Military Money

martinis and your money

Military Money

On last week’s show I shared with you that my team at The Financial Gym, the company I started, has set a major goal in an effort to attract venture capital investors and we need your help to accomplish it. In two months, we plan to sign up 165 new clients of The Financial Gym. If you’ve ever thought about joining or know someone who could use the personalized attention of my financial fitness trainers to achieve their financial goals, send them to to sign up today!

We launched this effort last week and so far we have 30 new clients! We are off to a great start so let’s keep the momentum going! And the listener who refers the most new clients between now and the end of May will win 3 free months of financial training from me personally which is an over $600 value. So go to and get started on achieving your financial dreams today!

Now onto today’s podcast. I have a number of listeners who are currently or formerly served in the military who have asked questions about military finance so on this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Ryan Guina, found of the Military Wallet. Ryan addresses some of my listener questions but also gives us a great insight into managing your finances while managing a military career. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Ryan’s story, and I thank Dominique and Jen for inspiring me to record this episode. Cheers!

As a side note: Please stop by The Financial Gym and have a drink with us if you are in the area or check us out online for tools and resources to help you break free from your financial challenges and live a financially healthier life! We’ll kick your assets into shape!

What are we drinking?

Ryan — Jack & Ginger

Shannon — Vodka & Tonic

Podcast Notes

  • Ryan joined the military in 1999 – one year after he graduated high school – because he was bored with college and wanted an adventure.
  • He went on active duty Air Force for 6.5 years.
  • During that time, he traveled the world and saw 35 countries, 5 continents, and he also got his degree.
  • When his enlistment was done, he got out and got a job in the civilian world and started some websites to document that transition and what he was doing and learning – Cash Money Life & the Military Wallet.
  • About 2.5 years ago – after being out of the military for 8.5 years – Ryan signed up for the Air National Guard and now serves on a reserve/part-time basis.
  • Ryan explains why he chose to serve in the Air Force instead of the other branches.
  • He says serving is one of the world’s best apprenticeships.
  • Shannon asks Ryan if he rethought his enlistment after 9/11 occurred.
  • Ryan discusses how he was able to earn his degree while he was on active duty.
  • Once he transitioned out of the military, it took him around 6 months to find a job.
  • He ended up relocating to Dayton, Ohio to be near his now-wife and found a job at an Air Force base doing logistics analysis.
  • Ryan says you have to find a way to leverage the different skills you have by combining them to find a job outside of the military.
  • He says people have to look past the exact job description of what they do in the military, and instead, look at the skills and the things you’ve done and find ways to present that to potential employers that says “I can solve your problem.”
  • Shannon agrees and points out that there are many employers that want to hire veterans.
  • Ryan discusses how he prepared to transition out of the military while he was still serving.
  • Shannon asks what financial choices Ryan struggled with while serving.
  • He explains a TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) and compares it to a 401k.
  • He encourages people to leave their money in there because the fees are so low unless they have a very specific reason to pull it out.
  • Once out of the military, you can no longer contribute to a TSP, but you can roll money into it from something else like a 401k or IRA.
  • Shannon asks Ryan what the blended retirement system is and how it impacts people in the military.
  • Current service members have the option to choose whether they want to be grandfathered in to the old retirement system or participate in the blended retirement system.
  • New service members will only have the blended retirement system option.
  • Ryan mentions some military blogs aimed towards achieving financial independence:
  • He says you won’t become wealthy off of the military, but if you can keep your expenses low and have a very high rate of saving, you can become financially independent!
  • TAKEAWAY: Always remember the men and women who make great sacrifices to give us security so that we are free to pursue our financial goals without fear of losing everything we love so dearly.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is the #1 thing you miss about being an active military member?
  2. What was your favorite destination while you were on active duty?
  3. What is your biggest money regret?

Connect with Ryan:

The Military Wallet website

The Military Wallet podcast

Cash Money Life

Thank you Ryan and everyone else serving our country. I salute and toast you for your courage and bravery!

Previous articleFrugal Friends and Financial Frenemies
Next articleShedding Pounds and Shedding Debt
Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

Leave a Reply