First Command News & Media


Financial Literacy Slipping in Career Military Families, First Command Reports

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that middle-class military families appear less financially knowledgeable than their civilian counterparts

FORT WORTH, Texas — More than half of America’s career military families were unable to pass a recently-administered financial literacy test, underscoring the importance of new calls for improved financial training for servicemembers.

Results of the fourth annual financial literacy test and survey jointly commissioned by First Command Financial Services, Inc., and First Command Educational Foundation reveal that middle-class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) earned an average grade of 69. It’s the first failing score recorded for military families since the testing program was launched in 2012. More than half (55 percent) of military test takers failed to correctly answer at least seven of the nine questions on the test.

Members of general population families with similar household incomes performed slightly better, eking out a passing score with an average grade of 71. Forty-five percent of civilian test takers failed to correctly answer at least seven of the questions.


Servicemembers Support Ending Sequestration, First Command ReportsMarch 27, 2015

First Command Will Cover Coast Guard Pay In Event of Government Funding CrisisFeb. 27, 2015

Cuts To Military Pay And Benefits Threaten Family Finances, First Command ReportsFeb. 27, 2015

Military Families Fear End Of Low-Cost Healthcare, First Command ReportsFeb. 18, 2015

Career Military Families Resolve To Live Frugally In 2015, First Command ReportsFeb. 18, 2015

Proposed Changes To Retirement Pay Gaining Support In Career Military, First Command ReportJan. 30, 2015

Financial Confidence Edging Up In Military Families, First Command ReportsJan. 22, 2015

First Command Is A Proud Sponsor Of The 12th Annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces BowlDecember 23, 2014

First Command Reports On The Power of Financial CoachingDecember 22, 2014

First Command Offers Five Holiday Budgeting Tips For Military FamiliesDecember 19, 2014

Military Families Cutting Back on Holiday Gift Spending, First Command ReportsDecember 19, 2014

Credit Woes Intensify For America’s Career Military, First Command ReportsDecember 18, 2014

Career Servicemembers Believe Congress Will Void Sequestration, First Command ReportsDecember 18, 2014

Financially-Stressed Military Families Striving To Maintain Quality of Life, First Command ReportsDec. 8, 2014

Military Families Predict Congress Will Avoid Government Shutdown, First Command ReportsDecember 4, 2014

Sequestration Driving Servicemembers to Save More and Spend Less, First Command ReportsNovember 20, 2014

Career Military Shifts Holiday Shopping To Black Friday, First Command ReportsNovember 20, 2014

Financial Concerns Prompt Military Families To Trim Thanksgiving Plans, First Command ReportsNovember 18, 2014

First Command Ranked Among Nation’s Top Military Friendly Employers, First Command ReportsNovember 11, 2014

Defense Budget Cuts Influencing Military Voters in Midterm Elections, First Command ReportsOctober 31, 2014

Military Families Taxed By High Cost of Elderly Care, First Command ReportsOctober 27, 2014

Demand for Permanent Life Insurance Growing in Career Military Families, First Command ReportsOctober 23, 2014

First Command is a Proud Sponsor of the 39th Marine Corps MarathonOctober 21, 2014

Servicemembers Saving More In Face Of Sequestration Concerns, First Command ReportsOctober 20, 2014

Career Concerns Surging in Military Families, First Command ReportsOctober 9, 2014

First Command Reports On Early Federal Retirement OptionsSeptember 4, 2014

Military Families Spending More on Back-to-School Shopping, First Command ReportsSeptember 2, 2014

Sequestration And Economic Worries Prod Servicemembers To Rein In Summer Vacations, First Command ReportsAugust 27, 2014

Financial Worries Taking Psychological Toll On Servicemembers, First Command ReportsAugust 1, 2014

Servicemembers Bumping Up Their Savings Behaviors, First Command ReportsJuly 31, 2014

First Command Joins Philanthropic Leaders in Support of Veterans and Military Families for Independence DayJuly 1, 2014

Servicemembers Focus On Financial Diligence, First Command ReportsJune 26, 2014

Civilians Side With Servicemembers In Opposing Cuts To Military Retirement System, First Command ReportsJune 24, 2014

First Command Reports Shift In Financial Attitudes Between America’s Career Military And CiviliansJune 3, 2014

Job Security Concerns Intensify In Career Military, First Command ReportsJune 2, 2014

Servicemembers Using Tax Refunds To Fortify Family Finances, First Command ReportsMay 19, 2014

Servicemembers Outpacing Civilians In Adoption Of Online Money Tools And Apps, First Command ReportsMay 16, 2014

Proposed Commissary Cuts Worry Middle-Class Military Families, First Command ReportsMay 14, 2014

Career Military Anxious Over Proposed Compensation Cuts, First Command ReportsMay 9, 2014

First Command Joins Philanthropic Leaders to Pledge Millions to Support Veterans and Military FamiliesApril 30, 2014

Sequestration Becoming The New Recession in Career Military, First Command ReportsApril 15, 2014

Servicemembers Stick With Frugal Ways As Other Americans Warm Up To Spending, First Command ReportsApril 9, 2014

Financial Literacy Lifting Confidence in Military Families, First Command ReportsApril 3, 2014

First Command Offers Tips On Money Conversations For CouplesMarch 5, 2014

Career Military Concerned About Job Security, First Command ReportsFebruary 27, 2014

First Command Identifies Top Financial Strategies Of Servicemembers For Military Saves WeekFebruary 27, 2014

Frugal Military Families Cutting Back On Valentine’s Day Spending, First Command ReportsFebruary 12, 2014

Financial Advisors Bump Up Savings Behaviors Of Military Families, First Command ReportsFebruary 10, 2014

Military Families Concerned About Budget Cuts To Retirement Benefits, First Command ReportsFebruary 6, 2014

Servicemembers Expect Health Care Costs To Rise Under Affordable Care Act, First Command ReportsFebruary 5, 2014

Servicemembers Recommit To Frugal Living For 2014, First Command ReportsFebruary 4, 2014

First Command Is A Proud Partner Of The 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces BowlDecember 20, 2013

Nation’s Budget Battles Slow Holiday Spending In Military Families, First Command ReportsDecember 19, 2013

First Command Offers Frugal Holiday Shopping Tips From Military FamiliesDecember 18, 2013

First Command Ranked Among Nation’s Top Employers Of Military Vets And SpousesDecember 12, 2013

Servicemembers Ratchet Up Savings Rate In Face Of Uncertain Financial Future, First Command ReportsDecember 5, 2013

Military Families Expect Another Government Shutdown in January, First Command ReportsNovember 20, 2013

Military Families Planning for Leaner Thanksgiving, First Command ReportsNovember 7, 2013

Military Families Feel Nation’s Budget Strain, First Command ReportsNovember 6, 2013

Federal Employees Bracing for Second Round of Sequestration, First Command ReportsNovember 1, 2013

First Command Sponsors Marine Corps MarathonOctober 16, 2013

Military Families Respond to Economic Concerns Through Frugal Living, First Command ReportsOctober 14, 2013

Government Employee Furloughs Negatively Impacting Lives Of Military Families, First Command ReportsOctober 10, 2013

Servicemembers Doubt Congress Will Act In Time To Avoid Government Shutdown, First Command ReportsSeptember 26, 2013

Military Families Express Heightened Concerns Over Healthcare Costs, First Command ReportsSeptember 17, 2013

First Command Offers Financial Help In Event Of Government ShutdownSeptember 16, 2013

Middle Class Americans Grow Increasingly Likely To Buy Permanent Life Insurance, First Command ReportsSeptember 11, 2013

Sequestration Fears Prompt Servicemembers To Pump Up Family Finances, First Command ReportsSeptember 10, 2013

Military Families Holding The Line On Back-To-School Spending, First Command ReportsAugust 16, 2013

Financial Worries Prompt ServicemembersTo Rein In Summer Vacations, First Command ReportsAugust 15, 2013

Retirement Worries Growing In Military Families, First Command ReportsAugust 1, 2013

Sequestration Concerns Ease In Military Families, First Command ReportsJuly 31, 2013

Servicemembers And Civilians Report Improving Economic Outlook, First Command ReportsJuly 31, 2013

Servicemembers Struggling To Save In Face Of Defense Downsizing, First Command ReportsJune 26, 2013

Military Families Intensifying Financial Preparations For Sequestration, First Command ReportsJune 25, 2013

First Command Offers Financial Help For Furloughed Defense WorkersJune 24, 2013

First Command Offers Banking Support To Clients Impacted By Colorado Forest FiresJune 20, 2013

Financial Planners Inoculate Military Families Against Anxiety And Stress, First Command ReportsJune 20, 2013

First Command Offers Five Belt-Tightening Tips For Military FamiliesMay 31, 2013

Servicemembers Rank Honesty And Trust As Top Assets For A Financial Planner, First Command ReportsMay 30, 2013

Relationships And Reputation Fuel Financial Planner Hires By Servicemembers, First Command ReportsMay 29, 2013

Servicemembers Tightening Family Budgets In Face Of Military Budget Cuts, First Command Reports May 23, 2013

Military Families Confident In Their Own Financial Planners, First Command Reports May 21, 2013

Military Families Deploying Tax Refunds To Cut Debt And Grow Savings, First Command Reports April 30, 2013

Financial Literacy Boosts Confidence in Military Families, First Command ReportsApril 25, 2013

Middle-class Americans Agree Servicemembers Paid Less Than Civilians, First Command ReportsMarch 7, 2013

First Command Announces Initiative to Tackle Critical Issues Facing ServicemembersFebruary 26, 2013

Threat Of Commissary Closures Worries Budget-Challenged Servicemembers, First Command ReportsFebruary 11, 2013

Sequestration Delay Leaves Military Families Bracing For Financial Blow, First Command ReportsJanuary 21, 2013

First Command Offers Top 10 Financial Resolutions For Military Families in 2013January 2, 2013

Sequestration And Fiscal Cliff Fears Drive Belt Tightening In Military Families, First Command ReportsDecember 24, 2012

First Command Is A Proud Partner Of The 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces BowlDecember 20, 2012

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First Command in the Media

Military Still Worried About Sequestration, Confident About Repeal
Think Advisor — March 17, 2015

Today's troops reject REDUX retirement option
Military Times — March 1, 2015

Financial Literacy Falling Among Military Families — March 2, 2015

Exiting service members need to have a plan before returning to civilian life
Dallas Morning News — Feb. 13, 2015

Skepticism for New Military Retirement Proposal — Feb. 12, 2015

Panel's retirement claims draw skepticism
Military Times — Feb. 7, 2015

10 things the military won’t tell you
Market Watch — Dec 15, 2014

Military pension reforms considered — Dec. 11, 2014

More Troops Would Prefer Lump-Sum Retirement Checks — Dec 10, 2014

Military Retirement Plan Changes Gains Support
Financial Advisor Magazine — Dec. 9, 2014

Military credit woes cause for concern
Pensacola News Journal — Nov. 29, 2014

The Top 100 Military Friendly Employers
Forbes — Nov. 11, 2014

Protecting the Finances of Military Families
CNBC — Nov. 11, 2014

Hiring fairs boost vets' success in finding new careers
Myguidon — Oct 30, 2014

One-Third Of Military Families Are Providing Elder Care, Survey Finds
Financial Advisor Magazine — Oct. 6, 2014

Financial education is best defense for military members
San Diego Daily Transcript — October 3, 2014

Robo Advisers Can't Coach
Wall Street Journal — September 28, 2014

Military families anxious over job security, budget cuts
Fierce Government — Aug. 28, 2014

Military Families Are More Worried Than Ever About the Effects of Budget Cuts
Government Executive — Aug. 27, 2014

A good step to help veterans
Omaha World-Herald — August 13, 2014

Defense cuts spur soldiers to boost retirement savings
LifeHealthPro — August 5, 2014

Active Duty
Financial Advisor Magazine — August 2014

Servicemembers Practice Financial Diligence
Insurance News Net — July 7, 2014

Middle-Class Servicemembers Increase Retirement, Short-Term Saving
ThinkAdvisor — July 3, 2014

Military Families Increase Savings
Financial Advisor Magazine — July 3, 2014

The Rough Financial Road for Military Personnel
The Fiscal Times — July 3, 2014

Military families' hidden risk: Finances
CNBC — July 3, 2014

Financial Anxiety Of Military Increases
Financial Advisor Magazine — June 25, 2014

Boomers redefine retirement
Montgomery Advertiser — June 8, 2014

Financial uncertainty expected to impact military families’ summer travel
San Antonio Business Journal — May 22, 2014

Military personnel worried about their jobs
Deseret Journal — May 21, 2014

Civilians Oppose Military Pension Cuts
Financial Advisor Magazine — May 19, 2014

Don't overlook Uncle Sam's workers
LifeHealthPro — May 12, 2014

Philanthropic Leaders Pledge $170 Million to Support Veterans and Military Families
MarketWatch — April 30, 2014

Military families worry about possible commissary closures
Government Executive — April 3, 2014

No longer needed? Troops survive combat, then lose their jobs
Stars & Stripes — March 5, 2014

Budget anxiety spurs saving, survey shows
Military Times — Feb. 28, 2014

Soldiers survive combat, then lose their jobs
USA Today — Feb. 25, 2014

America Saves encourages move to financial stability
The Daily Transcript (San Diego) — Feb. 18, 2014

Brig. Gen Halstead: Accountability, leadership needed to handle military challenges
Las Vegas Review-Journal — Jan. 19, 2014

Military cuts retiree COLAs — Jan. 17, 2014

Budget Cuts Worry Military Families
Financial Advisor Magazine — Jan. 15, 2014

Military Families Resolve to Save More in 2014 — Jan. 8, 2014

For military families, Santa is still coming to town
Pensacola News Journal — Dec. 14, 2013

Consumer Watch: Debt-free holiday is a gift
Military Times — Dec. 12, 2013

Military Families Cut Gift Spending In Half, Survey Says
Financial Advisor Magazine — Dec. 10, 2013

Military families expect to spend less this Christmas
San Antonio Business Journal — Nov 19, 2013

'We take care of each other': Military families already prepping for another government shutdown — Nov. 18, 2013

Military families say they will curtail Thanksgiving
USA Today — Oct. 30, 2013

Annapolis financial planners urge calm as Congress approaches default — Oct. 16, 2013

Shutdown Survival
Financial Advisor Magazine — Oct. 14, 2013

Feds expect sequester to return in 2014
Federal Times — Oct. 13, 2013

A Financial ‘Wake Up Call’ for Federal Workers — Oct. 3, 2013

Federal Workers Seek Help Tightening Belts
Wall Street Journal — Sept. 30, 2013

How to prepare for a federal government shutdown
CNBC — Sept. 23, 2013

Air Force personnel fear what coming cuts will bring
Las Vegas Review-Journal — Sept. 22, 2013

Military Community Feels the Effects of Furloughs, Too
Government Executive — Sept. 18, 2013

Military families pinched by furloughs, sequester
San Diego Union-Tribune — Sept. 16, 2013

Armed Forces Bowl extends agreement with presenting sponsor for 2013 contest
Fort Worth Star-Telegram — Aug. 19, 2013

Military families top public in coverage — Aug. 14, 2013

Military Families Save More As Budget Cuts Loom
Financial Advisor Magazine — Aug. 13, 2013

Hawaii staycations can be a bright spot for federal workers affected by sequester
Pacific Business News - Aug 5, 2013

Survey: Military members feeling better about finances
San Diego Source — Aug 2, 2013

Military families optimistic about economy; for now
USA Today — July 1, 2013

Survey of Military Members Shows Retirement Anxiety
Credit Union Times — June 24, 2013

Civilian And Military Growing More Confident About Economy, Study Says
Financial Advisor Magazine — June 21, 2013

Military families with planning enjoy better health
Financial Advisor Magazine — June 6, 2013

Adviser Navigates Finances With Survivors of Fallen
Wall Street Journal — May 24, 2013

Facing Cuts, Defense Workers Seek Financial Advice
Wall Street Journal — May 7, 2013

Financial Advisor Reaches Female Clients With Two Messages
Financial Advisor Magazine — April 30, 2013

Servicemembers Tightening Family Budgets In Face Of Military Budget Cuts
Camp Pendleton Patch — April 24, 2013

Military families adjust budgets
Pensacola News Journal — April 20, 2013

Advisors See More Military Families Due To Sequestration
Financial Advisor Magazine — March 27, 2013

Sequester Strikes Military Families as Pentagon Makes Budget Cuts — March 26, 2013

Get ‘Squared Away’
The Northwest Airlifter, Lakewood, Wash — March 21, 2013

Hiring Our Heroes
NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. — February 26, 2013

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