First Command News & Media


Servicemembers Outpacing Civilians In Monitoring Family Finances, First Command Reports

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Members of America’s career military are outpacing their civilian counterparts in monitoring their family finances – and many are doing so with the help of financial professionals.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that middle-class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-6 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 (70 percent versus 49 percent)
  • Make sure they stick to a defined budget (65 percent versus 40 percent)
  • Monitor personal stock investments (63 percent versus 33 percent)
  • Check mutual fund allocations (55 percent versus 26 percent)
  • Monitor taxes and tax changes (55 percent versus 16 percent)
  • Stay updated on the stock market (54 percent versus 30 percent)
  • Check interest rates on deposit accounts (54 percent versus 19 percent)
  • Check credit scores (52 percent versus 26 percent)
  • Check rates on existing loans (49 percent versus 17 percent)

Perhaps mostly notably, military families are also more likely than members of the general population to say that they are frequently meeting with a financial advisor (45 percent versus 7 percent). This 38-point spread highlights the positive role that a financial professional can play in helping to maintain financial diligence in uncertain times.

“At a time of widespread uncertainty about sequestration and defense downsizing, many military families are conscientiously tracking their finances,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Service, Inc. “Seventy percent of career servicemembers feel anxious about cuts to defense spending. That’s about twice the rate we see in the general population. Our men and women in uniform are responding to this heightened anxiety through a variety of proactive financial behaviors. By diligently monitoring their finances, they are preparing themselves for an uncertain future. The frequent reliance on financial advisors underscores the important role a professional can play in helping military families get their finances squared away.”

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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