FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Elder care costs are creating unexpected economic stress for many of America’s career military families and fueling a growing demand for professional financial advice, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.
First Command’s sixth annual elder care spending survey reveals that 78 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) are currently or anticipate providing care for an elderly parent or other family member. That’s up from just 31 percent in 2012 when the elder care survey was launched.
Military families identify elder care taking place in a variety of settings, most commonly in the home (56 percent in their own home and 52 percent in the elderly person’s home). Respondents say they pay for that care through:
* home care services (29 percent)
* nursing homes (17 percent)
* health care services (8 percent)
The cost of providing elder care can be sizable. The 49 percent of survey respondents who are currently caring for an elderly family member estimate their average monthly outlay at $1,296. Fifty-seven percent of people in this subgroup say costs are more than they expected.
To help manage those costs, many military families are seeking out professional help. The Index reveals that out of all families who are planning for elder care costs, almost half (43 percent) are doing so through a financial advisor. That’s up from 25 percent in 2012.
The trend line is also moving up in the general population, though in a more constrained fashion. Just 37 percent of civilian respondents are currently or anticipate providing elder care. That’s up from 25 percent in 2012.
“Again this year, we see that caring for older family members is a significant issue in the financial lives of many of our men and women in uniform,” said Scott Spiker, chairman/CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “Our six years of survey data indicates that service member families are more likely to be impacted than their civilian counterparts. And they often find that caregiver costs are higher than they expected. Seeking out knowledgeable financial planning support is a smart way to deal with the added financial responsibility of caring for an older family member.”
Look for the elder care trend to continue in the years ahead. Twenty-nine percent of military families say they anticipate providing elderly care in the future, up from 18 percent in 2012.
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 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 client families.
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.