FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Career military families are significantly out-saving the general population and feeling more confident about the future, according to the latest findings of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.
First quarter 2018 results reveal that middle-class military families (commissioned officers and NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) who contribute to retirement and savings accounts report average monthly savings of $1,715. That’s 56 percent more than the $1,099 reported by their civilian counterparts.
Military families are out-pacing the general population in:
- Retirement savings (an average of $743 per month versus $466),
- Long-term savings ($495 versus $288), and
- Short-term savings ($477 versus $345).
The strong savings behavior is accompanied by greater feelings of financial confidence. Three out of five military respondents (59 percent) report feeling extremely or very confident in their ability to retire comfortably. That compares to just 36 percent of the general population. Service member families are also more likely to feel extremely or very confident their financial situation will improve in the next year (63 percent versus 42 percent).
These results are particularly notable as the two populations report similar levels of accumulated savings. The Index reveals that average financial holdings in retirement, long-term and short-term savings is $299,654 for military families and $288,096 for the general population.
“Many U.S. families are not feeling very secure financially, which may be due in part to concerns over the high cost of health insurance,” said Scott Spiker, chairman/CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “Roughly half of the general population respondents report the cost of health insurance as one of their top financial concerns. That compares just three out of ten military families. At the same time, the end of sequestration is helping to ease anxiety in service member households. These families are feeling more confident and financially stable, and they are maintaining their commitment to savings and limited spending.”
Watch for the trend to continue in the months ahead. The Index reveals that military families are more likely than their civilian counterparts to say they intend to increase their monthly contributions to savings and investments. The sub-Index for financial intentions in military families climbed 11 points to end the first quarter at 158. For the general population, the intentions score dropped five points to 102. (The Index is set to a benchmark of 100, which was assigned when the Index was launched in 2008.)
The overall Index score for military families is 154, up five points from the end of 2017. The score for civilian families is 108, unchanged from the fourth quarter.
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.