Scott Tucker believes that managing finances shouldn’t just be about retirement accounts. Instead, he thinks veterans should have a goal of independence.
“We have been following orders for 20 years, so I wanted to bring together a new way for veterans to think about wealth,” Tucker said.
He initially became interested in financial management when he left the Army in 2008 and sought a job that would let him remain in Europe. Financial advising seemed like a good fit for a veteran because “the independence of the financial industry was so different from military orders,” according to Tucker.
For years, Tucker followed the lead of several successful financial advisors and learned the industry. Although he reached a level of financial comfort, he was ultimately dissatisfied with the main message of the financial industry.
“We preached fear and save money, but the most successful people in the company were traveling across Europe and not setting the right example.”
When Tucker watched a client deny herself a dream trip that she could easily afford because it wouldn’t be financially prudent, he questioned the outdated messaging that existed.
“Why aren’t we teaching people how to take advantage of the modern economy and giving them the chance to step out from the typical employment/fixed income umbrella? If I’m going to be a true fiduciary, I’m going to work in the client’s best interest. If they are working toward independence, it is going to look different from the traditional government-based advice.”
After studying the industry for several years, Tucker determined the advice was always the same, and has not kept pace with modern opportunities.
“We need to stop investing like it’s the 1980’s. Everyone seemed to be promoting the same thing: buy the cheapest version of everything, do the stock market, save, and invest. The government treats us like babies. I want to teach you how to use and manage your own money,” he said.
For military veterans, the old-fashioned style of saving for retirement may no longer be the most practical. Veterans who retire after 20 years of service have a pension, health insurance, and other benefits. Instead of this being a scary transition, Tucker believes it can be an enlightening one that brings independence and satisfaction. He wrote the book “Veteran Wealth Secrets” to help fellow veterans learn about additional opportunities and more modern investment strategies.
“The book is structured to take someone on a journey and remind them they can author their own story. I call the character the “unrewarded veteran.” You serve, get out, get benefits, get a job, and a few years later things are still really hard and you hoped there would be more. People want to get to a point where they are autonomous and not following orders,” he said.
Tucker explained veterans can become autonomous with the following:
1) Know your identity.
2) Pursue self-development (tech skills, not a college degree) that can give you networking results.
3) Financial control: Align your money to an identity and a purpose.
“If you control all three, you control your mental health,” he added.
Autonomy and independence are important to Tucker because he believes they are at the core of what veterans seek after military service. He founded USVetWealth to help veterans take control of their own wealth.
“If you like to serve, you can’t be in the military forever, and you will be disappointed when you get into some future job and feel like you are no longer serving.”
He has been in that unfulfilling mindset before, and he wants to let veterans know there are more options out there so they don’t feel locked in or trapped. Tucker doesn’t like to call himself a financial advisor. Instead, he wrote “Veteran Wealth Secrets” to inspire veterans who are seeking financial independence and looking for more options.