First Command News & Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 20, 2013

Military Families Expect Another Government Shutdown in January, First Command Reports

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals eight out of 10 servicemembers doubt Congress will act before the Jan. 15 deadline

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FORT WORTH, Texas — The majority of servicemembers and their families doubt lawmakers will reach a budget deal in time to avoid another government shutdown in the new year, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.

The latest survey results reveal that 81 percent of middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are not confident that Congress will be able to take appropriate action to avoid another government shutdown in January. And 84 percent are not confident that lawmakers will avoid another round of sequester cuts during the 2014 fiscal year.

“While leaders of both parties have said we will not see a repeat of the October shutdown, our men and women in uniform are not convinced,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “They are nervous about a new year marked by additional disruptions to their financial lives due to government actions and inactions. Three out of four survey respondents report feeing some level of anxiety about the possibility of yet another shutdown of the federal government. We see this anxiety reflected in a variety of frugal behaviors, notably a tendency to spend less and save more.”

Meanwhile, the end of the government shutdown has brought some welcome emotional relief to stressed servicemembers. Survey data collected in late October reveal that:

  • 48 percent of military families are extremely or very confident that their financial situation will improve over the next year (up eight percentage points from September) ,
  • 44 percent feel extremely or very financially secure month to month (up seven points) and
  • 40 percent are confident in their ability to retire comfortably (up four points).

“We continue to see a positive connection between feelings of confidence and security and working with a financial planner,” Spiker said. “Military families who work with a planner report feeling more confident in their ability to retire comfortably, even during this current period of uncertainty over the federal budget. Financial planners coach their clients to spend less, save more and adopt other positive behaviors that are critical to achieving both near- and long-term goals in the pursuit of financial security and feeling more confident about the future.”

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.

About the Marine Corps Marathone

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) is the third largest marathon in the United States, eighth largest in the world and voted "Best Marathon in the Mid Atlantic" and "Best Marathon for Charities." The MCM honors the dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism of its participants. Also known as "The People's Marathon," runners from all walks of life participate in the MCM, which is the largest marathon not to offer prize money. The 38th MCM sponsored by Boeing, Brooks, First Command, GE and Nissan, will be held on October 27, 2013 in Arlington, VA. No federal or Marine Corps endorsement is implied.

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