First Command Reports: Career Military Families Focus on Positive Financial Habits

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that four out of
five military families who work with a financial advisor contributed to
savings during the third quarter

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Career service member families who work with a financial advisor are
wrapping up 2016 with a heightened focus on saving more and spending
less than their do-it-yourself colleagues – and experiencing greater
feelings of financial confidence in the process.

The latest results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®
reveal that 81 percent of middle-class military families (commissioned
officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household
incomes of at least $50,000) who work with a financial advisor
contributed to some form of savings during the third quarter. That
compares to 66 percent of those who do not use an advisor.

Service members who work with a financial advisor were more likely to
contribute to:

  • Short-term savings (79 percent versus 58 percent for those without an
    advisor). Monthly median contributions for the two groups were $436
    and $200, respectively.
  • Long-term savings (70 percent versus 32 percent). Monthly median
    contributions for the two groups were $400 and $200.
  • Retirement (79 percent versus 60 percent). Monthly median
    contributions for the two groups were $500 and $300.

Those with a financial advisor reported $14,000 more in accumulated
savings and retirement funds than their do-it-yourself colleagues.

Regarding consumer spending, service members who work with a financial
advisor paid down short-term debt at about the same rate as those
without an advisor (76 percent). But they were more likely to pay down
long-term debt (72 percent versus 63 percent), and they carried nearly
$65,000 less in debt on average.

The savings and debt reduction efforts of military families who work
with a financial advisor helped push the overall Index score for the
third quarter to 137 – a year-to-date high. (The Index is set to a
benchmark of 100, which was assigned when the Index was launched in
2008.)

Look for the savings and debt reduction trend to continue in the months
ahead. The Index reveals that 43 percent of military families who work
with a financial advisor say they plan to increase their savings in the
future. Thirty percent expect to increase debt payments. In contrast,
roughly one in four of those who do not work with a financial advisor
say they intend to take these actions.

“Our research findings continue to reveal that career military families
are focused on building positive money habits, and this focus is
strongest among people who work with a financial advisor,” said Scott
Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “Perhaps most
notably, positive money habits help families feel better about their
finances. Roughly two thirds of families with an advisor feel extremely
or very confident that their financial situation will improve in the
next year and in their ability to retire comfortably. This high level of
confidence underscores the positive influence of financial advisors as
they coach service members to improve their money behaviors and prepare
for the future.”

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. http://www.firstcommand.com/fbi/

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 Advisory Services, 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 Advisory Services, Inc., 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. , a broker-dealer. Financial planning and investment
advisory services are offered by First Command Advisory Services, Inc.,
an investment adviser.
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 Financial Services,
Inc. and its related entities are not affiliated with, authorized to
sell or represent on behalf of or otherwise endorsed by any federal
employee benefits programs referenced, by the U.S. government, or the
U.S. armed forces.

Contacts

First Command Financial Services
Mark Leach, 817-569-2419
Media
Relations
msleach@firstcommand.com

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