Today we will gain wisdom from CSM Maurice Chaplin of the 8th Theatre Sustainment Command on Fort Shafter Hawaii. How to overcome the fear of investing … This will be great insight!
2:35 Maurice Chaplin as the senior military leader amidst the pandemic.
3:27 The virtual environment in the army.
4:11 The impact of Covid-19 cases in the military upon the shutdown of Hawaii.
6:18 The psychological impact of the pandemic to military.
8:19 The secret on Chaplin’s career.
8:43 Overcome the fear of investing for financial freedom.
8:41 The blended retirement plan.
10:10 Chaplin’s wish as a private soldier.
11:21 Giving sense of security to soldiers by educating them about investment.
13:18 The shiny object syndrome in the military.
13:55 The 2 turning points of Maurice Chaplin to say yes to investing.
16:21 Chaplin’s creative approach to soldiers in educating them about investment.
18:30 The modern economy and the importance of saving money in the military.
19:38 The financial freedom after retirement.
20:00 Establishing budget.
20:33 The temptation of online shopping and discounts.
20:39 Coming out in the military with financial freedom.
23:00 The biggest financial take away from Chaplin.
23:30 What’s next for Sergeant Major Maurice Chaplin?
24:00 Chaplin as an army is a blessing and privilege to serve.
24:15 Three years from now, Chaplin might be seating on the boat fishing or volunteering.
25:00 Prepare for your future, take the opportunity and take risk.
3 Key Points:
- Overcome the fear of investing in financial freedom.
- Learn the difference between wants and needs.
- Manage possibilities internally and find what fits your family.
- “To get to that financial freedom, you just have to find what works for you, or even listen, or take some advice from others”- Maurice Chaplin
- “You don’t just wake up, and say, hey! I am the army’s major the next day, or I am the general the next day. It comes with time, it comes with investment, it comes with education.”- Maurice Chaplin
- “It comes the day you leave the military, if you save enough, you might not have to get another job.”- Scott Tucker
- “What’s the point of the (military) discount if you didn’t need the thing. And then, you still spending more money?”- Scott Tucker
Transcript - 015 VWS - Maurice Chaplin - Investing in the Military
Scott Tucker: Isn't it about time. That we start. Treating our active duty service members. Like they're adults when it comes to their finances. Hi, I'm Scott Tucker. And welcome back to Veteran Wealth Secrets. And. After many years. In post-military life, myself in the finance space, that's one of the. The biggest lessons I learned is that the mistake we're all making or the myth that's portrayed.
About our service members is that we're poor or dumb and can't understand our finances. So of course it's the military's job to. Fix it for us and make sure you're well-educated oh, by the way, here's a gun go overseas and take bullets for us. But by the way you don't know how to figure out dollars and cents and shame on you. If you want to get a car or, travel or do something that isn't.
Considered congruent with the status quo of how we manage our wealth and. And not that. There isn't good opportunity. There aren't a lot of people doing it, that's the point is there are a lot of people doing. Smart things with their money, but sometimes there is an intention around it and we're being told the same cookie cutter story. And for some people that's just not motivating.
It just isn't, there's a reason why. A lot of young service members. And officers. Go out and buy the fancy car. Or spend the money on the weekends. Is. Cause, they want to live life now. Getting. Even on just a thousand dollars a month is a lot of money for us. When we've been coming out of college or out of high school, we've never had that kind of control before.
But telling people that well, gosh, look at compound interest, the magic of compound interest. And you know how, if you start saving today, it's gonna grow and become a nice nest egg for you. 40 years later. Okay, maybe. And I've got a whole chapter in my book, Vetter, most secrets about the lie that is compound interest and how we're misled, really. They use that story, that myth of, if you put money away today, it'll grow upon itself magically apparently, and you'll have.
Much, much more. To access later on. And that's nice, but unfortunately it's just, like I said, it's not motivating for enough people. To prepare for really what is the real opportunity? It's not retirement. It's not 40 years down the road. It's the day you get out of the military. And, that's part of, one of the real motivations around this show.
Is showing people that we're in the greatest opportunity in all the human history. To look at other ways to actually use our money, not just put it away. That compound interest story. Is almost like a shame on you type of approach. Oh my gosh. If you're not doing it, you're doing it all wrong. And so people feel bad and often people put off things, fixing things that they feel bad about. Instead, we want to show them the opportunity that comes when you put money away, where you can access it.
But putting it away only in something that's so far out that you can't really touch, you're not allowed to quote unquote touch. Because that's not what the average person should be doing with their money. I think that just leads to many people into mediocrity who otherwise could be coming out of the military, use their assets, use their wealth, use the benefits they have for themselves. Use the personal brand. They have.
To create what they want. And not just get stuck in the fixed income job. You know who better than to talk about this kind of stuff, then, a command Sergeant major, someone who's, came in young, stayed in well pass, probably they thought they were going to, and then became a leader of troops and wants to share that message of a start.
Thinking about the effect that you can have with your money while you're on active duty. And regardless of when you're hearing this. If you're already out of the military. Think about yourself. That day. What do you wish somebody would have told you? Do you wish somebody would have said, oh man, I wish I, I wish somebody had told me to do TSP.
Then I'd have a much bigger TSP account. I actually was someone who had somebody to tell me, do it TSP. And I did that and I put all my money in TSP. I ended up taking it all out when I was like 30. Because I realized, oh, I want to start businesses. I'm not worried about retirement. I'm want to focus on creating more wealth in the now.
And that other stuff will take care of itself. Cause I don't want to sit around working for somebody else. Just hoping I wanted to have more control. And so that's what this show's about. We're gonna move on to the interview with command Sergeant major Marise chaplain. I actually, I think by the time this episode launches.
He will no longer be. He will be command Sergeant major, retired. But very grateful to have him on the show. All the way from Hawaii. To introduce his thoughts. On wealth. Hey, if you haven't already do us a favor. Please. Rate and review this show on iTunes. We really appreciate you help spread the word, getting it out. And of course,
Visit our website at US. VetWealth dot com to get tons of education. On. All things from our perspective are. You know what we're trying to teach. That's not like the other 99%. Of how you should be using your money and using your time. Because really that's what we think wealth is all about. It's about your time.
And money's just a tool to help you get more of it. So you can do the things, the purposeful, meaningful things that you want to be doing. And maybe you don't know. But that discovery process, giving yourself the permission and the time. To discover that is really what wealth. Is all about, so visit us about walt.com. So you can learn more about that.
And we will move on to the interview. Enjoy.
All right. Hey there, everybody. And welcome to what is the first Veteran secret show where we're bringing on guests that have something unique that they've, figured out personally or professional at some point during their active duty military career, maybe in their transition themselves, or maybe they're already as a veteran or started a business or whatever it is.
We all know we've been through something in our lives that we had an epiphany around. And we're wondering why didn't somebody tell me this before at some point. And that's what this show's all going to be about. It's based around the concept of my new book that's coming out on veteran's day.
We're gonna, it's free online. You can always get it at Veteran Wealth Secrets dot com. I'm not trying to charge people money, but if you want the Amazon. Version of it. We're going to make it free on Amazon as well. We'd love to have you go get the book and leave a review. But enough of that, we want to get to the insight we have today.
And gosh, I feel so lucky and so honored to have a, such a leader. Cause we all know who the real. Leaders in the military, especially in the army, I was in the army and it's our senior NCO. And especially those command Sergeant majors, who I remember as a butter bar, I was afraid of, let me bring them on command.
Sergeant major, Maurice Chaplin. Whoops. Oh, sorry. Oh, there you go. I just actually, Hey Sergeant Baker, Maurice chaplain from the eighth theater, a sustainment command out in Fort Shafter, Hawaii. But this guy has, got all I looked at. I went and looked at the webpage, looked at your resume.
You got all the awards. You said you had 90 jumps. So I know you've had an amazing career and looking forward to seeing you more on, on the socials. Oh, yeah, I'm worried about it, but thank you so much for joining us. How's it going out there Hawaii right now? You're up in early. Already done your PT.
CSM Chaplin: assuming. Oh yeah. That's what good soldiers do. Get up first thing in the morning, get some PT. And that's how we start our day off. Everything was going great out here in Hawaii, as you can see, I'm not sure if you can really see the backdrop, I'm just been a great day, a great morning, but everything was going great out here in the Pacific, phenomenal place to serve.
I couldn't ask for a better place to be right now.
Scott Tucker: Everybody gets lucky when that we have so few cool assignments in the army, at least. And this was definitely one of them. Now glad you got to, you're getting to end your career. It's such a beautiful place, but Hey, let me ask you, we're in.
Strange times to say the least this last year of 2020. And I can't imagine what it's like to be a senior leader. Getting troops through the, all the rules, the new rules and regulation that were put in place. And I'm curious a little bit what was that like? How was that compared to other challenges you might've had in your career?
And what's kinda what's life like for you nowadays, as you're thinking about getting out as you're planning on ending your your 31 career at 41
CSM Chaplin: years. Yeah, Scott, definitely. This has been a huge change for the military and the DOD. Writ large, we're used to interacting with our soldiers on a daily basis.
However, in the COVID environment, things have become decentralized. We were pretty much forced to use Microsoft teams, zones, zoom, or any other various media that we could check on our soldiers or even provide a block of instructions, through the social media platforms as you and I are using here at this point in time, especially here on an Island of Hawaii.
When COVID initially broke out. It was one, maybe two cases here, probably a month or so after it broke out into mainland. However, in our state of Hawaii, too drastic measures units pretty much shut the Island down. The numbers began to creep up just because of.
Some personnel had made it in and so they shut the Island down. And that also affected the military as we look to be good neighbors with the local community, we also, went by the state guidelines and, and in some cases, That even included, US reducing our change of command or change responsibility ceremonies, where you are normally have hundreds of soldiers on the field that was reduced to 10 people.
So if you can imagine that. Yeah. And so those are just that. For one instance is just one of the huge changes that have taken taking place across the army. Specifically here in Hawaii, we have the beautiful backdrops, we have the state come out, to various level of ceremonies.
But again, it was reduced to 10 people and that 10. People included your family, the guest speaker the Sergeant major or the camera guys. And so you had to become creative, in this environment to fully, support your soldiers to support your command. And then what does being here in the Pacific, we're away from everyone.
So a lot of times we would have to travel, to get. To the Pacific, Japan, Korea, or other places, or even to the mainland. And again, we were forced, to use social media platforms. So it has made us rethink how we operate, how we function, how we communicate our day-to-day interaction.
You have to check on soldiers more so it, it definitely challenged us, but, as a good army, we overcame it and we're continuing to roll on.
Scott Tucker: Yeah. I was going to ask, adapt and overcome. We understand, how the military works, but at the same time, was that a psychological kind of just out of left field?
We understand combat take the Hill, it's follow orders and then all of a sudden it's like what? We can't even stand next to each other where, I mean that, obviously I had to gotta to do what you gotta do, but. You know now I'm sure, maybe you could speak on some of the net positives when it comes to things like communications that might've comma came out of it.
CSM Chaplin: Yeah, it did. It did affect your psyche because, we're used to large gatherings. We're used to how they , but yeah. Comradery make your buddy smile. All of us have heard that a million times, when we're standing together in a group or we pack a huge formation in the theater for NCO PD or a briefing from the commanding general or whoever.
Yeah, initially it did, challenge our psyche or, make you rethink. Your leadership style and your leadership ability, because now it has to be decentralized. And so now if an old timer like me, you're not, you may not be caught up on the social media aspects.
So now you have to learn to bring your entire the entire squad, or are you platoon sergeants or your first sergeants into one form into one meeting. Some retraining, some re blowing took place with us at S salons, throughout the military.
Scott Tucker: Nah that's super interesting, but no thanks.
Thanks for sharing that. I always love getting that kind of you senior leader, insight on how the world's working in the military. I'm gosh, I'm almost. God, I'm 12 years. I'm 12 years removed since when yeah. Always stayed close to military bases. I was in Stuttgart for a while and then San Diego got to see Navy life.
And I was like, Oh man, maybe I should have gone that road. You get these nice flags. But but the reason we had you on the show clearly, someone is at 31 years, As a senior leader. I'm sure you didn't enter the army. No thinking of actually maybe you did becoming the Sergeant major.
Cause we all know what it's like in the early years, how we, how much we respect and even fear. Know some of that leadership, but I asked you to come on because I know you've got lots of wisdom to drop, but what's the one secret that you found throughout your career either personally or professionally that maybe you wish you would've, somebody would have told you before, or it's helped you out in a unique way that you weren't expecting that you wanted to share with those who are listening our audience, but also.
Those coming behind you and their own paths.
CSM Chaplin: Yeah, definitely. The, one of, one of the things that I'm, that I've learned is to overcome the fear of investing or, to try and get to some type of financial freedom. There's a lot of regulations, FMS, ATPs, ADP's that we have in the army that govern.
Our axes and, our way of doing business. But a lot of times we don't truly get the full scope of financial investments or financial freedom or financial management. As you say, you served in a lot of times, we don't get to that point until a soldier have, not paid their bills or received a call from a debtor.
And, then we want to counsel the soldier, but where was the counseling beforehand? To train soldier on, Hey, this is how you must manage your bank account or, these are some secrets to get you to financial Wealth, down the road, we've recently come out with them. The blended retirement plan, but that's, that's a source of investing and, that's now for the more junior soldiers who just recently joined the army.
But for old terms as myself, I never see that on my initial entry into the army back then, it was just savings bonds that took. 1520 years to mature, and at that point they would just pay for it to you. But that's one of the biggest things on that I wish I had, as a private, in the army is sit down and say, Hey, private chaplain, this is what you do.
These are some means to achieve financial freedom, four years, 10 years. 30 years down the road, so when you get out in the army, yes, you will have a retirement plan, you have your TSP, but also you can have your own personal, mutual fund money market account, or your stock account.
Those are the things that we don't always, teach the formation.
Scott Tucker: Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to dig in a little bit more, cause you mentioned overcoming the fear of investing. What do you mean by that?
CSM Chaplin: Yeah. And the thing about it is we all know, in the military, that's all branches, you're not rich.
Your pay is not the greatest. You do it for the love of country. And as a young, private, as a young, you took you through, you're getting seven, $800 and you need to S you need to secure all of that seven, $800. And the fact that you say, and, Hey, If I'm telling you, Hey, private Tucker go and invest $150 a month in your mind.
You're thinking I can't live without that $150, and but if we get to the point to give that individual soldier or service member, the, of security to say, Hey, if you do this is the result. Let me educate you on how your money will grow, how your money will work for you. 10 15 years down the road, we have ACS that come in, we, they provide some services, however, it's at the surface level.
It doesn't go beyond such as an iceberg. It doesn't go underneath, that surface level. When I first joined, otherwise coming in basic training, they told me they was going to take a hundred dollars a month, for the GI bill. I'm like. I need that a hundred dollars. I'm like why I couldn't wait for that.
A hundred dollars to stop. Because I wanted that a hundred dollars to increase my, my, my money to do whatever I want to do leisure movies or whatever. And and that's why I say we got to overcome that fear. And I think achieving that is with education on how we can make our money grow for it.
Scott Tucker: Yeah. I, cause I'm always curious. This is, this isn't just in the military, a problem. It's part of the American education system. Part of me thinks there's an intentionality behind why we're not educated as children, how money works, how business works and that kind of stuff.
But that's beside the point. I, I applaud the military, especially in recent years to bring out more and more education, but at the end of the day, what I've come to find is the stats. Don't show that the numbers are drastically improving that all of a sudden everybody's really, Oh, I shouldn't go buy a Mustang.
I should put it away. And I think it's, it's part of the shiny object syndrome. For obvious reasons, a lot of our young soldiers are coming from situations where maybe they haven't been well off financially. And all of a sudden they're getting a steady paycheck, even though seven, $800, isn't that much.
It is, yeah, it
CSM Chaplin: can be, and it's consistent,
Scott Tucker: and it ain't going away unless you screw up. But, so it's the fear of not, and the private is the shiny object of, Oh, Hey, this is going to build over 10, 20, 30 years. Man, that's hard of a motivating factor.
What do you think might be a motivating factor? And I don't know if there is any, honestly, to, just, to, to, for folks to say, yeah, I, this, the smartest thing I could do to be put a few hundred bucks away. What was it for you when you are, tell us about when you had your apifany to start doing that?
And what was like before and after
CSM Chaplin: mine was twofold, actually. Mine was, I was in Germany in Augsburg Germany and, I had a second job at the, yeah, exactly. I had a second job at the movie theater and and I was just blowing money and I had a guy and this was back in 1996. I had a guy by the name of my master Sergeant Earl drumming.
Who snatched me up and I'll never forget it because at that point, absolutely. And he was like, Hey man, what are you doing? He's I always see you out here blowing money, wasted money, this and that. He was like, I'm coming to see you on Monday. So I was like, okay, and Monday he came to see me.
He sat me down. He came to my office, I was a supply Sergeant having my office, he was like, Hey, this is what you need to do. You need to put some money up, you need to start a mutual fund or money market account. You need to save some money, this and that. And then maybe about a year later, my daughter was born.
So that was really the turning point for me to make me understand. I can't go and blow all this money that I used to now, I now have a child to take care of, and so that money that I would waste, and now when on diapers, clothes, strollers, and things of that nature.
So those were my two turning points. And and then, and as you mentioned, the shiny object, I think if we. Can show, we can sit soldiers down and show them, Hey, this is how your money can grow. With the rule of 72 compound, nurtures it, let it grow. If you stay in the army four years, 10 years, 20 years, this is how it will grow.
And like I say, the army has the blended retirement plan, that's, that was recently on. Initiated maybe about two years ago, two, three years ago. 2018, I believe. Yeah. Yeah, I think so. But however, not everyone took advantage of it. We put education out there, we educated the soldier left and right up and down on it and it was validated at every level.
And but a lot of soldiers didn't want to do it because they didn't fully understand it or could see, they're in-state yeah. They couldn't fully see their in-state. And me as a SAR major or me having the experience that I have, I try and explain to soldiers, Hey, what are you doing with your financial, investments, but some people don't take it the same way.
Some people feel that you're invading their privacy, when you're having those conversations with them. So you have to tread lightly, you can have an as a general conversation and hopefully someone bite on it and say, Hey, what was that thing you were talking about, about investments, we just have to be crafty on how we message it and, with the intent to not offend anyone, because everyone's financial situation is different.
We have people in the military that are taking care of their family back at home, and so the number of variables that goes along with the army paycheck, is limitless, but, To get to that financial freedom. You just have to find what works for you, or even listen, or even, take some advice, from others or look to see what some others may have secured, say, Hey, I want that.
It was just like rank, everyone says, Hey, I want to be a commander or I wouldn't be a command SAR major. You have to put that work in, that intellectual rigor to get to that point. You don't just wake up and say, Hey. I'm the Sergeant major the next day, or, I'm a general, the next day, it comes with time.
It comes with investments that come with education. There's a lot of Gates that you have to go through to get to that point.
Scott Tucker: Yeah. It's Hey, we know what the pay scale is. We know how it works. It shouldn't be a surprise. Exactly. Why do we act all Oh, we're broke.
I've had some, I've seen some, save more money than, Oh, sixes. I agree. I
CSM Chaplin: mean, there's
Scott Tucker: there's definitely, no excuses, what I write about my book and what I'm trying to make, the shiny object is having folks understand, Hey, this modern economy we're in and one way or the other, you're getting out of the military at some point.
And so whatever benefits you may or may not get, if we're saving money for that opportunity, when we leave the military, now, all of a sudden. You can go create your shiny object. If you one, you don't have to just go take another job and translate the skills. That's, I appreciate your insight on, motivated folks to save money.
I just wanted to add a little bit more there. Hey it's because that opportunity comes the day you leave the military. If you save it enough, you might not have to get another job. May not have to. I talked to a lot or, you can talk on this a little bit. Before we sign off here, but, I talked to a lot of senior NCO is, as an officer, but I understand, career and CEO's, they tell me, you know what, we're just exhausted.
And I don't know if you feel that way or if, folks that do and, if they could imagine, but they have to go get a job. Yeah. And it's imagine if. You didn't need to do that. And it's clearly possible because there are people who do that
CSM Chaplin: possible. I'll tell you, Scott, it's a few things.
One is said overcoming the fear of investment, to where you start, you have to live within your means. You gotta learn the difference between want and need. That's one of the big things you gotta learn. The difference between that, we have responsibilities, ourselves, we have to sit down and say, okay, This is how much I have, this is my budget.
We must establish a budget. And if you blow that budget at that time, you have to have the intestinal fortitude to say, okay, I'm going to sit down. I'm not going out to the movies this week. I've blown my budget for this period. And another thing, before we sign off, we have to stay away from the multiple credit cards that kills us, and in this day and age online shopping is just a click away.
It's just a quick Amazon, Walmart, you name it and you can have it in three days, two days or a day with Amazon prime, depending on where you add it. There is a a distribution center close to, yeah.
Scott Tucker: Not to mention all the military discounts. It's what's the point of the discount.
If you didn't need the thing. Cause then you're just spending, you're still spending more money. That's unfortunately, A lot of the psychology of really understanding what persuasion and marketing is, the better you learn those skills, the better you can promote yourself, but the better you can see what's happening.
CSM Chaplin: Absolutely. You look at it, you say. Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. I just got five boxes from Amazon. I just helped makes him their richest man again, and so it just, it depends on that psyche or how you look at things and how you assess things and your capabilities, I think if you make your money truly work for you in your 20 years of serving, if you choose to serve 20 years, you can come out.
And financial freedom, not having to work and and enjoy life
Scott Tucker: that, and I think in this day and age, the more veterans that are not, coming out of the military, feeling like they're in a position where they have to work to live, that if they could be in a position. To live, to work or live, to do whatever they want.
Yeah. Then we have more veterans that aren't, in a job that they don't like we're, they can't continue to be a leader in the same way. Cause I think right now America needs more of us out of the cubicles. And to, I'm not saying everybody's got to start a nonprofit or get into politics of course that, but it's just if some way.
You, you weren't forced to be like, ah I got to go listen to the man from nine to five from Monday to Friday, it's hard to get up on Saturday and Sunday and, go do that. I know so many do, but I understand that's a void. I think we can fill as well. If folks really want to continue to be of service after their military career, then you know, there's a financial component to that.
It's just not Hey, I'm going to go volunteer all my time. We only have so
CSM Chaplin: time. Absolutely. Absolutely. But, and I think it's one of those things, everyone, and that's what I've learned. Everyone's situation is different. Their family is different. Their lives are different, in a lot of times that dictate what they spend or what they can or cannot say.
It's one of those things that. The possibility is there, you just have to manage it internally, what fits your family, so that's really one of the biggest takeaways from
Scott Tucker: this. Cool. Let's close it out with this. I got one last question because I'm excited for you after 31 years, what's next for Sergeant major chaplain.
If I had you on the show a few years from now mean, I definitely want to have you back on after we find out what you've been up to, but What do you know if we were having this conversation three years from now? And we're looking back to this first first interview, what do you feel would have to happen for you personally or professionally for you to feel good about your transition into post-military life?
CSM Chaplin: I feel good, even at this point it's a blessing. It's a privilege to serve, you serve the soldiers you serve your community you serve your country. So that's a privilege. Number one probably three years from now. If, and when we do this video, I'll probably be sitting on a boat somewhere.
I'll probably be sitting on a boat fishing, probably be that guy volunteering. Benefiting some of the lessons that I've learned along the way to allow me to get to that
Scott Tucker: point. Awesome. Thank you again so much for joining us and sharing your wisdom. Can't wait to help you network with you on social medias and so on, but Hey for everybody out there listening, Hey, take the Sergeant major's words.
So heart, no matter where you're at career, when it comes to things like finances, when's the best time to plant a tree 20 years ago. When's the next best time right now. I, there, there's all sorts of risks out there and finances, how the stock market's going to do, how tax is going to do, none of it matters if you're not doing anything.
With, preparing for your future, whatever that might be. And in this day and age, that's, things are changing so quickly. We want to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities, avoid risks and so on. So that's what our messages at Veteran Wealth Secrets couldn't have been a more perfect topic and insight for the show Sergeant major.
Thanks again. And for everybody else, we will see next time.
CSM Chaplin: Take care of Scott. Appreciate the opportunity. Yeah, you bet. All right.