First Command Reports: Military Families Feeling Upbeat About 2023 Economy

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At a time when many Americans are worried about a recession in 2023, active duty military families are feeling better about their financial future.

November’s First Command Financial Behaviors Index® survey results show that 73% of active duty military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in grades E-5 and above who have a household income of at least $50,000) report high self-esteem or have confidence in their finances. it will go well in the next year. This compares to only 33% of the general population.

In particular, confidence has risen among military families (up seven points from November 2021) and fallen among civilian families (down six points from November 2021).

Military families are more confident about their long-term finances, too. The index states that 75% feel very confident in their ability to breathe well. This compares to only 29% of the general population.

Military families have every reason to be confident about their finances. They are throwing more dollars into the future than the population of the US. This is especially true for military families who receive financial education from a professional counselor. In the third quarter, monthly contributions for savings and retirement accounts totaled $3,290 a month versus $1,395 for their non-adviser peers. For the population, monthly contributions were $1,360 for those with a counselor versus $1,136 for those going it alone.

This saving behavior is also reflected in the price. In the third quarter, military families who worked with an advisor reported that their long-term savings and retirement savings were $242,403, about $36,000 more than those without an advisor. The general population showed a similar trend.

“Compared to their civilian counterparts, military service families are more likely to weather the economic downturn of 2023,” said First Command President/CEO Mark Steffe. “Through strong savings and investments, these families are increasing their income. And those who work with financial advisors are optimistic. Eighty-one percent of people say they feel very confident or confident that their finances will improve in the coming year. This compares to only 66% of those who do not work with a counselor. Families who partner with a tutor save more and have more confidence in the future than those who go it alone. ”

Financial worries are greater in families that do not work with a financial advisor. The third annual Health Index report shows that more than half of military families without a counselor (59%) said the financial situation is very worrying. This compares to only 36% of those receiving financial education and guidance from a professional advisor. The index showed a similar difference between the two groups:

  • The cost of gas (54% of those without a counselor vs. 29% of those who work with a counselor).

  • The cost of everyday items (44% versus 32%).

  • Better breathing ability (33% versus 29%).

The general population showed a similar trend.

Looking ahead, military families who work with an advisor are more likely than their DIY counterparts to say they want to increase their monthly contributions for saving and investing and paying down debt. These positive trends helped drive the most recent quarterly index to 203 for those with an advisor versus 140 for those without an advisor. The total score is 193, up 12 from the previous quarter.

The index is set to a score of 100, which was given when the Index was launched in 2008.

About the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®

Produced by Sentient Decision Science, Inc., First Command Financial Behaviors Index® examines Americans’ financial attitudes, attitudes and goals through a monthly survey of approximately 530 US consumers aged 25 to 70 with a household income of at least $50,000. Results are reported quarterly. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent with a 95 percent confidence level. For more information on our research, please email [email protected].

Sentient Decision Science, Inc.

Sentient Decision Science was commissioned by First Command to develop the Financial Behaviors Index®. SDS is a psychology and consumer consulting firm with unique expertise in the financial industry. SDS covers advanced research methods and statistical analysis of behavior and attitudes.

About First Command

First Command Financial Services and its affiliates, including First Command Brokerage Services, First Command Advisory Services and First Command Bank, educate the Nation’s military families in their quest for financial security. Since 1958, First Command Financial Advisors has been developing sound financial practices through face-to-face coaching with hundreds of thousands of client families.

©2022 First Command Financial Services, Inc. is the parent company of First Command Brokerage Services, Inc. (Member SIPC, FINRA fee), First Command Advisory Services, Inc., First Command Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Securities products and trading services are provided by First Command Brokerage Services, Inc., a broker-dealer. Financial advice and financial counseling is provided by First Command Advisory Services, Inc., a financial advisor. Insurance products and services are provided by First Command Insurance Services, Inc. Banking products and services are provided by First Command Bank (Member The FDIC rate). Securities are not FDIC insured, do not have a bank guarantee and may lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot guarantee that retirement or other financial goals will be met. First Command Financial Services, Inc. and its affiliates are not affiliated with, authorized to sell or represent on behalf of or endorsed by the employee benefit programs listed, the US government, or the US Armed Forces.


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