(This post was originally written in late 2021, and it’s updated for March 2022.)
Three Creeks Media bought The-Military-Guide website.
You can read the text of the press release at the end of this post.
Here’s more information behind the sale.
For the last few years, The-Military-Guide blog has been owned & operated by my friend Ryan Guina. We’ve known each other for over a decade, and he’s also run The Military Wallet for over 15 years. He understands how to curate a military personal-finance site.
We have a great working relationship:
- I contributed content to The-Military-Guide for free (and marketed books), while
- He kept all of the money that the site earns.
That neatly answered all the questions about who does what and how to share the revenue.
“Keeping all of the money” means that he plowed a large percentage of the revenue right back into the site. He spent months cleaning up the infrastructure and improving its hosting bandwidth, which has led to more readers (and book sales) as well as higher rankings in the search engines. The site is on a great trajectory, and it’s one of the Internet’s most authoritative collections of military personal finance information.
So he sold it.
I have no idea how much money changed hands, but we’ve discussed the concept a few times. It must be a truly life-changing sum. I doubt he’s buying yachts or personal jets, but he could certainly boost his financial independence lifestyle to cruises and first-class air travel.
It’s Ryan’s story to tell, although I’ll point out that he’s continuing his Air National Guard career because he finds it challenging and fulfilling. I doubt that he’ll start commuting to drill weekends in a limousine, let alone in a NetJets charter, but I’ll keep him apprised of the options…
Long-time readers of The Military Guide remember that I sold it to Curtez Riggs in 2013. Back then I’d run the blog for three years, and I realized that I’d rather write posts (and books) than muck around with themes and control panels. Curtez’s “price” for The Military Guide was a very large donation to Wounded Warrior Project, and he ran it for five years. Today he’s a military retiree and an entrepreneur on fire, and he was happy to sell the site to free up his time for more projects with other military vets.
During those years, I’ve donated all of my writing & speaking revenue to military charities like Fisher House Foundation and WWP. It’s over $30K (so far!), and I plan to continue this for the rest of my life. Three Creeks Media has made a very generous pair of donations to those charities as well.
What’s going to change around here?
Not much for now. Three Creeks Media has a widely-respected and highly-ranked cash-spewing machine on their hands, and they’re not going to screw that up. They have way more media & journalism experience than me, and I’m not going to hover over their shoulders offering helpful suggestions. You all know that I have way more than enough money for the rest of my life, and I’m happier writing for the site as an experienced volunteer… with links to my books.
During the next few month we’ll
figure out where I fit in, but they’ve already indicated that they don’t want to mess with our working relationship. Ryan and I are still running the sites with WordPress permissions as “editors” instead of “admins”, and that only means I won’t see the site’s statistics or… um… be able to glitch the control panel. I’m still running the blog’s comments and the “Contact Me” page finish reorganizing the sites and streamlining the content.
Ryan completed a site audit, and we’ve removed a few posts that have aged badly. (Mainly drawdown news from 2014 and questions about opting in to the Blended Retirement System.) He and TCM have consolidated most of the content from The-Military-Guide on to TheMilitaryWallet’s high-speed dedicated server, which will greatly improve its SEO and search rankings. Hundreds of my posts (with my byline) will live in perpetuity on the first page of results!
Another 250 posts from The-Military-Guide have been moved to this old free WordPress.com site. They’re mostly lifestyle and personal posts about our family finances, and I’ll keep them there for linking in conversations around the Internet. I’m happy to share personal finance advice with you, and I’ll be as transparent as I can about what we’re doing.
I’m diggin’ this 12-year-old Twenty Ten blog theme but we’ll update some of the other slugs and headers. You may have noticed that it’s been retitled to “Military Financial Independence”, because you should pursue FI regardless of when you plan to retire. You might not be interested in a military retirement, and the phrase “early retirement” has aged badly too. Financial independence gives you both of those choices.
I’ll take a look at upgrades like spending $50/year to remove WordPress’s ads, and another $50/year for better hosting. (I can certainly afford it!) I think most of this site’s traffic will come from search, but I’m happy to improve the reader experience for you regular visitors who prefer it to an RSS feed.
My social media won’t change. TCM and I are still running the Facebook page for The Military Guide.
I’m still operating The Military Guide’s Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts. (Well, yeah, sure, 99.5% of that is Twitter.) I’ll continue answering dozens of questions on military Facebook groups like ChooseFI US Military and Personal Finance For U.S. Military Service Members and Families. I’m still posting on Linkedin and I’m still answering every question (so far!) through NordsNords at Gmail.
More importantly, I’ll keep writing blog posts about military personal finance. I may update a few of the posts on TheMilitaryWallet (that’s up to Ryan and TCM) and I’ll add more posts here when I have something to say.
I’m also working on my third book, and I’ll test-drive its topics here. I’m not teasing anyone— you know that I’ll give away most of the book’s content right here on the site, and eventually I’ll publish it in the usual editions for public libraries. If you buy your own copy, it’ll generate even more revenue for military charities.
That’s the future. Right now, though, what I’m doing all day is spending quality time with family and our toddler granddaughter. That’s the real benefit (and legacy) of financial independence.
For Immediate Release: August 18, 2021
Three Creeks Media purchases The Military Wallet to help educate Veterans and take control of their financial futures.
Three Creeks Media, LLC purchased two of the most well-known military brands to continue building them into the most valuable and user-friendly online personal finance and benefits resources for current service members, Veterans, and their families.
“We purchased The Military Wallet and The Military Guide to build on their strong standing reputation by producing original content and the most up-to-date information available in the constantly-changing military benefits and personal finance world,” said Brittany Crocker, the sites’ managing editor.
“As a Veteran, I’ve experienced first-hand how hard navigating the financial landscape can be,” said Crocker. “My goal is for these sites to give tools to young service members so they can take control of their financial future immediately.”
Launched in 2020, Three Creeks Media, LLC educates consumers about mortgages, real estate, and personal finance through news, commentary, and related content. Kathleen ‘KK’ Howley, an award-winning journalist, serves as Three Creeks Media’s editor-in-chief.
The Military Wallet is a personal finance and benefits website for military members, Veterans, and their families. The goal of The Military Wallet is to help the military community better manage money and understand the programs and benefits available. Air Force Veteran Ryan Guina started the website in 2010 and has been featured in CNN, Money, Forbes, US News & World Report, and more.
Mr. Guina will continue to play an active role in The Military Wallet to help continue the mission of educating military members, Veterans, and their families.
“We are looking forward to building on the years of hard work already done on these sites to serve our fellow Veterans,” said Crocker. “This is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved and marks a new chapter in transparency, accessibility, and understanding for our millions of Veterans and their families.”
About Three Creeks Media, LLC Three Creeks Media is committed to educating consumers about mortgages, real estate, and personal finance. The company provides independent news, expert commentary, and content solutions to publishers in various verticals. Award-winning journalist Kathleen “KK” Howley oversees editorial operations for Three Creeks. Howley spent 15 years covering housing and mortgage markets for Bloomberg, where she won the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism for coverage of the financial crisis.