First Command News & Events


Financial Literacy Lifting Confidence in Military Families, First Command Reports

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FORT WORTH, Texas — At a time when many servicemembers are feeling anxious about sequestration and possible cuts to retirement and other benefits, financial knowledge is boosting their feelings of confidence and security.

Results of a financial literacy test and survey jointly commissioned by First Command Financial Services, Inc., and First Command Educational Foundation reveal that test takers in middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) who earn a perfect score on the nine-question quiz are more likely than those with low scores to feel:

  • Confident in their ability to retire comfortably (61 percent versus 42 percent of lower scorers)
  • Financially secure month to month (61 percent versus 39 percent)
  • Confident that their financial situation will improve in the next year (52 percent versus 44 percent)

“We see in the results of this concise test that financial knowledge can be a powerful rejoinder to the current anxiety and uncertainty that is afflicting our men and women in uniform and their families,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command. “Sequestration and defense downsizing are creating a host of new financial concerns, with four out of five military families expecting to be financially affected by anticipated cuts to defense spending. The boost in confidence and security that comes with greater financial literacy is a strong argument in favor of delivering meaningful financial education to America’s career military.”

Through its Squared Away® program, First Command Financial Services, Inc. supports financial literacy and education to the military through charitable gifts and hands-on assistance. The First Command Educational Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) charity, provides in-person and online financial literacy tools for servicemembers across the globe as well as increased scholarship opportunities for servicemembers and their families. Also, First Command Financial Services, Inc. supports financial literacy through Project Sanctuary, which provides therapeutic retreats enabling military families to reconnect and reintegrate into their communities. First Command Financial Services, Inc. serves as the organization’s exclusive financial planning partner, providing knowledgeable volunteers who deliver financial education workshops and individual family financial coaching at all retreats.

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 Educational Foundation

First Command Educational Foundation (FCEF) has been proudly supporting scholars and their families since 1983. FCEF is a 501(c)(3) public charity, and has worked tirelessly to promote their mission to educate those who serve. To that end, FCEF has awarded over $4 million in scholarship grants to help offset the costs of higher education, and has educated over 60 thousand individuals on numerous financial literacy topics.

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.


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