News Column

Servicemembers Focus On Financial Diligence, First Command Reports

June 26, 2014

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

FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 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 the 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.

    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.

    First Command Financial Services, Inc., is the parent of First Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPC, FINRA), First Command Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Financial planning services and investment products, including securities, are offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc.Insurance products and services are offered by First Command Insurance Services, Inc., in all states except Montana, where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by First Command Financial Services, Inc. (a separate Montana domestic corporation). Banking products and services are offered by First Command Bank. In certain states, as required by law, First Command Insurance Services, Inc. does business as a separate domestic corporation. Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met. First Command Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. It is not affiliated with First Command Financial Services, Inc., or any of its affiliated entities.

    First Command

    Mark Leach, 817-569-2419

    Media Relations

    Source: First Command Financial Services

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