MSEJ August 2018 - Page 34

SH: Even though you did 20 years, the book isn’t just for “career” military. What options do you see and advocate for today’s service members?

DN: I try to show that it’s a mistake to gut it out [just] for a military pension. I suggest staying on active duty as long as it’s challenging and fulfilling, but when the fun stops it’s time to move to the Reserves or National Guard—or even go full civilian.

SH: What does “full civilian” look like for you?

DN: Along with my daily hours of writing, my spouse and I enjoy slow travel around the globe. We typically spend a few weeks with our daughter & son-in-law and take side trips for other financial meetups. Our favorites are the Military Influencer Conference, FinCon, Camp Mustache, and CampFI [Financial Independence]. We’re perpetually debating next year’s plans for our first trip to Australia, or another month in Bangkok with friends, or maybe even another three months in Spain.

Doug is still plugged in and working, but on his terms. He’s doing so while living a good, financially independent life, his version of “retired.” He’s an example to his daughter—she’ll probably reach FI in her late 30s—and he gives back to the military community. Military-friendly charities receive all of the royalties from The Military Guide. Each charity is significant to those who helped with the book.


I’m a fan of nonfiction, but it’s not for everyone, especially when it comes to financial advice. Sometimes they’re all vocabulary lists, diagrams, notes, and appendices, which can be daunting. If you think the topic will be too much, find yourself a financial battle buddy, an installation Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®), or a community like, from which this book was born, to see you through the tough spots.

The first version of The Military Guide that I was exposed to was the pocket guide, a format that easily lends itself to becoming a reference tool, or something you can pass on to help someone else. Whether you read the pocket version or the book, you’ll be exposed to questions like “What does it mean to retire?” and “What is FI?” You’ll also be challenged to ask yourself if you really want to do what you’ve always done.