#31 Doug Nordman: How to Live on the 4% Rule, Recover from Investing Mistakes, and Start a Kid’s 401k | Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 31

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Doug Nordman from The Military Guide joins us today on the Military Money Manual Podcast. While he would never say it, Doug is a bit of a legend in the personal finance, FIRE, and military finance community. He retired 20 years ago in 2002 after a 20 year career in the Navy.

I stoppd by Doug's house in Hawaii to have a conversation with him about all kinds of great military FI topics.

Doug was an early beta-reader of The Military Money Manual: A Practical Guide to Financial Freedom available at shop.militarymoneymanual.com. This is the perfect book to get you started on your journey to financial independence.

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode #31 Links

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode #31 Transcript

[00:00:00] Doug: A high savings rate for financial independence will overcome a lot of stupid mistakes during the 15 or 20 years that you're trying to reach financial independence. You don't have to beat yourself up for spilling your latte on your desk and go without it. You can go buy another one. If that's what you want to do, without beating yourself up over making a mistake like that.

[00:00:22] Spencer: Welcome to the Military Money Manual Podcast.

Hello, podcast listeners, Spencer here, founder of militarymoneymanual.com, and author of the new book, The Military Money Manual, A Practical Guide to Financial Freedom. I'm here again today with my co-host, Jamie, and today we have a special guest, Doug Nordman from the Military Guide. Our podcast is all about achieving financial independence while you serve in the military.

We believe that personal finance shouldn't be boring or intimidating, and the only real financial goal worth pursuing is financial independence, and you can achieve financial independence within 10 to 20 years of starting your journey to FI. Now a special episode with Doug Nordman from The Military Guide.

Our guest today is Doug Nordman, the founder of The Military Guide. That's themilitaryguide.com. Doug is the OG, the original gangster of the Military FIRE Movement. 

Doug, welcome. We're so glad that you could join us today on the podcast. 

[00:01:20] Doug: Thanks, Spencer. Good to see you, Jamie. I'm looking forward to hearing Rich Carey's episode when you guys release that.

[00:01:26] Spencer: Yeah. We'll, we're looking forward to what Rich has to say as well. 

But Doug, why don't you take us through your military career and just tell us who you are, where you are now, and what your journey to Financial Independence was like. Now that you're on the other side of FI, reaching FI, what's that like?

[00:01:46] Doug: Sounds good. I joined the Navy when I started college and I was commissioned in 1982. My spouse also commissioned a 1983, so we were a dual military couple for most of our careers and during the first 10 years we did all the typical junior officer stuff. But in 1992, 10 years into it, we started our family and I was on shore duty at the time and I expected that life was going to get better, but it was more like a 60 hour workweek on shore duty that I had already experienced on sea duty.

And the trend was bothering me, but I also realized that we'd had a fairly high savings rate over the time that we'd been on active duty. So we were looking forward to working a typical career where you get a job after the Navy because you know, you can't possibly have enough to live on after the military.

That was legend at the time, but, at the same time we realized we had a high savings rate and we were looking at what it would take to get a better life out of this. In 1993, right after our daughter was born, the book came out, Your Money or Your Life, and a few years later The Millionaire Next Door came out.

And those two books right there set the whole trend. We took that savings rate, we ran with it. We actually reached financial independence in 1999 at the peak of the internet. We joked today that everybody reached financial independence in 1999, for about 15 minutes. I retired from active duty in 2002, and I did a 20 year career.

And I've been retired now for just under 20 years. So I've got the two bookends coming together there in a few months. 

[00:03:23] Spencer: That's great. Yeah. How did you find those books? Did somebody introduce you to those books?

[00:03:28] Doug: Actually, Your Money or Your Life was on the new arrivals table at the library back in the 1990s.

And once I had that one we knew that Millionaire Next Door was coming out because it was getting a lot of press at the time. This was unusual. It wasn't until much later that we actually saw things that today are conventional wisdom: the 4% safe withdrawal rate, or the Trinity study.

[00:03:55] Jamie: Did you have friends? What did your friends say when you told them you're pursuing this FI term? Because nowadays it's not quite mainstream, but it's a little more popular.

[00:04:05] Doug: Why would I tell my friends? (laughter) It was serving until the next obligation. You really didn't know if you wanted to stay longer than your next service obligation.

And at the other time, everybody assumed that you were going to get a job after you got out of the military. Nobody ever had said the words financial independence back then. I don't think the acronym FIRE even came along until the late 1990s, maybe 96 or 97. and back then, if you started talking to people about reaching financial independence and quitting your job clearly you were not career material in the military and you weren't worthy of the next promotion or the next good duty station.

And if you said that you were going to do that when you got out of the military, while you were just crazy talk, you were diluted. Yeah. Maybe you were burned out and you were going to be chronically unemployed. Those of course, all turned out to be untrue. But back then, financial independence did not have any of the credibility or even the desire that people have today.

[00:05:05] Spencer: To be fair though, you have been chronically unemployed for the last 20 years.

[00:05:10] Doug: I've had work at not working exactly right. Very successful. My father-in-law isn't very sure about this, but I've enjoyed every day of it.

[00:05:18] Spencer: Back then, you had the genesis, the idea for The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement.

And that came out, I think in 2011.

[00:05:28] Doug: Was that right? That's right. In 2011 it came out after another author had written a book called Work Less, Live More, and Bob Kle wrote that on an internet forum where we all helped him write the book. He crowdsourced it. In 2005, the other military service members and veterans on the same forum said we should write one for the military because we all have pensions and cheap healthcare.

How come there aren't more financially independent military veterans? And so we started writing in 2005. I crowdsourced that, and finally we had a manuscript by 2009. I sold that to a publisher in 2010, and they came out in 2011. Of course, today, your experience has been completely different and way better than what we did back then.

[00:06:16] Spencer: I mean we've, now, with the self-publishing industry, it's complete and exactly the internet and Amazon, it's completely changed. Much better, changed the game. You were on these web forums, but did it, why did it fall to you to write the book? Were you the most prolific? It wasn't even blogging back then.

It was just posting on forums.

[00:06:38] Doug: I enjoy writing. Some people, perhaps my spouse, feel that I just can't shut up. That's a good thing I have the entire internet to write for. At the time, I was one of the, yeah, you're right. I was one of the more prolific posters on the forum and also we were all interested in talking about the issues and I had a lot of thoughts on that.

And eventually it's just one of those things where everybody in the room turns to you and says, Nords, what do you say? And at that time, to my spouse's credit, she also said, Nords, you have a book on you. You should write this. That's great. Yeah. Have that support. Yep.

[00:07:11] Spencer: So you and your wife were dual military.

Two incomes the entire time that you were saving. That's right. Did you live on both those incomes or did you…

[00:07:21] Doug: We never knew when one of us was leaving active duty. We at that time in our lives, were living somewhat in fear, right? You never knew when you'd have to quit your active duty job and go do something else.

And so we tried to save one income and live on the other income. We maintained a savings rate of at least 40% for almost the entire time that we were in uniform. Now, wow. Sometimes it was higher, sometimes it was a little lower. It depended on what was happening that month or that year, but 40%. Today you can go look at a calculator for financial independence that tells you 40% savings rate, 17 years.

[00:07:57] Spencer: Yeah, I've actually got a chart in my book, I think. Exactly. That's, it's a chart that you can find almost anywhere on the internet, but

[00:08:03] Doug: Not in 1994. True. That's very true.

[00:08:07] Jamie: So Spencer, that actually brings me to a good point. You failed to mention one of Doug's best accolades in the introduction is that he's in pretty elite company as one of the beta readers of your book, of course, alongside me and a couple other people who are great.

So we appreciate the buy-in there and the feedback you gave for Spencer's book. Then you had a new book with your daughter you co-authored in 2020. That's where I want to shift and ask a couple questions about parenting and raising kids. So that book that came out was called Raising Your Money Savvy Family for Next Generation Financial Independence.

I have three kids. What should you tell the listeners as the main theme or the main highlights of the book if they haven't heard of it or read it yet?

[00:08:50] Doug: We talk about the tactics. You can read a lot of books about how you should raise your kids and we talk about what we did.

And as near as we can tell from our research, this is the only book where we talk about what we parents tried with our daughter, our brilliant parenting tactics. Maybe not so much. Her reaction at the time when we tried it on her when she was a kid and we did something when she was five years old, eight years old, or 13 years old.

We talk about what we set up, what her reaction was to it at that age, and now what her reaction was to it as an adult, raising her own daughter and trying to navigate that same challenge, that series of challenges to get her daughter to also be financially literate. So it's quite interesting what the insights are to a kid.

They at a very early age would like to learn how to manage money just like a grownup. However, first thing you need to teach a kid is how to physically manage their money, how to understand the counting and what the coins are worth and how it all adds up. They're going to have to start making choices.

And the way they make choices is they make a lot of bad choices. As a parent, it's hard to stand back and let your kid run around in that sandbox of financial literacy. and make choices without hurting themselves too badly. But you have to keep a mental picture of your kid lighting a $20 bill on fire and running around the backyard, waving it like a 4th of July sparkler.

That's called learning, and it's painful to watch.

[00:10:25] Jamie: I think one of my favorite concepts in the book, which actually I think is maybe one of the most popular concepts, just from looking at some of your stuff online and preparing for the interview is the kids 401k. So preparing, basically in the example of preparing your kids for the first car and teaching them how to save and how to invest, can you explain that to our listeners a little bit about how'd you come up with that concept and what is it?

[00:10:49] Doug: At the time our daughter was born in 1992, the thrift savings plan for the military came out in 2002, but there was this big ramp up for the whole idea that the military would have a 401k. So my spouse and I had been reading about it and learning about it and saving for financial independence.

And our daughter was coming up on our eighth birthday. We always tried to have a milestone birthday, like a big boost in privileges or a little more allowance or something that would make this birthday memorable. We were sitting around discussing it, and she came up, my spouse came up with the idea of a 401K savings goal.

Because when you're eight years old and you're looking forward to your first car, that's an entire lifetime away. Yeah. That's the ultimate long-term goal. Imagine if you knew that you were going to retire and you were in your thirties, and you were going to wait until your sixties to be able to touch your retirement accounts.

So we riffed off of that and said when our daughter is 16 years old, we're going to do the math behind the scenes and start the Kid 401k. We talked about mandatory contributions and matching contributions, and of course you can't borrow from your 401k in our family. We set the whole thing up so that when she turned 16, she'd have $5,000.

It's just like the Dr. Evil voice to go out and buy a car. Now the first thing that parents ask me is, okay, genius where are we getting this $5,000? And the answer is, you're doing what you can do in your family. Maybe you have that money for your kid. Maybe you're always planning on buying your kid a car.

Maybe you're not planning on buying your kid a car, but there's going to be some large amount of money that you're going to give to your teen at some point in their life before they leave the house. That's where the money comes from, is money that you are going to spend on them anyway. Except that now the money's going to be under their control and this whole concept was your saving for the day when you have a big chunk of money under your control and you have to be ready to handle it. 

We also found that knowing at age 16 that she would have her own ride and she'd be totally free to go wherever she wanted, as long as she was home by curfew, that it took a lot of stress off her to figure out what car she was going to get or how it was going to be handled, or what she was going to do. To him it was more about, Hey, I'm going to turn 16 in a few years and let's talk about what cars are out there and what kind of car I want and how I'm going to do this.

[00:13:13] Jamie: Yeah. That's really neat. The next topic I wanted to ask about was how you guys described in the book about chores, allowances, and compensation.

So you guys chose to give an allowance and said that's a family's choice. Chores were part of just being in the family. Yeah. Then your daughter could do extra jobs if she wanted to make extra money on top of that. 

Can you just explain that concept and also do you still rec you still like that model and recommend that?

[00:13:42] Doug: Our granddaughter is two years old, so she's going to find out about allowance here in another couple of years. But every family is different and we're agnostic on the whole idea of what people do with allowances and chores and jobs. But we've set up a wide range of choices and families can design for themselves.

We feel that the whole idea with the allowance is to give your kid enough money that they can imagine doing anything without being able to do nothing. They have to make choices and they can't choose everything. They are limited in their choices by the size of their allowance, so you're just shoveling that allowance toward them.

This is, again, money you probably would be spending on them anyway. You're shoveling that allowance of a couple dollars a week initially. So that they can learn to make those choices. Of course, immediately the allowance is going to vaporize because they're going to make a whole lot of bad choices. That's just, as a parent, that's painful to watch.

Yes. But it's part of the learning process because now you have a teachable moment. You can sit there and talk with them. How did it feel when you spent all your allowance for that toy that broke the week after you bought it home? How about, how did you feel when you saw the commercial and then played with a toy and found out it wasn't all that?

How did you feel when you were jealous of that toy your friends had and you got one too, but now nobody plays with it anymore. Those are all very big emotional circumstances, occurrences in a kid's life and they're very valuable. Not for judging, but just for saying, how did you feel? What would you do differently next time and how can we make this work out better?

[00:15:08] Jamie: You and you started the intentional conversations in teaching your daughter about money when she stops putting them in her mouth, right? Then it's, and then it's, at first it's hey, stack 'em by color, stack 'em by size. I just love the intentionality of having to invest in the kids' knowledge.

And my son we've done some allowance and some chore money and some things like that over the years. My oldest one's 10 now, and he did the times where he bought the candy bar at the checkout line at Target or whatever, and immediately regrets it. I knew he would, oh yeah, but you gotta let him experiment with that.

So that's awesome. Really neat concept.

[00:15:45] Doug: The whole idea behind allowance by the way, is you get the allowance just because you're a member of the family. There's no requirements for behavior or chores or anything else. We used to talk about getting an allowance because you're a good member of the family and we never had to define that.

Now other families may make that contingent, but the whole idea again is to give the kid a reliable stream of income that they can trust. Imagine if your employer withheld your paycheck because you forgot to clean your room. So we tried to treat her like an adult employee from that perspective.

Chores again, you do chores to keep the house nice and clean and neat. If you want to earn the additional revenue that comes from jobs, you have to do your chores. That turned out to be one of the most powerful motivators known to mankind, is that if you want more money first you have to do your chores.

[00:16:31] Spencer: Yeah. Today we would call that universal basic income. Exactly.

[00:16:34] Doug: You can be as lazy on universal basic income. That's right. As long as you don't need any more income. Exactly. As a kid making bad choices, man, you need a lot of income.

[00:16:43] Jamie: Doug talking about college savings, one of the questions we get a lot whenever we talk about college savings are 529 plans; how do you know what the right amount is for my family?

How did you guys work through that for your kids?

[00:16:56] Doug: I'll tell you that we had the financial resiliency at the time with our high savings rate. One of the things we chose deliberately to plan for was to send her to the average cost of what a private college was going to be when she graduated from high school in 2010.

And we invested aggressively, right? You start out with a lot of equities and then you gradually slide into bond funds and certificates of deposits. They get to be high school students, but that worked very well. We had the whole thing dialed in perfectly for the average private university, four year tuition.

And then she got a scholarship. So is that your worst nightmare or what? Actually, what she did is she signed up for the Navy ROTC program. That was the scholarship. We've joked about signing over your firstborn to the military, and in our family it happened. So that's again, for parents. That's a big debate.

And it's even worse I think, today than it was 15 years ago. Because today the debate is will they want to go to college? Will they want to go to a trade school? Will they want to just go to YouTube University or get a Google certificate? I don't know. I think though that the 529 is a great way to put a plan together, and it gives you the flexibility to change the beneficiary.

It gives you the flexibility to withdraw the money. You pay the taxes and you might pay a 10% penalty. However, you've also built up enough money in there that you can just change the beneficiary to a sibling, a nibbling, maybe even the next generation. Yeah, I don't know what the right answer is for how much money you want to save, but as a parent, you're going to set a goal.

Your first priority is your retirement, right? Nobody will loan you money for retirement. You can get plenty of student loans for college, but once you've set that priority up, then you're going to do the best you can for the way you feel that your kid should be getting financially supported for college, whether that's Harvard, or whether that's UH West Oahu there's a big price difference between those two if they're going to figure out how to have some skin in the game on their own. 

You want them to be internally motivated. So if you do save a large college fund and your child gets a scholarship because of their merit or some other talent, then maybe you're willing to share some of that money with them.

Maybe there's going to be profit sharing.

[00:19:16] Jamie: Yeah. Another good concept. The last kind of takeaway I have from this book series of questions is the concept of all hail 20 minutes a day. What I loved about that one is that it's not just for kids. Like I can implement this too for my own personal development, whether it's exercise or my budgeting.

Can you talk a little bit about that and how people can apply that to their lives and the development of their kids' financial habits?

[00:19:42] Doug: This is an old story in our family. By now, you're listeners are probably beginning to notice that I'm married up. When my spouse was, we all did, don't worry.

Yeah. When my spouse and I were at the Naval Academy, there was one evening where she was planning to study for a big test. Her roommate, who was supposed to go on duty at some job that we had back then, as Midshipman forgot, and her roommate didn't show up. So the squad leader came by the room and said, “Hey, your roommate didn't show up. We need somebody to man this duty. You are it. Go do it.” 

There she was. Her entire evening was shot. She couldn't study for that exam the next day. So the hard way, we learned that when you have a goal out there, that you have to work on it for 20 minutes a day. Our daughter has heard that story many times over the years.

And she used that at college because she was also an ROTC. The same thing essentially happened to her. But it also takes those gigantic audacious projects and breaks them down into tiny little steps. It doesn't really matter what you do 20 minutes a day, as long as you set aside 20 minutes a day and start thinking, I'm only here for 20 minutes.

I'm going to do something at that time. Now, frequently your 20 minute effort turns into 45 minutes an hour, maybe an hour and a half. I use 20 minutes a day to work on the next writing project. Maybe it's answering a reader question or writing a blog post or working on a book chapter, but 20 minutes a day, once it becomes an ingrained habit, maybe you do it the same time every day.

Maybe you do it in the same situation every day. Once you start that habit, it becomes automatic and you actually miss it if you don't do it. Yeah, and that's the best thing. Now today we have a new bestseller book about atomic habits, and everybody is all over this. Well, years ago it was called 20 minutes a day,

[00:21:31] Jamie: And that's why you're the OG.

[00:21:35] Spencer: Doug, one of the concepts you write about on your website and in your book the military guide is the fog of work. That to me is now that I'm actually nearing my own separation from the military. A little part of me is dreading losing the fog of work.

But what is the fog of work and where did that concept come from? And how can military service members. Take a moment to rise above it and see what's on the horizon.

[00:22:08] Doug: I'll point out that the fog of work comes from a book by an 18th century tactician, Vonz for those of you who have been to the right schools.

But he says that once you start fighting the war, that the battlefield fills with smoke and you can't see what's going on. It's just like you're working at night or when you're in an area where you can't see the whole picture in front of you. So the Fog of War, to me, became a great metaphor for the fog of work where you're at work, you're too busy to plan long-term goals like your quality of life, let alone your financial independence, your retirement date, and what you're going to do after.

You don't have to show up for the work anymore. So I talk about all the issues that go into that. This post got written on that same forum back in 2009, and it just gravitated naturally into the book. The whole idea is that you have to break free of the fog of work at some point and do some planning.

It's hard, it's not easy. There's always going to be a higher priority in your life than planning for your life, but you have to figure out how to break through the chronic fatigue, how to break through the daily stress, and pull your nose away from the grindstone for a little bit in the military.

The closest I can think of to let you get the time to do that is your legendary 30 days of leave between duty stations. I don't know about you. I never had 30 days, but that's the rule, right? Yeah. Anyway, somewhere in there, you. Take some naps. You recover from chronic fatigue. After the first week, you're ready to start thinking and talking with your spouse or your significant other or your family about next steps.

And eventually you'll have an epiphany about what you want to do with your life or what the next step you want to do after this next obligation, whatever it may be. But you're actually able to break free of that daily routine. For financial independence, it's as simple as having the time to break free of the fog or work to lay out your thrift savings plan percentage contribution, figure out where that money's going, find the money for your IRA, and figure out how high your savings rate can be.

Those are all small things that we need to do that are very hard to get started. But if you spend a certain amount of time every day on it oh, I don't know, 20 minutes a day, perhaps, eventually that turns into a habit and you're regularly tracking your expenses, you're automatically boosting your contributions to your IRA and your thrift savings plan, and you're saving even more for a goal of financial independence.

You've put it on autopilot.

[00:24:35] Spencer: Yeah. I talk a lot about autopilot in my book as well, and Oh, I think that's essential, right? Yeah. It's just, it just makes everything so much easier, right? Because decision fatigue is a real thing. If you can make the choice. Tim Ferris talks about making a choice that eliminates a hundred choices, any choice.

So if you set up your, Vanguard has a feature where you can say, max out my Roth IRA by the end of the year, pull money out of my checking account. I got it. Every two weeks they go in there and I think it. $416, whatever it is right now. But they go in there and they pull money out, perfect.

Every two weeks or every month. You can set the asset allocation, 50% international, 50% US, whatever you want. It just does it automatically. You only have to set that up once and it will actually keep rolling over year to year if you forget about it.

[00:25:23] Doug: People do.

[00:25:24] Spencer: They do, right?

There was that I think it's apocryphal. I don't think it actually existed, but it was the Schwab, I think it was a Schwab study or Fidelity study where Fidelity's best performing accounts were when the owners had died. They just didn't mess with their investments.

[00:25:39] Doug: It sounds apocryphal, but I've read that story.

Oh, you're right. Yeah. It's realistic.

[00:25:43] Spencer: That's awesome. Yeah. So speaking of, the fog of work and investing for financial independence as. When you're in the military, what were some of the investing mistakes that you made early on in your journey to FI and how would you advise a service member today. Cause there's a lot, there's a lot more options. You've got robo advisors, you've got, Vanguard was just recently started in the seventies, is that right?

[00:26:10] Doug: 1976. Yeah. So the first Vanguard X Fund was publicly sold. Yeah, back then, of course in the 1980s, Vanguard was crazy.

Nobody was going to touch Vanguard because those guys had no plan, and they had a whole bunch of rules. You couldn't trade, you couldn't move your money around whenever you felt, you ne no, not Vanguard. No. But the point is that today we do have more choices. You talk about decision fatigue, right?

You're just overwhelmed with options. The biggest issue is getting through analysis paralysis. Correct. To make a choice. So we made many mistakes, and I would say that the most important aspect of all those mistakes is that. A high savings rate for financial independence will overcome a lot of stupid mistakes during the 15 or 20 years that you're trying to reach financial independence.

You don't have to beat yourself up for spilling your latte on your desk and go without it. You can go buy another one if that's what you want to do, without beating yourself up over making a mistake like that. So back in the 1980s, you traded frequently because you never knew when the stock market was going to go down and you had to get out before it went down and get back in before it went up.

You actually paid sales charges. When you were buying a mutual fund, it was normal to pay 2% sales charges. You paid high fees, you paid high annual fees, and by high a really high annual fee was two and a half. A normal fee was considered to be one to 1.5%, 150 basis points to have an annual fee and a mutual fund.

That was normal. Yeah. Back then. It's not so expensive today. So all those things were available if you went to Vanguard, but it just wasn't something that was done back then because Vanguard had too many rules and too many restrictions. We all knew we needed to chase hot managers and pick the next big fund and keep moving our money around.

And all those investing mistakes, taking action felt good. But all those things turned out to be long-term mistakes. Yet somehow we still reached financial independence. So once you set yourself up for a high savings rate just by cutting out the waste, it isn't putting yourself on a financial diet.

It's looking at where your money goes, figuring out what you really value and cutting out the waste on the things that you don't care about. That raises your savings rate. That gets you to financial independence faster and you can still make mistakes and still reach it. Yeah. Love that. So

[00:28:33] Spencer: Black Friday, just, wow, you invest way back.

Now you're investing in the eighties. Maybe think about this, we were there. Did you make any moves around that time? Did you time it right? Did you miss it? Did you, was it just a Black swan event that

[00:28:47] Doug: Here's what really goes on in your mind for Black Friday? We had no idea. Yeah.

And on Saturday we read by accident in the newspaper that something had happened to the stock market on Friday. But if you really haven't been paying attention to the stock market, if you're newly married and you just started graduate school and you're busy with other activities, the stock market doesn't have a lot of relevance to your daily life.

Yeah. On Monday we went back to school and the Monterey Navy postgraduate school campus was. Deserted, there's nobody there. We needed another day or two to figure it out. But it turned out that most of our classmates were at home dialing on their one 800 phone lines, to their brokers at their investing firms trying to buy into the market because they were sure the market was going to go back up.

Ah. Now some of them were still trying to sell Yeah. On Monday and Tuesday, but some of them were trying to buy. I remember having a conversation with Marge at that point. I think it happened near a payday. A payday came up a week or two later and we said, gosh, it looks like this would be a good time to invest.

So we threw another two or hundred or $300 in the stock market. That's how we handled Black Friday. In other words, we really didn't understand, we didn't appreciate, and we didn't really do much different. We had been sending money every paycheck back then you wrote out a check and put an envelope and put a stamp on it.

And we had been doing that regularly since we'd married, so we just added a little bit more money to it. Having absolutely no idea what we were doing, but knowing that the market was probably going to be higher later. We kept on doing that every time that there was a recession or a bad forecast in the market, or anytime volatility reared its ugly head, we were dollar cost averaging every paycheck.

Yeah. We just kept doing it. Yeah. That's awesome.

[00:30:35] Spencer: Your asset allocation while you were saving for FI, what was it and has it changed since you've become FIand how do you factor military pension into that?

[00:30:45] Doug: Yeah, and those are excellent questions, right? Because you get a lot of them questions. I imagine. I know I do. When we were both on active duty our reliability of employment was fairly high. You're not going to get laid off, and so you're probably not going to need a big emergency fund. We also knew that we were going to be in the Navy until we had two or three years of our obligation ahead of us, and we had plenty of time to plan our exit if it came to that.

We invested a hundred percent equities for most of our careers. Every time we came to a decision point where we talked about backing off and getting more conservative we said we're making more money. We have a job. We're getting paid. Our savings rate is 40%. Let's just keep investing it in the stock market and let it go up.

Now, admittedly, this was the greatest bull market of all time from 1982 to the end of 1999. So it was easy to make those decisions the last 10 years have been. Exactly. Until March of 2020. So you talk yourself into that based on your recency bias. If the market's been going up and that's all you ever know while you're investing, well by golly you're going to have a high equity portfolio.

And we kept doing that. However, we eventually, as we approached retirement, began that discussion of, should we back off? Should we add more bonds? And we realized that a military pension or VA disability compensation. If you don't stick around for retirement, those two streams of income are adjusted every year for inflation.

It's just like having the income from a portfolio of bonds, I bonds tips. Yep. It's rising every year with inflation. One day you're also going to get social security, which is again, just like I bonds rise every year for inflation. When we looked at that and realized how much bond income we had from pensions and from VA disability income, we said we're just going to keep investing in a high equity portfolio.

Yep. We did now at the time we retired and while we were on act duty, we were investing in blended mutual funds that had different types of equities, big, medium, small. We'd invest in different exchange traded funds that had different sectors, dividend stocks and small cap value stocks and maybe Berkshire Hathaway, Bres kinds of those kinds of things.

Yeah. But it was all equities. In 2017 we realized that as the years had gone by, we'd been reducing our expense ratios more and more. We'd gone from one and a half percent down to four tenths of a percent, down to a quarter of a percent. In 2017 we said, let's simplify our lives. Let's stick with this hundred percent equity application equity asset allocation.

And we went for the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, exchange Traded fund. It's got 0.03%. Yep. Expense ratio. I've never, ever expected it to get this low, but it's simplified our investments and so we have stayed greater than 90% equities. In fact, if I looked up my personal capital account today I would probably say something like 98% because I have enough money in cash to pay the credit card bill due at the end of the month.

[00:33:51] Spencer: The military TSP, the Thrift savings Plan that didn't come about in the military, I think until 2000, 2001

[00:34:00] Doug: Legislation was passed in 2000. Yep. Implemented in January of 2002.

[00:34:06] Spencer: Okay. Didn't mean for this podcast to be a history lesson, but I was there, you saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

That's right. So you never had access to the military TSP, so until then, yeah. That was the last,

[00:34:21] Doug: I had five months of conversations. Five months, yeah. You actually did contribute five whole months. Oh, wow. Okay. As soon as I, as soon as I retired, yep. They kicked me out because I had contributed enough

[00:34:32] Spencer: But if you had access, it would've definitely been something that you would have contributed to. Oh yeah. Is that, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Probably again, just a hundred. equities, asset allocation.

[00:34:44] Doug: On Active duty I would've contributed, CS and I funds, if everybody's asset allocation is a highly individual choice.

Definitely. We had convinced ourselves that we could handle the volatility and that turned out to be true. With time and practice I would say if you have no idea what you're doing, you just pick one of the long data lifecycle funds. Yeah. If you have some idea or if somebody has mentored you and talked about how to handle volatility, then you can choose the CS and I funds, however you want to mix 'em up.

There's blog posts out there that talk about probably on your website, a range. Among others there's a range of asset allocations and they're all. Good enough. Good enough. That's right. You don't have to have the perfect asset allocation. You just have to pick one and get moving and automated.

Put it in auto cycle. Yeah.

[00:35:29] Jamie: So Doug, let's talk a little bit about the 4% rule and flexible retirement spending. Now that you're 20 years into retirement, how has that gone for you with safe withdrawal rate calculations and your expenses going up and down in retirement? How do you guys ensure that you have enough money and you don't run out of it?

Cause I think that's a worry for people on this side. The side that Spencer and I are on this side of financial independence. How you've done it for 20 years. What are the lessons and how's it going?

[00:35:58] Doug: We can tell now. It's all going to work out just fine. We've gone from when we retired, when I retired from active duty, we've gone from having enough.

To 10 years down the road after the great recession ended and the stock market started to come back, we realized we had enough money. Then a few years later we realized we had more than enough money, and today we have way more money than we need to the point where we know we're not spending it fast enough.

Now, I'm, I sound like I'm joking about that, but I'm also reflecting back on 20 years of uncertainty and volatility. There's a lot of fear in there. There's a lot of scarcity mentality in there. But we started with a 4% safe withdrawal rate because that's pretty much all that was out there.

And when I say 4% safe withdrawal rate, what I mean is we had expenses and some of those expenses were paid for by my pension, but all the rest of those expenses were handled by the 4% safe withdrawal rate. We had enough money saved up for financial independence if we had the pension, and we were spending at the 4% safe withdrawal rate from our investments.

So we've been doing that for 20 years. Now, in the first decade, everybody is concerned, worried white knuckles on the wheel. Part of that is because of the risk of a bad sequence of returns, right? You worry about the sequence of returns risk. We handled that risk for the first 10 years by keeping two years of our expenses in cash.

And the idea was that if the stock market dropped like crazy, that we would just keep spending from our two years of cash, 4% per year, whatever our expenses were. If the stock market went up that year, we would replenish that cash stash to have that two years of expenses ready to go for the next year.

Now, we got a little attest in that in 2002, the internet recession, we retired right into the worst part. We ran through some of that cash dash right away and it looked like my financial independence experience was going to be miserable, brief and back to work. But by 2004 it was working out fine.

We kept that two years cash stash going and ran right into 2008. By the end of 2009, we had spent that two years cash stash, and we were starting to sell some shares out of our exchange traded funds that we invested in back then, some actually selling some equities. Interestingly, we had been invested in those long enough that those shares still had plenty of capital gains.

They had lost a lot of value in the great recession, but they still had capital gains. We weren't selling any losers in 2009, over 2010, after that first decade, around 2012, we realized that we were still following the 4% of safe withdrawal. But the balance in our checking account was starting to go up and I went back and started looking at it.

And if we had reset, if we had started all over again in 2012 and looked at our expenses versus our withdrawal rate had dropped from 4% per year. The safe withdrawal rate, it had dropped to about three and a half percent. Yep. Today, we know from a bunch of different studies that if 4% safe withdrawal rate works for 30 years with a very high probability of success, three and a half percent will work for the rest of your life.

At least 50 years, 60 years, maybe even 75 years. Aim to find out we'll check back here in a couple decades, let's do it again in a hundred. That's right. So we knew that we had survived sequencer returns risk and could continue spending at the 4% safe withdrawal rate without feeling that scarcity mentality or worrying about running out of money.

And by not worrying about running outta money, things like spending more money on travel. Spending more money on gifting our family and spending more money on philanthropy. That's great. That's what I mean by we are not spending it fast enough. We're starting to ramp up those things. We've managed to make another difficult shift from a scarcity mentality to one of abundance.

And this is at least as hard as the Fogle work. It takes a few years, but eventually you realize that you have enough money, you have financial security, you're going to be okay, and you feel comfortable spending.

[00:40:06] Spencer: So a lot of the habits that served you well when you're saving for financial independence, once you've reached FI and you get through kind of the 10 year sequence of return risk and you realize, oh, we're going to be fine.

You have to unlearn some of those habits.

[00:40:19] Doug: The frugality that gets you to financial independence doesn't necessarily serve you well in financial independence, but maybe it does. Maybe you still feel more secure because you know you're not going to run out of money. You can play good defense, you know that.

although you're following the 4% safe withdrawal rate, you also know that the studies behind that, they never talked about variable spending. They never talked about someday getting social security. They had other assumptions in there that you're not a 4% safe withdrawal rate robot.

You're going to make human changes and you're going to maybe even get a job. Yeah. That's right. If you have to, if you go back to work. Yeah. Ironically, when, if you do need to get a job, it turns out those kind of jobs where you only need five or $10,000 worth of income every year. Pretty during a recession.

Yeah. They're everywhere. Yeah. Nobody wants them because they don't come with health insurance. That's right. Yeah. So you can work your way through that literally if you have to. That ends up making you feel more comfortable and more secure. Today in our family, you're looking around this house, but today in our family, We're still frugal, we still have habits.

For example, I like to compost just to make sure that we're taking some of our household trash and putting it back into the yard as fertilizer. Yeah. That's just a challenge. We enjoy doing it. Yeah.

[00:41:34] Spencer: You have the freedom and the flexibility to do that and the time. Yeah, that's right. Time because of FI so we talk about Black Friday there, but okay.

Taking it back to the covid crash of March 2020, what was that like watching your portfolio was probably decimated to the degree of maybe 20, 25, 30% down depending on your equity split. But was that just turn off the news and wait it out? And if you didn't do anything, which I'm assuming you didn't it came roaring back in, in a big way.

[00:42:11] Doug: And so we look brilliant now . Exactly. But going through it at the time, that's the problem, is yes. If you knew what was going to happen in the next recession, you'd get out the day before. You'd get back in the day before things started going up. You'd be totally rational and logical the entire time.

Yeah. That's the whole problem is you never see that recession coming for you to see that recession coming, there'd have to be a global pandemic and paralyzed the economic structure of the entire United States. Yeah. It sounds funny now, and now that we see that we are finally getting out to the end of the tunnel on that.

But at the time it was more gloom and doom. It was scary, very scary stuff. So when we went through the great recession, we had looked at net worth going up and up during 2006, 2007. I remember one day opening a financial statement in 2007 and thinking, this is nuts. Yeah. It just monopoly money that high up it was.

Yeah. We had stocks that I had made a mistake picking and they still went up. We were selling a lot of individual stocks. In retrospect, I made a lot of mistakes back then. So when the markets crashed in 2008 and 2009, we went from a ridiculously high peak down 56%. So when 2020 rolled around March of 2020 and the stock market started to go down, we realized this was a problem.

But we knew we could handle 56%. We had enough. We weren't really looking at it back then because when the market was going down at the end of March, my spouse and I were visiting our family in California. Yeah. Our granddaughter had been born just a couple of months before that. While we were visiting, we started noticing that a whole bunch of people were complaining about what became the pandemic.

And we didn't even know if we could get back home. We were afraid we were going to be locked into quarantine in California and not able to get a flight back to Hawaii. So we were totally focused on getting out of California, getting back home to Hawaii, and then quarantining here in a house for a couple of weeks.

Looking at the stock market just didn't seem to be a priority at all. We had, but we also had the confidence that comes from 30 years, 40 years of investing and knowing that we could survive the great recession. How bad could a pandemic be after the great recession? That kind of attitude. Now, in retrospect, it could have been a lot worse.

It could have been. The point was we had an asset allocation and we had the confidence in that asset allocation that comes from all those years of finding our comfort zone and our experience. So when this happens it's not fun. You're unhappy, you're worried all these things are going on. But on the other hand, you're in relatively good health.

You have food, you have power, you have money if you need it. So we knew we could get through this. That's the attitude we took. we didn't change a single thing. We didn't even invest more money in the market. We just wrote it out and didn't change any of that. My son-in-law and my daughter put some of that dry powder to work.

We had gifted our granddaughter. Money for her 529. Now. This was totally coincidence, but she was born in January. It took a little time to get the birth certificate. It took a little time to get the social security number. It took a little time to start up the 529. There might have been some sleep deprivation there for the parents , but they made their first investment into that 529 with our gift to them in late March of 2020.

Wow. Crossed their fingers and hoped they'd still have some money left. Yeah, and it turned out by the end of 2020. Of course. The best investor in our house couldn't change your own diapers. 

[00:45:43] Spencer: During those troubling times, do you have a written plan that you refer back to, or is it just all in your head or all in the spreadsheet?

[00:45:48] Doug: We by now don't have to go back and refer to that plan. We do have that plan. The reason we have that plan is estate planning for our disability.

If someday I find out that I no longer have my cognition and can't take care of my investments, my daughter and my son-in-law know where the folder is in our desk in the next room to go look in there to figure out what in the world was he doing with his money and how should we handle it from here?

Yeah. So we do have that plan. Now, we don't have an investor policy statement that you'll find on Vanguard or the Bogleheads. Today, if I was starting, I would write that investment policy statement because it forces you to think about asset allocation. Yeah.

[00:46:28] Jamie: So one of the excuses people talk about when they're, they hear about financial independence as an option is high cost of living areas, sometimes kids.

So you've experienced both of those living in Hawaii and having a child. What do you say to the doubters of financial independence for high cost of living areas and things like that. What was your experience like being a large portion of child raising in Hawaii.

[00:46:53] Doug: We had that high savings rate because we were managing our cost of living.

For example, everybody talks about the high cost of living in Hawaii, and the only way to counteract the high cost of buying a home in Hawaii is to go out and buy a crappy home and spend a lot of time and effort on sweat equity, and then most of them do it themselves. Spencer's looking around as he is sitting here and saying, yeah, it's doing all right now.

He wasn't here 20 years ago, but it looks pretty good. You'll make those choices throughout your life. You'll decide what's important to you, whether you want to actually work the extra years to afford a really big house in a high cost of living area, or if you would prefer to reach financial independence on a low cost of living and move to somewhere where life costs less.

Maybe that's somewhere else in America. Maybe you're going to be a digital nomad. Maybe you don't know what you're going to do, but you're going to try those lifestyles two or three years at a time and switch around until you figure out what your ideal lifestyle is. But I would say that any choice you make in financial independence is going to involve a trade off between your goal of your lifestyle and how many more years you want to work to afford that lifestyle.

[00:48:02] Spencer: So speaking about real estate on your site, you argue that you, I think it's facetious, but you shouldn't buy a home while you're on active duty or even when you retire. Can you elaborate on why you advise military service members to not purchase homes?

[00:48:16] Doug: I blog in a snarky voice. That is correct. However when I talk about facetious don't buy a house on active duty, it's because I get the emails from people who have destroyed their finances from buying a house on active duty. Yeah. Now, admittedly many of these decisions are made for the right reasons at the time, but they end up leveraging themselves in tremendous amounts of debt frequently with the VA loan that the helpful mortgage broker and the very helpful real estate agent have put them under without them understanding the consequences of what happens after you get transferred before the home is appreciated to make the value that you need to be able to sell it.

But the whole point of not buying a house while you're on active duty is to not put yourself in that position. So I go to great effort to list all of those things that are going to bite you later on when you try to sell the house in order that you know what's coming and avoid it. Maybe it makes more sense, especially in a high cost area like Hawaii, to not buy a house, to live in base housing or to rent, knowing that you're going to barely have enough money to afford what you want to do here, but in another duty station, you're going to do better.

Or while you're here, if you are going to buy a house, then maybe you're going to bring in roommates. Maybe you're going to house hack. Maybe you're going to do a live-in rehab. You're going to buy what we did, a crappy place and work on it for a couple of years while you're here on duty to be able to have the equity to pay for the closing costs when you sell.

I'm not saying you're going to make money. I'm saying that you're probably going to be able to afford selling the place when you finally get to that point. Or maybe you're a real estate entrepreneur and if you've read that post, you've looked at it and said, yeah, but they're not buying an investment rental property.

They're just buying a nice place to live. You'd be absolutely great. Now, if you can go to a duty station with a mindset of looking for an investment rental property and buying that as your home and setting yourself up for success when you leave. That's great. Yeah.

[00:50:08] Spencer: That's awesome. Doug, your prolific redditor, I see you on your Nords account on Oh yeah.

R/militaryfinance. You're also a bit of a legend on some other more ancient forums out there. But what sites or resources do you check today, or what do you recommend to, the the airman or sailor or soldier Marine out there gungho about FI and really wants to get into it?

Where can, where do you point those people?

[00:50:37] Doug: Reddit. Reddit has been great, as the military forums on Reddit, the military financial forums on Reddit, they're great. I spent a lot of time in Facebook groups you're familiar with Choose FI, US military, other groups on Facebook that have the keyword, military in 'em, they're dealing with finances.

I also still spend time on earlyretirement.org. That's one of the forums that I was one of the first 25 members of almost 20 years ago. You're familiar with the Mr. Money Mustache forums, a lot of military families there. I spend time on Bogleheads. I check in there once in a while just to see what the conversations are.

And it depends what the demographics of the group are. So on Mr. Money Mustache or Reddit, you tend to see a lot of younger people in their careers just starting out, just recovering from something moving up to building their net worth. Whereas on Bogleheads, you're probably finding people discussing how they're going to withdraw their G fund from the thrift savings plan now that they're in their seventies.

Yeah. So it's this whole spectrum and you can either work on the problem you're facing now or look ahead to things that you might be concerned about down the road. I spend, I think, the majority of my time on Facebook and some on Twitter just because those are the easiest things for me to do. 

[00:51:48] Spencer: That's great. What are you working on now?

[00:51:51] Doug: I'm writing, I'm just not writing the right stuff. 20 minutes a day, you'd think I'd get this stuff done faster. But The Military Guide, the first edition of the book, is 10 years old now and it's time to put out an updated edition. So I'm talking with the traditional publisher over revisions to the book. For example, the blended retirement system. But there's a number of revisions to be made to the book for things that have changed in the last 10 years. 

That book itself will definitely be an e-book. It'll be printed on demand this time. Instead of a stack of paperbacks in a warehouse.

And I'm also going to add an audiobook condition. Great. I'm going to record that. If you ever want to humble yourself, as you know,  go record an audiobook and find out that your writing sounds great in your head until it gets through the microphone. But that audiobook is very valuable to making sure you have a good ebook, a good print on demand.

And that's probably going to take me another year to come out with a new edition of The Military Guide. There's a whole bunch of discussion in the back about whether you change the ISBN or how you do this on Amazon, all the other things that go into changing the book. I'm working on a third book right now. I'm in that research phase where it's difficult to tell that I'm getting anything done, but I'm reading a lot and having a lot of discussions about it. The third book is going to be about life after financial independence. It's tentatively going to be titled Living Your Financial Independence.

The whole point is that 10 years, 20 years, 30 years after financial independence, here's what we've seen, here's what we've screwed up, here's what has worked really well. Yeah. Despite volatility. Global pandemics and other disasters and what we think we're going to be doing for the next 20, 30 years.

I'm setting myself up for having to keep that book up to date too. I was going to say, yeah, . Yeah. I've written two. I'm going to need another five years probably before that third book comes out. Yeah. But at one point I did feel like I was aging out. All right. The topics change and what was really important in the 1990s and early two thousands, nobody cares about anymore.

It's all fairly conventional wisdom. It's fairly straightforward. However another financial author I respect, Paul Merriman, he just published a new book at age 77, so Wow. I got at least another decade and a half. 

[00:54:08] Spencer: Yeah, that's true. Your perspective, especially, I'll speak for the military audience, you achieving FI even before you're in the military pension and then living a financial independence life after retiring from the military. 

That perspective, and then turning around and telling the rest of us who are working our way towards FI and telling us, Hey, it works and you can do it, the water's great. Come on in.

[00:54:36] Doug: Exactly. Yeah. It's hard. It's very hard when you're leaving that uniform service to have the faith, to have the knowledge, to have the understanding of the 4% safe withdrawal rate.

And if you're doing this with your family, it's hard to explain to your family, Hey, it's going to be great. This will work out fine. Yep. It has. Yeah. I've gotta communicate that. Yeah.

[00:54:58] Jamie: What about for someone who is a little maybe closer to retirement, they're later in their career and they didn't hear about financial independence when they were 18 or 20.

What advice would you give someone who's maybe five years from retirement and they didn't quite get the start that we would've hoped that they would've gotten?

[00:55:17] Doug: It's that old joke about planting a tree. The best time to plant that tree was 20 years ago. But the second best time to plant that tree is today.

Yeah. You start where you are with what you got. There's a Facebook group called Finally FI, finally Financially Independent. It's mostly people who have started pursuing financial independence in their late forties and early fifties. Wow. Sometimes it's been because they've been living paycheck to paycheck for years.

Other times it's student debt. Once in a while it's divorce or a family disaster, like a medical crisis or even a death. However, you start with where you are and you start the way, we all start by tracking your expenses and cutting out the waste. Your savings rate is what determines the speed at which you reach financial independence.

The lower your expenses, the higher your savings rate, the faster you get to financial independence. So you might still be working until your sixties, but you'll have much more security when you get there. There's always social security in your sixties if you've got working credit in the United States.

But the whole point is that you do the best you can with what you know and move forward from there.

[00:56:27] Spencer: Jamie, anything to wrap up with?

[00:56:31] Doug: No.

[00:56:32] Jamie: Doug, I really appreciate having you on today. Like we said before, seeing someone on the other side of financial independence, and someone that, I, you, I don't know if you remember Spencer brought you into the squadron one day at work and I was, busy pounding away on the keyboard and oh, hey I'm busy saving the world or whatever.

Probably not actually, but having seen your blog posts and your books and. All the goodness you've put out on Facebook. Yeah. I'm in a couple of the same Facebook groups as you. It is just, it's really neat to be able to see that firsthand to learn from you. So we are so grateful for you coming and Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.

[00:57:11] Doug: I'm paying it forward. I'm glad to hear that. Thank you.

[00:57:14] Spencer: Doug, before we wrap up here, is there anywhere you want to point people? Website, Twitter, Facebook, anywhere you want people to go to find you? It's or do you want to stay unfindable?

[00:57:24] Doug: It's easy. After all this time, I've got a pretty good search engine ranking.

Just look for “The Military Guide”, just searching for those three words. We're in the first page results. Also look for Doug Nordman on Twitter. My handle on Twitter is @themilitaryguide and I'm all over Facebook. As Doug Nordman, I make my entire Facebook profile so that people can stalk, so that people can look and see what's going on and see that putting as many posts up on Facebook as I do I can't be lying about financial independence.

It's the lifestyle and I show that as much as I can so that everybody can also start planning their own financial independence.

[00:58:03] Spencer: Yeah, that's great. One other thing I want to mention before we go is, I think you recently donated a couple of my books to the local library.

[00:58:09] Doug: I did that. Yeah.

Hawaii State Public Library System. Now the librarian is keeping some of these for herself at the Mililani branch. Oh, great. But they should be cataloged in a couple weeks and then you'll be able to see 'em anywhere in the Hawaii State public Library system. You can have interlibrary loan anywhere except New Zealand, but you can get, you can interlibrary loan anywhere in the state of Hawaii.

That's excellent. I think that's really cool. You'll tell people as they read your book, if they're done with. Paper copy of the book to just donate it to the local library.

[00:58:35] Spencer: Oh, absolutely. Don't donate it. Give it to a friend. Exactly. Photo photocopy it and send it to someone. 

[00:58:42] Doug: But if you've heard about the joke

If you love the book, give it to a friend.

If you hate the book, give it to an enemy, but pass it on. 

[00:58:47] Spencer: Yeah, that's right. Just keep it moving and you can learn more about the book on my website, militarymoneymanual.com/book

Doug, thank you again so much for coming on the podcast. 

[00:58:58] Doug: Happy to do it, Spencer. Thanks again for the book.

Yeah, you've written an excellent book there and I really enjoyed reading it.

[00:59:03] Spencer: It's been an honor of having Doug on the podcast. Today we got into lots of great military financial independence topics, post-retirement, life, safe withdrawal rates, all kinds of other great topics. 

Couple recap points. So Doug retired from the Navy 20 years ago.

He's been implementing the 4% safe withdrawal rate strategy during his 20 years of FI, and he's doing just fine. Like he said, he's got more money than he knows what to do with. Doug also talked about his new book, Raising Money Savvy Kids, and got into the tactics about the kids 401k and using allowance as a type of universal basic income.

And we talked about Doug's asset allocation for FI, basically a hundred percent equities achieving FIin a high cost of living area with kids, and Doug's recommended websites and forums. Thanks again listeners for joining us today. We appreciate your continued support and for giving us all those delicious five star reviews on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

All of Doug's writing revenue is donated to military charities, and if you reach out to him, you can offer your advice and stories to help write his next edition of the book, which should hopefully be coming out soon. We'll see you next week on the Military Money Manual Podcast.

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