What early retirement feels like and how to make your kids money savvy with Doug and Carol

In today’s episode, we will speak to my friend Doug Nordman (AKA “Nords”) and his daughter Carol Pittner.

We connected through the Fincon community, as Doug is quite active there. Both of them have had military careers as navy officers (Carol is a reservist at the moment) and Doug has been retired since 2002 at age 41! Carol is currently in her late 20s and already rapidly approaching financial independence as well.

Doug Nordman Carol Pittner Army Navy game
Carol and Doug

We will discuss what it feels like to be retired at a young age, how Doug worked his way towards Financial Independence before the FIRE movement was a thing. We will exchange both interesting and fun anecdotes with Carol on how it was to grow up in a money-savvy environment. Topics will include frugality, Financial Independence, financial literacy throughout childhood, investing in the stocks markets through various recessions,…so all in all a lot of valuable information brought to you in an easy to understand conversation. Even though I do not have kids myself I really like the topic of teaching kids about money, because childhood to me is where your core beliefs and thoughts about money (and other topics) will be shaped. So it all starts from there.

Listen here

…or listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This episode is for you if you are wondering what it feels like to retire early and/or if you are a young parent wanting to teach your kids to become money savvy as well.

Key Takeaways:

  • If your job is fulfilling, there might be no great no reason to retire as such, you can stay there a few more years. Do not pursue retirement because you are unhappy with your current situation for example, you have to retire to something. You will become responsible for your time and will have to design your life.
  • Adopting a frugal lifestyle does not mean recycling toilet paper, living in your parents’ basement, and other “money hacks”. It is about optimizing your lifestyle and spending money intentionally.
  • Everyone can start investing to become financially independent and it typically takes 20-25 years depending on your savings rate. And yes the current pandemic should not stop you from getting started to invest in the stock markets. There are 3 factors you can control when investing: savings rates, asset allocation and expense ratios. Do not try to time the market.
  • Make your Kids Money savvy :
    • Cut out a part of a newspaper instead of recommending a book.
    • Giving an allowance from a young age will help kids understand the diminishing effect of happiness from a purchase.
    • Be open to dialogue with your kids and talk through feelings about purchases and how their emotions are manipulated through advertising. Allow your kids to make mistakes from a safe place. Keep talking about the experiences and let them learn from it.
  • Your kid needs to make managing money an internal incentive. If it becomes their reward, their life energy and if they want to make work, they will get it and they will figure it out.

Who are Doug and Carol?

Doug Nordman served for 20 years of active duty in the U.S. Navy’s submarine force and retired in 2002 at the age of 41.  He and his spouse, a retired Navy Reservist, reached financial independence in the late 1990s on a high savings rate.  They’ve lived in Hawaii for over 30 years, and their daughter Carol was born & raised on Oahu.  These days Doug enjoys surfing, slow travel, writing, public speaking, reading, home improvement, personal-finance conferences, and more surfing.
He’s the author of “The Military Guide To Financial Independence And Retirement” and founder of The-Military-Guide.com.  He donates all of his writing and speaking revenue to military-friendly charities.

Doug Nordman Oahu
Doug Nordman

Carol Pittner joined the Navy on a ROTC scholarship.  She’s been stationed around the world on a destroyer and an aircraft carrier before moving to the Reserves.  (Now both generations of our family have been stationed in Rota, Spain.)  She and her active-duty spouse are rapidly approaching financial independence on a high savings rate, and they’ve just started their own family!  Military personal finance is an important family topic… almost as important as surfing.

Carol Pittner Headshot
Carol Pittner

Carol and Doug are the authors of “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence”, coming in spring 2020 from ChooseFI Media.  You can learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/NextGenFinance/ and childFIRE.com.

Doug can be reached at NordsNords@Gmail.com and @TheMilitaryGuid, and Carol at Carol@childFIRE.com


If you liked this episode, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts and do follow us on social media as well for more great content, check our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and join our e-mail list. I would love to connect with you!

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