Market Overview

First Command Reports: Savings Habit Strongest in Military Families with Financial Advisors

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The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that military
families who work with a financial coach save and invest more than their
DIY counterparts

Career military families who work with a financial advisor are in a
stronger net worth position than their do-it-yourself counterparts,
reporting more than double the amount of accumulated savings and
retirement assets.

First quarter 2018 results of the First Command Financial Behaviors
Index® reveal that these middle-class military families (commissioned
officers and NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of
at least $50,000) report average financial holdings of $241,730. That
compares to $102,396 for those without an advisor.

Military families with financial advisors are more likely than their DIY
counterparts to own a retirement savings account (67 percent versus 48
percent) and a long-term savings vehicle (60 percent versus 31 percent).
They are also putting more dollars into these accounts. They report
average monthly investments of:

  • $880 for retirement savings. That compares to $482 per month for those
    without an advisor.
  • $563 for long-term savings. Those without an advisor report $349 per
    month.

Families without a financial advisor are more likely to own a short-term
savings account (63 percent versus 52 percent), but they report saving
fewer dollars. Average monthly totals for short-term savings are $362
for do-it-yourselfers versus $596 for families who work with a financial
advisor.

Working with a financial advisor also aligns with greater retirement
confidence. Seventy percent of those with a financial coach are
extremely or very confident in their ability to retire comfortably. That
compares to just 29 percent of military families without an advisor.

"Financial readiness levels in career military families are strongest
among those who work with a financial coach," said Scott Spiker,
chairman/CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. "Those who work
with an advisor are out-performing their do-it-yourself counterparts.
They are putting away more dollars and amassing more financial assets.
Service members with a trusted advisor by their side are well positioned
to feel confident today as they work towards financial security for
tomorrow."

Military families with financial advisors are also putting more dollars
per month towards paying down debt. They report average long-term debt
payments of $1,348 and short-term debt payments of $544. Those without
an advisor report average payments of $1,149 and $466, respectively.

The savings and debt repayment trend is set to continue. Military
families with a financial advisor are more likely to say they will
increase their positive financial behaviors in the months ahead.
Fifty-two percent intend to increase their savings. That's considerably
more than the rate reported by those without an advisor (29 percent).
Forty percent of those with an advisor expect to bump up their debt
payments. In contrast, just 26 percent of those without an advisor
expect to put more dollars towards paying down debt.

The mix of positive attitudes, behaviors and intentions during the first
quarter resulted in an overall Index score of 154, up five points from
the previous quarter. (The Index is set to a benchmark of 100, which was
assigned when the Index was launched in 2008.) The Index score for
families who work with a financial advisor is 169. For those without an
advisor, the score is 118.

"Financial coaches are making a significant contribution to the lives of
career military families," Spiker said. "This is particularly true today
as service members and their families learn their way around the new
Blended Retirement System. The BRS represents one of the most
significant changes to military benefits in 70 years. By coaching their
clients to build strong money behaviors, financial advisors will help
families continue to confidently pursue their retirement goals."

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.

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