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Servicemembers Focus On Financial Diligence, First Command Reports

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 — At a time of widespread anxiety over how sequestration and defense downsizing may impact their household finances, middle-class servicemembers and their families are showing a keen interest in monitoring their money.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 92 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) have identified one or more proactive financial behaviors that they engage in “extremely or very often.” The three most commonly-cited behaviors are monitoring their:

  • Credit card statements (77 percent)
  • Bank statements (76 percent)
  • Pay stubs (62 percent)

Members of the general population are similarly diligent about performing these three key behaviors; however, military families outperform their civilian counterparts in several other important but less common areas. They are more likely to frequently check:

  • Personal stock investments (41 percent of military respondents versus 30 percent of the general population)
  • Credit scores (28 percent versus 15 percent)
  • Interest rates on deposit accounts (24 percent versus 14 percent)
  • Rates on loan accounts (22 percent versus 11 percent)

“There has never been a more important time for military families to be diligently tracking their finances,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Service, Inc. “Military budget cuts, sequestration and defense downsizing are threatening to impact family finances. Our men and women in uniform are responding to these challenges by saving more and spending less. In the months to come it will be equally important for these families to diligently monitor their efforts so they are adequately prepared both economically and emotionally for an uncertain future. We expect financial advisors will be playing an increasingly important role in coaching these families in the positive financial behaviors that can help them work towards long-term 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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