The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that military
families are out-saving civilian households
FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Career military families are outpacing their civilian counterparts in
the conviction that they will enjoy a comfortable retirement, according
to the latest findings of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.
Fourth quarter 2018 results reveal that 66 percent of middle-class
military families (commissioned officers and NCOs in pay grades E-5 and
above with household incomes of at least $50,000) report feeling
extremely or very confident in their ability to retire comfortably.
That’s 27 points higher than in general population families of the same
Notably, this greater retirement confidence aligns with strong savings
behaviors. Military families who contribute to retirement and long-term
savings accounts report average monthly savings of $1,410. That compares
to just $858 in the general population.
Military families are feeling more optimistic in their near-term
finances, too. Seventy percent of service member families say they feel
extremely or very confident their financial situation will improve in
the next year. That compares to just 40 percent of the general
population. And they are saving more than the general population for
short-term goals ($571 per month versus $355).
“The act of savings is paying double dividends for our Nation’s career
military families,” said Scott Spiker, chairman/CEO of First Command
Financial Services, Inc. “Our research has long shown that putting money
into savings can improve financial attitudes. Military families who
focus on building their net worth today are growing their financial
optimism for tomorrow.”
Watch for military families to continue to out-save their civilian
counterparts in the months ahead. They plan to increase their monthly
contributions to savings and investments, which is reflected in the
sub-Index for financial intentions (149 for military families versus 99
for the general population).
The overall Index scores are 157 for military families and 112 for the
general population, which are statistically unchanged from the previous
quarter. The Index is set to a benchmark of 100, which was assigned when
the Index was launched in 2008.
Confidence levels are particularly strong in military families who work
with a financial advisor. They are more likely than do-it-yourselfers to
feel extremely or very confident that their financial situation will
improve in the next year (78 percent versus 47 percent) and in their
ability to retire comfortably (75 percent versus 37 percent).
This confidence is reflected in their financial behaviors. Military
families with a financial advisor are more likely to say they will
increase savings payments in the future than those without an advisor
(51 percent versus 31 percent). Similarly, they are more likely to have
long-term and retirement savings and contribute more each month than
those without financial advisors.
Military families with a financial advisor report average savings and
retirement holdings of $229,415, or about $71,000 more than those
without an advisor.
“Financial advisors specialize in building confidence, and they do it by
coaching their clients in the behaviors that lead to financial
security,” said First Command President and Chief Operating Officer Mark
Steffe. “We all know we should spend less and save more. But in our
daily living we sometimes forget what we know is really important to us
and our families for the long term. A financial coach will remind you
and help you stay on track. Coaching is where advisors bring the
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
About First Command
First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First
Command Financial Planning and First Command Bank, coach our Nation’s
military families in their pursuit of financial security. Since 1958,
First Command Financial Advisors have been shaping positive financial
behaviors through face-to-face coaching with hundreds of thousands of
First Command Financial Services, Inc., is the parent of First
Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPC,
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.