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Military families focusing on fiscal health in 2022

January 25, 2022

FORT WORTH, Texas – America’s career military are moving into 2022 with strong feelings of financial confidence and a continued commitment to improving their fiscal health.

The latest results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that roughly three out of five 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) say their financial situation has improved over the past year. And 66 percent say they are extremely or very confident that the upward trend will continue over the next year.

Military families are planning to take concrete actions to keep their finances moving ahead in 2022. Top frugal activities or aspirations identified by survey respondents include:                                                                             

  • Being financially independent (29 percent)    
  • Starting to save for retirement or put more money into retirement savings (26 percent)
  • Cutting back on excessive spending (26 percent)
  • Improving their credit score (22 percent)
  • Getting out of debt (22 percent)
  • Making sound investments in the stock market (20 percent)
  • Learning to budget responsibly (20 percent)

Many families will also be assessing their insurance needs in the new year. Roughly one in five plan to make sure they have adequate long-term care insurance coverage. Respondents also will be looking at their:

  • Health insurance (19 percent)
  • Life insurance (17 percent)
  • Disability income insurance (14 percent)
  • Property and casualty insurance (14 percent)

Feelings of financial confidence continue to be challenged by the COVID outbreak. The Index reveals that 64 percent of military families say they have been financially affected by the impacts of the pandemic. Forty-seven percent of military spouses say they have lost employment or income because of the virus.

Notably, financial advisors are helping many families counteract feelings of uncertainty about the future. According to the Index, 82 percent of active-duty families who have a financial advisor feel confident their financial situation will improve in the next year. That compares to just 39 percent who do not have an advisor.

“Working with a financial coach is a great way to make and keep meaningful financial resolutions,” said First Command President/CEO Mark Steffe. “This year we look for a growing number of military families to put their trust in knowledgeable financial professionals as they seek new ways to pursue financial security.”

About the 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. For more details on our research, please email

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 Brokerage Services, First Command Advisory Services, 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.

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