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Military families losing confidence in Congress

July 26th, 2017

FORT WORTH, Texas – Career military families are losing confidence that Congress will succeed in voiding sequestration and avoiding a government shutdown in the fall.

The June results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that 58 percent of middle–class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E–5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) believe Congress will void sequestration before the full return to these automatic budget cuts in 2018. That's down 10 points from the previous month. 

Military families are also losing faith that lawmakers will be able to dodge a government shutdown when the budget year ends Sept. 30. The Index reveals that 47 percent of military respondents are extremely or very confident that Congress will be able to take appropriate action to avoid a shutdown. That's down 12 points from the previous month.

Despite the declines, military families are still feeling significantly more optimistic about lawmakers than their civilian counterparts. Just 30 percent of general population respondents believe Congress will void sequestration and 20 percent are extremely or very confident that lawmakers will avoid a shutdown. 

“Sequestration and the risk of a government shutdown are clearly issues of great personal concern for our career military families,” said Scott Spiker, chairman/CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “In contrast to their civilian counterparts, these families understand that they are quite likely to feel the impact in their household finances. They are particularly concerned about the financial impact of a government shutdown. Anxiety levels are 71 percent for military families versus 48 percent for the general population. These are roughly the same anxiety levels we saw in April, when lawmakers passed the stopgap spending bill that is currently funding the government. Military families are preparing for the potential impact to their finances by increasing their savings, cutting back on spending and working with financial advisors. We expect these proactive financial behaviors to continue in the months ahead.”

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.

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 Financial Planning and First Command Bank, coach our Nation's military families in their pursuit of financial security. Since 1958, First Command Financial Advisors have been shaping positive financial behaviors through face–to–face coaching with hundreds of thousands of client families.

Contact: Mark Leach
Media Relations

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