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First Command Reports: Service members outshining civilians in tracking family finances

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that middle-class military families are closely monitoring key aspects of their household finances

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Members of America’s career military are outshining the general population in tracking their family finances, with financial advisors playing a key role in their commitment.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that middle-class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are significantly more likely than members of the general population to say they are checking a variety of aspects of their household finances extremely or very often. They are more likely to:

  • Monitor pay stubs (67 percent versus 53 percent)
  • Make sure they stick to a defined budget (51 percent versus 37 percent)
  • Check credit scores (50 percent versus 31 percent)
  • Monitor personal stock investments (48 percent versus 32 percent)
  • Check mutual fund allocations (47 percent versus 25 percent)
  • Monitor taxes and tax changes (45 percent versus 22 percent)
  • Stay updated on the stock market (43 percent versus 28 percent)
  • Check interest rates on their deposit accounts (42 percent versus 21 percent)
  • Check rates on existing loans (40 percent versus 19 percent)

Professional financial advice is playing an important role in helping military families monitor their finances. They are significantly more likely than members of the general population to say that they are frequently meeting with a financial advisor (32 percent versus 8 percent).

“Career military families are responding to continuing uncertainty about sequestration and defense downsizing in a variety of positive ways, including conscientiously tracking their finances,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “The frequent reliance on financial advisors underscores the important role a professional can play in helping military families make the most of their government incomes and benefits in their continuing pursuit of financial security.”

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.


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