First Command Reports: Career Service Members Socking Away More Dollars for the Future

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that military
families who work with a financial advisor are saving more than their
do-it-yourself peers

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The savings drive of America’s career military families remained strong
in the third quarter of 2015, with those who worked with a financial
advisor leading the way.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that roughly seven
out of ten middle-class military families (commissioned officers and
senior NCOs in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at
least $50,000) contributed to retirement and savings accounts during the
third quarter. These savings efforts continued a positive trend that had
emerged over recent quarters, and they helped service members and their
families feel more confident that their financial situation will improve
in the next year (62 percent, up eight points from a year ago) and
they’ll be able to retire comfortably (59 percent, up nine points).

Families who work with a financial advisor proved to be particularly
committed savers. The Index reveals that 78 percent of those with a
financial advisor put money into retirement accounts during the third
quarter. This compared to just 56 percent for those without an advisor.
Notably, service members with a financial advisor put significantly more
dollars into those retirement accounts. Monthly median contributions for
savers in the two groups were $500 and $400, respectively.

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

  • Short-term savings (79 percent versus 55 percent for those without an
    advisor). Monthly median contributions for the two groups were $500.
  • Long-term savings (73 percent versus 39 percent). Monthly median
    contributions for the two groups were $500 and $200, respectively.

Commitment to reducing debt was also stronger among those who worked
with an advisor. They were more likely to pay down:

  • Short-term debt (78 percent versus 70 percent).
  • Long-term debt (75 percent versus 59 percent).

Conversely, those without an advisor were feeling compelled to pay
greater amounts towards their debt. Monthly median contributions to
short- and long-term debt repayment were $1,100 for those with an
advisor and $1,950 for those without.

The strong savings and debt repayment efforts of those families who
worked with a financial advisor helped them feel more confident than
their do-it-yourself colleagues. They were more likely to believe their
financial situation will improve in the next year (65 percent versus 48
percent) and in their ability to retire comfortably (65 percent versus
35 percent).

Positive financial behaviors and intentions helped propel the overall
Index score ahead seven points to a record high of 158 for the third
quarter. The score for those with a financial advisor was 170. The score
for the do-it-yourself crowd was 113. The Index is set to a benchmark of
100, which was assigned when the Index was launched in 2008.

“The First Command Financial Behaviors Index continues to underscore the
critical role a knowledgeable financial professional can play in helping
service members improve their own money behaviors and feel more
optimistic about the future,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command
Financial Services, Inc. “Financial advisors are helping their career
military clients learn to cut debt and spending in order to save for
near- and long-term needs and pursue their own path to retirement
security. These families are taking the kinds of positive actions that
make consumers feel more confident in their own finances.”

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 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
www.firstcommand.com

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