First Command News & Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 27, 2014

Career Military Concerned About Job Security, First Command Reports

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FORT WORTH, Texas — As the employment picture improves for many middle-class Americans, the nation’s career military are entering the new year with continued worries about job security.

The latest results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that roughly one in four middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are concerned about their job security in the coming months. This continues a trend identified in 2013, when many servicemember households were reporting near-term worries about their military careers.

“Our men and women in uniform are feeling uneasy about the career viability of the military,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “While the economy and overall employment levels continue to improve for the general population, sequestration and defense downsizing are creating new financial concerns for servicemembers and their families. They are now asking tough questions about their futures, like ‘do I want to stay in and make this a career?’ or ‘do I even have the option anymore to make this a career?’ Sequestration has placed the problems of our federal budget squarely on the military.”

Those who have chosen to make the armed forces their career are reporting a variety of job-related anxieties, including the fear that their 20-year career goals will come to a premature end. When military respondents were asked how sequester cuts have been impacting their careers, they identified:

  • Reduced possibilities for promotion (26 percent) and
  • Increased likelihood to experience early separation or not serve to full retirement (19 percent).

In additional to near-term worries about job security, many survey respondents are also expressing concerns about longer-term plans to curb the growth of pay and benefits for servicemembers and retirees, Spiker said.

“Four out of five military families expect to be financially affected by anticipated cuts to defense spending,” he said. “They are countering with a variety of positive financial behaviors, including spending less, saving more and seeking out knowledgeable assistance from financial planners. Financial planners coach their clients in positive behaviors that are critical to the pursuit of financial security and feeling more confident about the future. So looking ahead, we expect a growing number of military families to seek out the assistance of a trusted financial professional as part of their preparations for a future of reduced pay and benefits and uncertain career longevity.”

About 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. Financial Behaviors Index

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 Bank and First Command Financial Planning, assist American families in their efforts to build wealth, reduce debt and pursue their lifetime financial goals and dreams—focusing on consumer behavior as the first and most powerful determinant of results. Through knowledgeable advice and coaching of the financial behaviors conducive to success, First Command Financial Advisors have built trustworthy, lasting relationships with hundreds of thousands of client families since 1958.

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