to debt through car loans, lines of credit & credit cards. When I became sick and tired of being sick and tired, I learned to manage and become a good steward of my finances. What can I say, I’m only human?
* As far as investing, I believe that slow, steady and consistent progress is the way to go. As I said previously, I only began to earn $100k within the last 10 years, so a large income to invest was not an option. Deposits to 457 & 401k retirement accounts were made for more than 20 years & have been invested in a balanced portfolio of MUTUAL FUNDS that include GROWTH, GROWTH & INCOME & INTERNATIONAL FUNDS.
* We have NO MORTGAGE – The initial strategy to pay off the 30-year mortgage loan was a very simple mindset to pay it off in 15 years or less. To get that done, we consistently paid more than the minimum required payment and then when interest rates were down, we refinanced the 30-year mortgage loan down to a 10-year mortgage loan. We continued to pay more than the minimum required payment until the debt was paid in full.
When I remember that the most fun I ever had while brokering mortgage loans was when I was teaching my clients about their credit & the mortgage loan process. Now it just seems only natural to continue to help others understand through financial literacy education. I love it when I see that the person gets it & they have a lightbulb moment!
What’s the top three pieces of advice you’d have for someone just starting out in the workforce, struggling with their career, or just looking to improve how they handle their money?
When it comes to both career & money advice, I believe the same habits apply and if you don’t mind, I have 5 pieces? I apologize that my website is under construction and that I don’t have any blog posts to share yet, but as I write this I can see that I may be able to help others.
* WRITE THE GOAL or VISION (budget, savings, job, job assignment, etc) clearly & specifically & then work on it with laser-focused intensity.
* The POWERS OF PRAYER, GRATITUDE & POSITIVE THINKING are my daily mantras.
1) Nothing is impossible
2) Give more in value than you receive in payment while being grateful for ALL THINGS given
3) If you think you can or can’t, you’re right
* Be open to asking for help or advice from people who have already been successful what you are trying to do or have. On average, I find that ALMOST ALWAYS most people will help if asked the question. I’m inspired when I can receive from people with a higher net worth & encouraged when I can help others get financial control of their lives.
* Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. It is crucial to have support from close friends/associates/tribe to discuss matters of mutual concern.
* Read & listen to all SUCCESSFUL, EVIDENCE-BASED, PROVEN strategies. “Success leaves clues.”
Where can people connect with you?
On twitter, I am @newviisionlife, and would be delighted to follow anyone with a similarly disciplined and positive mindset.
CMO Here Again
Thanks again to Temple for stopping by to share her story with us! It’s so interesting to hear how a woman, and a mom, achieved financial success in a mostly male-dominated field. And now that she’s retired, she’s helping to give back to her community by teaching others financial literacy. Amazing!
If you know anyone who would be a good candidate for this series (or if that might be you!), drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m looking for moms that are breadwinners, earn six figures, and/or are millionaires. I’d love to connect and share more amazing stories like this!
Be sure to follow my blog for more great posts via e-mail or WordPress, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and say hello! You can also check out what I’m buying or baking on Instagram, what I’m pinning on Pinterest, or the latest books I’m reading (or want to read) over on Goodreads.