First Command News & Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 31, 2013

Servicemembers And Civilians Report Improving Economic Outlook, First Command Reports

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Overall concern about the state of the economy is trending downward among both military and general population households, according to the latest survey results from the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.

The Index reveals that 49 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) and 48 percent of general population families list the state of the economy as one of the financial issues concerning them the most — a record low for both groups.

“These results represent the lowest level of economic concern we have seen since launching the Index in early 2008 at the beginning of the global economic downturn,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “So far this year we have seen an 11-point drop among servicemembers and their families and a 13-point drop for the general population. While these results do indicate that concerns continue for roughly half of consumers, the downward trend line is a promising development that reveals an improving economic outlook in the American Middle Class.”

Concerns are even lower for several related financial issues, including:

  • Real estate (30 percent for military families and 25 percent for general population families)
  • The stock market (24 percent for military and 23 percent for general population)
  • Unemployment (20 percent for military and 24 percent for general population)

Corresponding to diminishing concerns about the state of the economy, both military and general population households are expressing increased confidence in their financial futures. The Index reveals that 46 percent of military families and 34 percent of general population families say they are extremely or very confident that their financial situation will improve in the next year. And 40 percent of military families and 34 percent of general population families say they are extremely or very confident in their ability to retire comfortably.

“These survey results represent record highs for both population groups,” Spiker said. “At the same time we see an improving economic outlook, though, many survey respondents are worried about sequestration. Federal budget cuts are a particularly important issue in the military population. Half of families report feeling anxious about sequestration, and they have responded by cutting back on everyday spending. With the lessons of the economic downturn still fresh, our men and women in uniform are preparing for more fiscal uncertainty and getting their family finances squared away. ”

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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