Real Work, Real Life

Government, Law Enforcement Support & Early Retirement

December 06, 2023 Episode 41
Government, Law Enforcement Support & Early Retirement
Real Work, Real Life
More Info
Real Work, Real Life
Government, Law Enforcement Support & Early Retirement
Dec 06, 2023 Episode 41

Send us a Text Message.

On this week's episode of Real Work, Real Life, I’m talking with Dalene, who retired at 50 after a career working for the government supporting law enforcement agencies.

If you missed last week’s episode, I talked with Tim who retired after 30 years in the air force and is about to retire again after working for the government in security, so that would be a great episode to go back and listen to if you’re considering a career in the public sector (you can find it here:

We talk about pursuing college while working, planning for retirement financially and mentally, the many benefits of government work, as well as some of the challenges, and so much more.

Dalene has launched a Financial Coaching service in retirement. Find out more here!:

Where to find jobs in the United States government:

If you like the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify  (linked below) and please share with a friend! You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Tiktok. And if you’d like to be interviewed here, or there is a particular job you’d like to learn about, please reach out at


Transcripts are now available here: 

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

On this week's episode of Real Work, Real Life, I’m talking with Dalene, who retired at 50 after a career working for the government supporting law enforcement agencies.

If you missed last week’s episode, I talked with Tim who retired after 30 years in the air force and is about to retire again after working for the government in security, so that would be a great episode to go back and listen to if you’re considering a career in the public sector (you can find it here:

We talk about pursuing college while working, planning for retirement financially and mentally, the many benefits of government work, as well as some of the challenges, and so much more.

Dalene has launched a Financial Coaching service in retirement. Find out more here!:

Where to find jobs in the United States government:

If you like the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify  (linked below) and please share with a friend! You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Tiktok. And if you’d like to be interviewed here, or there is a particular job you’d like to learn about, please reach out at


Transcripts are now available here: 

Dalene Government and Early Retirement

[00:00:00] Welcome to real work, real life where I talk with real people about what they do for work and what that means for their lives. Today. I'm talking with Dailene who retired at 50 after career working for the government. Supporting law enforcement agencies. If you missed last week's episode, I talked with Tim who retired after 30 years in the air force and is about to retire again after working for the government insecurity. 

So that would be a great episode to go back and listen to if you're considering a career in the public sector after you listened to this one. 

We talked about pursuing a college education while working planning for retirement, financially and mentally, and the many benefits of government work, as well as some of the challenges and so much more. I really enjoyed this discussion and I hope you will too. So let's get into it.

Emily: Thank you so much for being here, Daylene.

Dalene: Yes, thank you, Emily. I'm so excited to chat with you today.

Emily: So what do you do for work, or in this case, what did you do for work?

Dalene: So when I was 18, I found myself unemployed. Yes, still living at home. So I had a [00:01:00] clerical job that was very much just a work release through the high school, so it did give me skills.

So I ended up finding myself at the local police department. At the age of 18, I worked part time for nine months, at which time I was hired full time as a detective secretary. So that began my 32 year career in law enforcement. As a support personnel, so I was never a dispatcher, but I did feel many other roles during my time.


Emily: Well, that's fascinating. So what other support type roles are there in law enforcement? 

Dalene: So I started out as a detective secretary. I know there are different titles nowadays, but. That's what it was back then. And then I moved into the warrants division, and it was a brand new division. And I was actually handling their accounting, kind of keeping track of success and metrics, things like that, as I was putting myself through college at the time.

So they were trying to be very supportive and finding me a role within. And [00:02:00] then from there, I went on to a crime analyst. So, Watching what's happening, reporting where, the hotspots are all of that stuff. And then that ended my role at the local police department. So I did 17 years there and then I found another job.

So after having put in myself through college, I had a BS in accounting and I was in the midst of my MBA at the time. So I found a role at the local sheriff's office at the time it was a financial analyst. And so I supported them. It was the same role, even when it changed to finance manager.

I did it for 15 years and ultimately that was helping cops budget. They're there for all of the other reasons of law enforcement. So stepping into the role of a lieutenant and above, you know, just trying to help them understand how to put what they think and what they know they need, how they, you know, see it happening in the next year onto paper with numbers so that it can go down to the auditor's office and be supported in the next [00:03:00] year's budget.

So that was my last role when I left and retired in May of 2022.

Emily: Wow. So, okay. I have so many questions, but when you said that you began work and then while you were working, you got your undergraduate degree and then your MBA, were those both required to continue to proceed in your career or was it sort of a nice to have, or were you thinking about changing roles?

Dalene: So when I started my job I was still part time, like I said, and I was a records clerk at that time. So processing citations and other paperwork. So I was putting myself through college. I started just right in the midst of that too. I really wanted to become an attorney.

So that was my ultimate goal. So, you know, floundering in a sense, as in my, you know, 18, 19 year old does I chose accounting. mostly from the influence of the local officers, you know, because accounting I could do very easily in the FBI if I wanted to stay kind of in the niche there or get experience.

Plus [00:04:00] also great as a forensic attorney, you know, things like that. So that's why I chose the accounting. And it was just to better myself. As a 19, 20 year old putting myself through college. I did not. Envision myself staying with that local department as long as I did. In fact, when I started and when I was introduced to all the new people there was a coworker of mine.

She had been there for 16 years at that time. And I thought, oh, my gosh, just shoot me, you know, so remember at 1819.

Emily: yes,

Dalene: And so, yes, I pursued college to, find something better or to, do something not really better, but do something. And so, as I put myself through, it took about 6, 7 years by that time, you're vested with government.

I had seen how it supported my family, my. My father was, government worker, the biggest reason I stayed was because they were all like, you could make more money in the private sector. And I said, yes, I understand that. But the biggest reason I [00:05:00] stayed was for the security, the security of, you know, once you're in government.

It's very, very, very unlikely. I mean, it does happen, but very, very unlikely to get laid off, especially if you've been there longer, because it ends up becoming a riff. The last one is in is the first one out regardless. 

regardless. So, yeah. So I chose to say for security.

Emily: And so vested meant means you would have qualified for a pension and you are continuing to earn years on that pension. So I think that staying in a job for security is such an important discussion . Think about yourself. Know yourself and your own wishes. For so many people, just the security and stability of a job that you like and that is, you know, challenging you and is like, sort of, for lack of a better word, good enough, is just the right mix for plenty of people.

think, Staying in a job for security isn't always highlighted as like the dream for 18 year olds, but it's a perfectly [00:06:00] reasonable and can be a really valuable and fulfilling way to live your working life.

Dalene: Yes, yes, exactly. And, you know, so with that added security, and then, you know, knowing that the wage I was earning was probably half of what I would earn or more in the private sector. However, I was qualifying for a pension at the time. So in a sense, that was my trade off. If I went to the private sector, I would have to, you know, set how much aside.

For myself individually to be able to retire like I did at the age of 50. So lots of mixed aspects.

Emily: healthcare my interpretation of healthcare for government workers is that it's much less expensive. Is that true to

Dalene: Yes, we didn't pay a monthly premium in all of my time ever. And they complained about it. And I say they loosely as coworkers, as other employees. So when I initially started, my dad had retired from the same city. So I had a hundred percent medical coverage. Then I [00:07:00] married my husband. He also worked there.

100 percent medical coverage all the way up until I don't know, probably it was before my daughter was born for probably 8 to 10 years. And then when she was born, I did, we did have to meet one deductible. So we both, and then we had a hundred percent after that, you know, and so it just kind of evolved.

So, you know, I was very grateful because I had heard like, My sister's husband worked for Sears for years, you know, very, very good corporation, very solid back at the time. And they didn't have dental. I had dental. Plus then in the amounts, they were paying.

Emily: are teeth and eyes separate? I will 

Dalene: I know, right? Right. It was so crazy because my sister would fly out.

She lived in Illinois. She'd fly out to Utah where we are, where family is, and she'd get her work done here because it was. Quote cheaper here, but you have no insurance. So it didn't matter. You know, it's just crazy, crazy. So yes, 

Emily: and just for reference, you know, in my experience in the private sector and having talked to other people working in the [00:08:00] private sector, it's very common to have, quote, good health care and to pay Between 10, 15, 000 between your premiums and your meeting your deductible and your out of pocket maximum.

So not to deter people, but it is useful when you're doing that math of your salary to think about, well, what are the retirement benefits? What are the health care? What are my health care needs likely to be? Because that, of course, varies over your life. And, and just kind of add it all up. Don't just think about exactly what your salary will be.

Dalene: yes, exactly. Exactly. Benefits are huge. And when I moved from the one government, so from city to county, county actually had a retirement match likely because they chose not to pay social security anymore, so we weren't contributing, but yet that match, my husband stayed with the local city and I moved on.

that match in just that short amount of time I was there, which was 15 years, like skyrocketed my 401 as opposed to his. So it was just [00:09:00] crazy.

Emily: Oh, my goodness. Yeah, one thing, if we could go back really quickly on your education, you're pursuing that it sounds like part time. Do you know how much it all ended up costing you over that time? Kind of roughly?

Dalene: Gosh, back in the day, I don't, I don't even remember, but to cover that. So I was, yes, I was going part time. It was a state college at the time. So it was 16 weeks. So I would qualify for a very short term loan. So it's working full time. I was able to save, but not quite enough for the full amount.

Short term loan, eight weeks into the semester, I would have the rest of the money pay off that loan and move on. So I didn't have to take any student loans. So at the time that I transferred to university to finish out my bachelor's I, it was only terms at the time.

So every 10 weeks, so now the demand now a higher cost because of university. And I believe that was about 800 a term. And so I did eight [00:10:00] terms with them. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I don't know what I'm going to do. I did apply for, I don't know that it was called FAFSA at the time, but I applied for student loans.

I was still living at home at the time. And so I did not qualify. I did not qualify at all for student loans because I was working. I had my dad's income. I was living at home. So I actually got a signature loan with 15 percent interest

to finish out the rest of mine. And I don't remember it being like, Heavy and weighted when I was done, I think I was still able to accumulate almost all of it.

So I just kind of paid it as I accumulated it. So it was almost just a delay tactic as opposed to. You know, the terms of the loan. So, yeah, I just, so that was 800. And then, so I don't even remember what the state college was. I'm sure it was approximately that, but for, you know, 16 weeks at a time. So times four.

Emily: Yeah. And I, I think more on a broader scale, it's [00:11:00] just helpful to know that, you know, it is such a common path to kind of graduate high school and go right to college and then start work. But there is this whole other. path of you start work, you see what you need and what you want, you pursue the education part time or otherwise, which I'm sure had plenty of its own challenges.

I know trying to go to school and work is no easy feat, but it is definitely a way to get there for sure.

Dalene: Yes. Yeah. And actually I did turn in a resignation notice at one point with my very first captain and I turned it in and he sat with it for about a week. I was going to go part time so I could do more school more quickly living at home. It worked out right? But he's like, is this because you're struggling with school?

And I said, yeah. And he goes, what if we work? Work around and so,

Emily: Oh, I love that.

Dalene: yeah, so it did it worked and it just and literally I would find myself going to school at 7 a. m. then being to work shortly after 8, which is how they [00:12:00] kind of worked with me and then I would take off at 12 or 1 to go grab a class then and I was able to do that a couple of semesters where I just did that, but mostly I did Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday evenings from 6 to 10.

Emily: yeah,

Wow. Wow. Okay. So actually, while we're on this topic we talked a little bit about the benefits, but what were you making? perhaps when you retired, what was your salary in your government job?

Dalene: when I retired, I was like about 94,

Emily: hmm. Mm hmm. Great.

Do you have a sense of what the high and low ranges for pay in your field might have been like maybe thinking within the admin support of police?

What might someone starting out might make and could you have gone higher than you were?

Dalene: Yes, I could have gone higher. I had not. So they do scales for all of the jobs and I was only probably a quarter of the way, a third of the way into that scale. So 12 steps increasing, I would have been over 6 figures, [00:13:00] but starting out. I'm trying to because, you know, when I got first hired. Full time, I think it was like 625 an hour and I was ecstatic because minimum wage was 350.

So I think relatively that's probably about 2021 dollars right now. So, yeah, yeah, there's 

a lot of room. Yeah. So I would say between 20. 20 and 50 an hour as admin support.

Emily: What was your schedule like at the time? And you know, you mentioned the flexibility around your education, but did you feel in general that you had the flexibility you needed to have a solid work life balance?

Dalene: Yes. So I, you know, I would do 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, or I would just switch it up a little bit and be like 830 to 530. I know there was a time my partner secretary, because it was 2 of us together running 2 divisions, like we would do 410. So I did 410s for a while. You know, I explored [00:14:00] that. Also, In one of the other positions, I did a nine, nine hour split.

So it was four days, nine hours. And then every other Friday was an eight hour. So there was a lot of flexibility as long as, and mostly you did have somebody to cover you or somebody to support you. So, the rest of your agency is working shift work. Really doesn't matter when you work.


Emily: Right. Yeah. Oh, that makes a lot of sense. like, was it sort of a clock in, clock out type of job or were there weeks you'd work more and weeks that you work less, that sort of thing? 

Dalene: So it was definitely a clock in clock out. As a government worker, we have to work 40 hours, even if you're quote salary employee. But I, and so in my detective role, I would actually, I was actually on call not paid or carrying a pager or anything at that time, you know, but. I'd be call out for statements or search warrants or arrest warrants, any of those nature.

So I did sometimes I would have that, you know, get called out at [00:15:00] 1 a. m. and it really wasn't that long about hour and a half. Maybe the most was the average. So yeah, it just depended, but there were times we did have to do extra time. 

Emily: if it's okay with you, I would love to kind of talk about your transition to retirement now and hear more about how you made that decision. So you retired at 50, which is quite young for retirement age. What brought you to that decision and how did you prepare to be ready to retire at 50?


Dalene: when I, When I changed from local police department to the sheriff's office, I, I don't even remember what I was doing, but there was one day I realized I was, well, I was thinking, okay, I've done 17 years there. I can easily do 17 here. It'll be a no brainer. And then I realized, oh my gosh, cause I technically only needed 13 more to fulfill my pension.

And so it was in that moment, I realized, okay. I have an option to retire early. And I like using the word option because the day I [00:16:00] retired, I took a 40 percent cut in pay. 

Emily: Right. 

Dalene: knowing I had the option, knowing what the outcome was, I knew I had to prepare. So I just got focused and just, really it was budgeting.

I know nobody loves that word, but it served me well on 15 years to be able to, you know, get there. And so I did, I ended up doing 32 years. you know, at 30, it's this real free flowing of if there's something I don't like, I could be done today. And we're just kind of going through it. And I wasn't going to do more than 35 because I could max out my pension at 35.

And to me, I would take that full and then be done. So I'm just, you know, having new sheriff, he's just been elected. I said, Max, you're going to have me as this long, but, I had just reached a moment in life. my parents had both passed and it wasn't even because of their passing, but just life changes and life happens.

And honestly, I think the reason why I was ready to retire was you said it earlier [00:17:00] about. Being challenged. So I had many different roles. So being in this role for 15 years, I, and in fact, I told them I will stay. If you create this position for me, and that was just a new challenge. It was a new added responsibility and I would have loved to have taken it.

So I think that's ultimately why I was like, okay, I'm ready. And I said to my husband, it's time. And he had already retired. He retired at the age of 53 government as well. So I'm like, it's time. And he's like, okay. So the thing that we don't realize, so we always are projecting, you know, in five years, in three years, in one year.

What day and what month are you going to retire and why?

Emily: Yeah.

Dalene: So I'm like, okay, it'll be next fall. He's like, okay. Okay. So October 22. And then I'm like, why am I waiting that long? So then I'm like, okay, I'm going to go on my mom's birthday. That will be good legacy to her. And then I got thinking, I'm like, why am I leaving [00:18:00] at the end of summer? Why?

You know, so it's all those ideas that we have never been, you know, experienced with with somebody making that decision because I think there's a lot of different reasons why people retire, but choosing the day choosing the month, like, it's not something we discussed. So I ended up going the end of May.

So I started June 1. Ideally, because I just wanted to enjoy a summer off. I hadn't had that since I was 15. So, you 

Emily: Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yeah. So this is a little more tactical, but one thing I've always thought about with retiring early is what do you do for healthcare until you qualify for Medicare? So what does that look like for you?

Dalene: so I go on to the marketplace. I shot the marketplace. And so it goes off of your income. So that very first year, obviously, I still had my working income and that combined. So it was quite high. So last year it had dropped a little bit because obviously my [00:19:00] income have dropped and then my projection for next year is less than half of what I was paying.

So I don't know what has happened in the marketplace because it's this thing, it's actually just slightly better coverage than what I had. So yeah, so just shopping the marketplace and I knew that going into retirement. Made it a part of my retirement budget. You know, there's a lot of things that you don't spend money on in retirement that you do when you're


Emily: saving for retirement anymore. I mean, 

Dalene: Exactly. Exactly. And so I just made sure it worked and I got it in there. And, you know, so I, I view it now as I'm actually doing what people in the private sector did. They pay for their health insurance, right? You had a premium. Everybody has a premium. Their, you know, employer coverage, not everything, which it is pricey.

I've been on the backside and I know how much it costs, you know, for every employee. And so I just, I just knew, okay, Okay. And going into it and I do that. So I have a really great insurance agent. [00:20:00] She helps me, supports me, looks out for me. And so I think that is key as well.

Emily: Great. Oh, that's good to know. I didn't really know that that was an option, but yeah, to have 

Dalene: Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. So, I mean, cause you can go to the marketplace by yourself and you can, you know, inquire and stuff. And so I just, with her, she's like, no, I can actually look a little bit. I don't know how they look. what they find easier, better. So yeah, very, very helpful. 

Emily: do you have like a a general sense of what you think you might pay for health care in a year when you add in your premiums and what you spend out of pocket

Dalene: Yeah. So let's see this year, probably about, okay, without a pocket, probably I would say between seven and 9,

Emily: Okay. Yeah, that's in the range. I would have 

expected. I just think I know it's so specific, but I just think. It's something that I never gave a [00:21:00] single second thought to until I was all of a sudden, you know, enrolling benefits. And, I think I feel so grateful that I've had access to healthcare you know, all of my life, but you have to factor it in to your, your planning, you know?

Dalene: Yeah. Yeah. And see, I don't think people realize when you retire on when you qualify for Medicare, you actually still have to buy a supplemental insurance. So you are 

going, yeah, 

yes, yes. See, 

and that's, that's the other thing I'm 

like, I try to educate people on that. So my mom by herself was paying over 300 for her supplemental.

Now, I don't know if that increased, obviously it increased because of inflation. She was, 90. So is it because of age too for my, and my husband this year, I'm only paying for 50. That's for two of us. 

but she probably had better coverage. With her premium than I do, people are like, well, I can't [00:22:00] leave until I qualify for Medicare.

And I'm like, you're still going to have to pay a premium. 

You're still going to have to buy that supplemental that covers everything outside of general care is what it ultimately is prescriptions. you know, the specialist, that type of thing is where it comes into support. So there's actually a part, oh, I'm going to lose the, they're letters, part C 


Emily: Yeah. Oh, yep. I've heard those, those 

Dalene: yep, 

yep. So explore those letters, learn it. I think A and B is covered by Medicare and then C and D is your supplemental. And sometimes you need E, I believe. So yeah, yeah.

Emily: my kind of perennial thought about retirement is like, how do you know when you have enough? And so did you actually look at your budget every year and pull out the things you wouldn't be spending on retirement and add in healthcare and just make a call or was there more or less to it than that?

Dalene: Yeah. Yeah. So exactly. I really just so I [00:23:00] just kept going. I just kept going. And the closer I got, then I created that retirement budget. And I was like, okay, this is what it looks like. And so March before I retired, I had just given my notice and I'm like, oh, okay, this is real. Can I do this? So I actually calculated what I was taking home and I was only taking home 57 percent of what I was making.

And so realizing that I'm going to make 60%. And then with all of those reductions, you know, clothing, I don't have to buy clothing as often because I and as expensive, right fuel. I don't. Go hardly anywhere if it's so few will and so making some of those adjustments that when I actually lived to the retirement for about 9 months my budget even changed more than 

so, but Yeah. creating a estimate budget and then realizing that and is that going to sustain you?

So I would do that and be like, okay, this is what my pension is estimated, right? It's all estimated [00:24:00] until you actually get that check. And I'm like, okay, I think we're going to be okay. I think we're going to be okay. So 

Emily: What was the shift like kind of emotionally?

Dalene: So in the very beginning, I think you ride the high, right? You're like, oh my gosh, I've done it. This is so good. And then I would say probably for a year I wrote that high. So I'm just writing it, enjoying it, doing all the new things, loving my laid back mornings. That's honestly where I found most of my enjoyment My dad was a homebody and I'm really like him. So he retired at the age of 57 and he really loved just living at home. And so I find like I'm really like him. But after a year, then I started like, okay, I've really got a shift into what retirement. really means to me on a day to day basis. 

Emily: Yeah. 

Dalene: yeah, 

Emily: So do you want to talk about elevate finances and kind of share more about

Dalene: yeah, yeah. So as [00:25:00] I was looking at retirement, I'm like, Oh, what am I going to do? Right. so what I've learned is as you're coming up retirement, you need something to occupy something new, right? You have hobbies and you have all of that, but you need something new to cover about four to six hours a day.

So I was exploring this idea. I was like, okay, what am I going to do? What do I want to do? And. I thought, because I'm a reader, I'm an avid reader, and I'm like, oh, I could go volunteer at the schools, the local schools, you know, where my daughter went, and, you know, no, because then that would be a time schedule on somebody else, and I don't want to do that.

I really wanted that time freedom, and so I came across financial coaching, and I'm like, I have just reached the epitome of what, like, financial coaching can do for you, so why don't I you. Why don't I do that? And so I started Elevate Finances, starting preparing myself. So even though I retired at the end of May, I became an entrepreneur June 1.

[00:26:00] And... Yeah. So, you know, new phase, new exploring. I love it. It's hard. I'm just going to say that it is hard, but I love it. And, you know, since being in college, it's probably, well, I bet I've seen more growth than I did in college, but it's back to that point where I am really just learning and yearning and growing.

And so I love doing that right now. Love doing that right now.

Emily: What do you find the clients you're working with are, are, you know, what stage of life are they in? What sort of struggles are they facing or, challenges are they facing, I guess?

Dalene: Yeah. So, you know, I, I, my podcast I target Gen Xers, but really it's been females. So women over 40 is kind of where I'm shooting at. They are divorced or Struggling. Most of them are divorced or handling the money money singly. So it's really single women. And I use that term loosely and they're like, oh, my gosh, I thought by 40, I would [00:27:00] have it together.

That's really what there is. And I'm like, okay, let's get it together. Then, you know, it doesn't

take very much. Exactly. And so, you know, really, it's just in the moment of they want their. They're tired, they're overwhelmed, they're frustrated, you know, all of those things because nothing has worked to date.

So helping them, you know, so most of them, it's debt to a some level, you know, and they're filling the pressures of that as they're, you know, they're in their early forties, most of them, but they're like, retirement's not that far away and I want to be prepared. 

Emily: Right. Right. Oh, my gosh. this is a potentially too broad a question to ask, but what are some of the top tips you would give that person? 

Dalene: Just get started, you know, and I know that's like a very basic tip, but you know, just beginning and just starting most people at that point, they're like embarrassed and ashamed Something bad has happened, and I kind of use that loosely again. So they've been avoiding their [00:28:00] finances because we go into that, you know, fight or fight mode.

And so they're fighting, they're protecting themselves. They're just existing with money and really just. Try to shift your mind as that the money can do for you whatever it is you want. And so starting is where it takes place, but really the next step isn't really creating the budget. It's understanding why and what you want to achieve.


Emily: Yeah. Oh, that's, that's such a thoughtful and kind of also hopeful message. I like 


Dalene: thank you.

Emily: So kind of maybe going back for the for the next question or two to your career in government, what are, and you mentioned a few things you really liked about that work, but would you have anything to add about having a career in government that you really loved, especially if you think people might not.

Suspect that or might be surprised by it. 

Dalene: Since I've been in entrepreneurship, and since I've been interacting with, like, career [00:29:00] coaches and getting to know them and seeing some of their stuff they're putting out, like, my environment, my job environment was 100 times better than any of those that have been described, and I don't know if that's for


Emily: to get that perspective. That's so nice

Dalene: yeah. I mean, there's definitely drama, right? I think there's drama everywhere, but to be treated like the way these people are saying they were treated, I was like, oh, my gosh, you have got to be kidding me. And maybe that's because of law enforcement. With them, it's, okay, when something happens, we've got to be on.

You know, we've got to be doing our job and so as long as you delivered at the most important times, if it was slow, if it was quiet, which was unusual, right? Or if you're just taking a breather before you start going again, they let you. They understood that be, you know, because it really was all right, where nothing really major is going on.

And then when something happens, you know, it's peddled on the metal and you've just got to go and you [00:30:00] would and you would do it. And it's what they did. So, you know, just understanding that. So, yeah, if you're thinking, okay, I have clerical skills and you want to learn more, I, I would highly suggest going there.

I am very grateful. I never have to do night shifts. Swing shifts. I only did day shifts. So my part time was day shift. It was the weekend. I did work Christmas that year. That was interesting. But again, I'm 18 living at home. I have a younger sister. My parents were like, well, just do Christmas before you go, you know, so there's that aspect depending on where you're at.

But I, you know, after 9 months, I was Monday through Friday and every holiday off and, you know, all the time I wanted off and it worked out really well.

Emily: that's great. Well, not to go negative too quickly, but is there anything that was really tough about it, especially if you didn't really anticipate it or you didn't expect how challenging it would be.

Dalene: being able to grow, like you were saying, advancements, I was lucky [00:31:00] and found the advancements. And I know that even if none of them specifically, it wasn't until my very final job that it actually required a degree but yet my college experience and, you know, learning certain things as far as softwares and statistics and those types of things helped support my advancement.

And so, That was hard. That was tough. Honestly, I was like, okay, am I going to ever be able to submit an application where I actually have to show them a transcript, you know, because finishing college is it's really huge. It's really an endeavor. And so to be able to, quote, be rewarded from that, even though I had used it.

So once I was able to do that, I felt like that was, you know, checking off the list and doing that. as I got further down and I did find my advancements and I worked hard. Worked hard for that. I'm sure like anybody in the private sector, you've got to work hard for advancements, really dealing with some of that.

And that's where we have the drama, you know, the, well, [00:32:00] why does she make so much money? Well, I'm sorry. I, sacrificed my life a couple different times, 

you know, my time, not my life, but

my time. You put in and to be rewarded and this is finally my reward. So, yeah, that's why that happens. So, if you would like it, you can go put in the time, you know, so, yeah, but really it was a great.

It was a great thing and working with other departments. Really was also enjoyable. So it's not really negative, but maybe more on the neutral negative side would be like if you had to work with them, like what you're experiencing their shift of their paradigm, their type of thinking. It was interesting, but it was still all good.

It was still really good. So.

Emily: That point you made about, you know, as you advance, you can get more people kind of questioning your queer The fact that you're there. I think that's something I didn't really think about earlier on in my career is that it's easy for everybody to like and not feel any [00:33:00] envy or question the super high performing entry level person, but each step you go.

You know, it's kind of the heaviest, the head that wears the crown theory, right? Each step you go more and more and more, you're just more likely to get the people that are kind of like, well, what are they doing there? Like, that should have been this person. It should have been that person or sort of questioning.

And, and that's not, to say you shouldn't do it. Certainly everybody has their own things, but it is just something to be aware of, I guess.

Dalene: yeah. And, you know, as you're experiencing that, just, you know, advice is just realize that whoever chose you to be in that role, that's all that matters. Right. And yeah, going early, early on. I don't know why we kind of struggled with other sections within our department. And so I went to my captain and I'm like, I'm not doing a good job.

You know, I'm just hearing all the complaints from everyone else. He goes, yeah. Have I talked to you about anything? And I'm like, no, 

well, until I talk to you about something. So it's like, you can get [00:34:00] in your head. And I think that started my momentum of, you know, what the person who hired me is the only one that matters.

Emily: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. To keep that, like, you earned it, you deserve it, you're doing a great job, and just to kind of, as much as you can, not listen to detractors, because it's, it's mostly more about them than you, too, in that


What do you hope to be doing more of and less of in the next five to ten years?

Dalene: I hope I can serve more people like help people get I say confident, but almost a calm ease with money that they can get onto that path. Like I did, I describe it as when I was in the very midst of my path, there was no FOMO. I did not fear anything. And it was like, you know, somebody's like, Oh, Hey, look at this new toy or this new thing.

And people, you know, that happens all over. And I'm like, Oh, that's great. Look at what I'm doing. You know? And so I would love to help people get to that. And I want to be reading more. I'm [00:35:00] an avid reader. I already see. Spend probably four hours a day reading, but I would love to spend more. So yeah, that is what it is.

And hopefully my husband and I have relocated to wherever we're going to. Hopefully less than five years. I don't know.

I don't know. 

Emily: how do you decide where to move in retirement?

Dalene: you know, so my daughter lives five hours north and but that's not permanent for her.

So that's why it's like, okay, well, do we wait? Do we move? And so, yeah, I don't know.

I don't have any answers to that. I know some people are like, well, my kids moved here and I moved there and I only have one. but if I move now, is that going to be quick? And then she's going to move and then do I move again? Do I want to do that? So that's kind of where we're at trying to figure it out.

We're ready to move from our current location.

But we just don't know to where, and I think we both have like this oasis idea of what our next home will look like. 

So we've got that, we just don't know when and where, 

Emily: Yeah. Oh my [00:36:00] gosh. Well, that's exciting to think about. I'm sure it will become clear 

sometime. So this is the last question I have for you. What is one piece of advice generally about work that you would give your younger self?

Dalene: Probably, you know, very, very younger self. Enjoy it. Keep learning, I mean, and I did, right, but maybe even learn more. And, just be happy, just be happy.

Emily: Yeah. I love that. So where can people find you? Where can they find out more about the work that you do?

Dalene: Yeah, so I'm over on Instagram elevate underscore finances. I also have a website www. elevatefinances. us. Um, That gets into a little more nitty gritty and hopefully an upgrade. My goal is within a few days. So hopefully, yeah, hopefully I'll come check that out and learn and yeah, reach out if you're interested.


Emily: Yeah, you do. Well, thank you so much for being here. I really enjoyed this discussion.

Dalene: thank you, Emily. I [00:37:00] did as well.


Thanks for joining me. If you liked the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify. And please share with a friend. You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or ticktock. And if you'd like to be interviewed here or there's a particular job you'd like to learn about, please reach