First Command News & Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 21, 2013

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

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals feelings of trust and security growing over time

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FORT WORTH, Texas — At a time when defense downsizing is bringing new challenges to the lives of active-duty servicemembers, financial planners are continuing to earn the trust of their military clients.

Recent survey findings from the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that 83 percent of middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) who work with a financial planner say they trust their planner. This level of trust is roughly unchanged from a year ago, underscoring the value of the personalized service that financial planners are delivering in a challenging economic environment.

“The high degree of trust revealed in our survey results highlights the important service that financial planners are providing to servicemembers and their families as they seek to get their finances squared away in this time of uncertainty,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command. “The professional advice, knowledge and service delivered by financial planners is helping to generate feelings of confidence and security among military professionals as they deal with the issues of sequestration, a changing benefits picture and long-term career uncertainty.”

Notably, these feelings of confidence and security are growing over time. The Index reveals that 57 percent of servicemembers who've worked with a financial advisor for at least three years feel confident in their ability to retire comfortably. This compares to 47 percent who've worked with an advisor less than three years and 30 percent who have no advisor.

Servicemembers who trust their own personal financial planner attribute that feeling to a variety of issues. The top five factors cited by survey respondents include:

  1. Length of service
  2. Integrity
  3. Good communication
  4. Personal relationship
  5. Good service

The Index reveals 42 percent of middle-class military families have a financial planner, and more servicemembers expect to join them. Among those without a financial planner roughly one in five say they are likely to engage with one in 2013

“We anticipate that many servicemembers will turn to people they know for help in making this important decision,” Spiker said. “Our survey results reveal that half of military families who work with a financial planner based their hiring decision on relationships and reputation.”

About First Command Financial Behaviors Index®

Compiled by Sentient Decision Science, Inc., the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® assesses trends among the American public’s financial behaviors, attitudes and intentions through a monthly survey of approximately 530 U.S. consumers aged 25 to 70 with annual household incomes of at least $50,000. Results are reported quarterly. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. Financial Behaviors Index

About Sentient Decision Science, Inc.

Sentient Decision Science was commissioned by First Command to compile the Financial Behaviors Index®. SDS is a behavioral science and consumer psychology consulting firm with special vertical expertise within the financial services industry. SDS specializes in advanced research methods and statistical analysis of behavioral and attitudinal data.

About First Command

First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First Command Bank and First Command Financial Planning, assist American families in their efforts to build wealth, reduce debt and pursue their lifetime financial goals and dreams—focusing on consumer behavior as the first and most powerful determinant of results. Through knowledgeable advice and coaching of the financial behaviors conducive to success, First Command Financial Advisors have built trustworthy, lasting relationships with hundreds of thousands of client families since 1958.

First Command Financial Services, Inc., is the parent of First Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPC, FINRA), First Command Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Financial planning services and investment products, including securities, are offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc. Insurance products and services are offered by First Command Insurance Services, Inc. in all states except Montana, where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by First Command Financial Services, Inc. (a separate Montana domestic corporation). Banking products and services are offered by First Command Bank. In certain states, as required by law, First Command Insurance Services, Inc. does business as a separate domestic corporation. Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met.

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