First Command News & Media
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — July 31, 2014
Servicemembers Bumping Up Their Savings Behaviors, First Command Reports
The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that military families who work with a financial advisor are saving more and feeling better about their finances than their do-it-yourself counterparts
FORT WORTH, Texas — Worries over sequestration and defense downsizing continue to drive America’s career military to put dollars away for an uncertain financial future.
The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) bumped up their savings efforts during the first quarter. Short-term savings averaged $1,080 per month, up 18 percent from the end of 2013. Retirement and long-term savings grew 11 percent to a monthly average of $2,374.
Military families who work with a financial advisor helped to drive the savings surge, putting more than twice as much money into saving vehicles as those who don’t work with an advisor. Their average monthly rates totaled $1,723 for short-term savings and $3,951 for retirement and long-term savings. In contrast, the savings rates for those without an advisor averaged $709 and $1,467, respectively.
Corresponding to their higher savings efforts, military families who work with a financial advisor feel more financially secure. The Index reveals that 51 percent say they feel “very” or “extremely” secure compared to just 45 percent of their do-it-yourself counterparts. Also, those who work with an advisor are more confident in their ability to retire comfortably; 50 percent say they feel “very” or “extremely” confident versus 32 percent.
These and other positive financial attitudes helped ease the quarterly Index score ahead three points to 121. The Index is set to abenchmark of 100, which was assigned when the Index was launched in 2008.
“Although military families continue to encounter financial challenges and uncertainties, they remain proactive in the savings behaviors,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “The Index shows that those who work with financial advisors display fewer financial concerns and more feelings of financial security and confidence than those who go it alone. By coaching their clients to remain focused on positive money behaviors, financial advisors help our men and women in uniform deal with the financial and emotional uncertainties of sequestration and defense downsizing.”
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.