By Beverly J. Clark, Publicity Director
Beverly.Clark@RLACEI.org or (800) 678-4145 ext. 716
A Year of Gratitude
As we reflect on the service we as Retirees provided to the City of Los Angeles and embrace the joys of retirement, we have much to be thankful for. We have served our City with dedication and pride, and we have earned the respect and appreciation of our co-workers and community. We have also gained the opportunity to pursue our passions, hobbies and interests, and to spend more time with our loved ones. Retirement is not the end of our journey, but the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.
A Year of Challenges
As in every year, there are ups and downs. As we get older, we experience health challenges that just did not exist when we were younger. Some of us may have faced illnesses, injuries or surgeries that tested our resilience and strength. Some of us may have lost friends or family members who were dear to us. Some of us may have struggled with loneliness, isolation or depression. These are not easy times, but we are not alone. We have each other, and we have the support and resources of RLACEI to help us cope and overcome.
A Year of Advocacy
The RLACEI board strives to ensure that City Retirees continue to enjoy the benefits of retirement. In 2023, the board addressed the healthcare costs some Retirees over the age of 65 are experiencing through Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), which is an additional cost assessed by the Social Security Administration based on income. In September, board members spoke before the City Council requesting a 2.6 percent discretionary cost of living increase (COLA). The board, working closely with LACERS, continued to monitor the performance of our pension fund through our elected LACERS Commissioner representing Retired employees and advocated for the protection and enhancement of our health and dental plans. Retirees were kept informed and updated on the latest news and developments affecting retirement through articles in Alive! from Board Director Tom Moutes and LACERS Commissioner Mike Wilkinson, and via Facebook and the RLACEI and Alive! websites.
A Year of Celebration
RLACEI held its 50th anniversary at Stevens Steak House in June, a milestone that marked half a century of service and solidarity among City Retirees. Board President Ruth Perry provided guests with a brief history of RLACEI from its inception until now. It was a festive occasion that featured speeches, certificates, entertainment and delicious food. More than 150 Retirees attended the event, and many shared their memories and stories with each other of working for the City and being part of RLACEI. It was a wonderful way to honor our past and look forward to our future.
RLACEI also hosted a fall picnic in September and a holiday party at Friendship Auditorium in December. At each event, more Retirees joined us in celebrating our retirement and socializing with friends and previous co-workers over a great meal with prizes to boot. These events were not only fun and enjoyable, but also a way to strengthen our bonds and connections as a community of retirees.
To keep Retirees updated and informed about fellow Retirees, throughout the year a Retiree is featured in Alive! highlighting their accomplishments and activities in retirement. It is a source of encouragement for Retirees to get busy and enjoy their best years doing whatever may make them happy, no matter how large or small.
Special thanks to Club Founder John Hawkins, LACEA and Club CEO Robert Larios and the staff of the Employees Club of California for their support and partnership throughout the year.
A Year of Hope
As we bid farewell to 2023 and welcome 2024, we have much to look forward to. We have new goals and dreams to pursue, new adventures and experiences to enjoy, and new opportunities and challenges to embrace. We also have the assurance and confidence that RLACEI will continue to serve and represent our interests and needs as City Retirees. We have the hope and optimism that our retirement will be fulfilling and rewarding, and that we will make the most of every moment.
Thank you for being part of RLACEI, and for making 2023 a memorable year. We wish you all the best for the New Year. May it bring you more happiness, health and prosperity.