FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Career military families are using 2023 tax refunds to pay down debt and build up their household finances, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.
First Command’s 12th annual survey on tax refunds reveals that 36% of middle-class military families (commissioned officers and NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) who have received or expect to receive a tax refund plan to spend it to pay down debt.
Roughly half of survey respondents who are paying down debt indicate they are focused on credit cards. And two out of five respondents are paying down personal loans.
This focus on cutting debt is notably less in military families who work with a financial coach. The Index reveals that 33% plan to spend their refund to pay down debt. That compares to 57% of do-it-yourself families.
“Again this year, the tax refund survey shows that military families are committed to investing in a healthier economic future,” said First Command President/CEO Mark Steffe. “We see that commitment most plainly in the plans of those families who work with a financial coach. They are already centered on careful money management, so they are less likely to need to cut debt. That gives them more options to build up their finances.”
Military families who work with an advisor are more likely than their do-it-yourself peers to put tax refund dollars toward:
- Paying monthly bills (36% versus 11%)
- Building an emergency fund (29% versus 17%)
- Adding to investment accounts (27% versus 9%)
“Working with knowledgeable and trusted financial advisors, service members and their spouses are developing sound money behaviors that help them to control household spending, invest in the future and get financially squared away,” Steffe said.
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% with a 95% level of confidence. For more details on our research, please email MarketingInbox@firstcommand.com. 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 Brokerage Services, First Command Advisory Services 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.
©2023 First Command Financial Services, Inc. parent of First Command Brokerage Services, Inc (Member SIPC, FINRA), First Command Advisory Services, Inc., First Command Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Securities products and brokerage services are provided by First Command Brokerage Services, Inc., a broker-dealer. Financial planning and investment advisory services are provided by First Command Advisory Services, Inc., an investment adviser. Insurance products and services are provided by First Command Insurance Services, Inc. Banking products and services are provided by First Command Bank (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender). Securities 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.