Market Overview

First Command Reports: Military Families Out-Saving the General Population


The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that military
families feel more financially confident than their civilian counterparts

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.

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
client families.

First Command Financial Services, Inc., is the parent of First
Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member
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.

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