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Military Families Keeping Close Eye on Money

August 23, 2022

FORT WORTH, Texas – Career military families are outpacing the general population in watching over their finances.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that career military families (commissioned officers and NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are significantly more likely than their civilian counterparts to keep a close eye on their money. First Command’s ninth annual survey of proactive financial behaviors indicates that military families continue to focus on:

  • Monitoring taxes and tax changes. Sixty-nine percent of military respondents say they monitor their taxes and tax changes extremely or very often. That compares to 27% of the general population.
  • Checking rates on existing loans (68% versus 20%).
  • Checking interest rates on their deposit accounts (68% versus 22%).
  • Monitoring pay stubs (67% versus 46%).
  • Staying updated on the stock market (67% versus 32%).
  • Sticking to a defined budget (66% versus 44%).
  • Checking credit scores (65% versus 36%).
  • Monitoring personal stock investments (63% versus 35%).
  • Checking mutual fund allocations (62% versus 22%).

Professional financial advice is playing an important role in helping military families monitor their finances. Sixty-three percent say they are frequently meeting with a financial advisor. That’s the highest number in the history of the nine-year survey, and it compares to just 12% of the general population.

“These results underscore the goal-oriented, mission-driven approach to personal finance that we see in our Nation’s career military families,” said First Command President/CEO Mark Steffe. “Their focus on monitoring household finances and engaging in other positive financial behaviors is significantly stronger than what we see in the general population. The difference is particularly noteworthy in the area of professional financial advice. Career military families who work with a financial advisor consistently report higher monthly savings rates and more accumulated assets than those who go it alone. By working with knowledgeable and trusted financial advisors, they are developing sound money behaviors that help them take control of their money today and pursue lifelong 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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