First Command News & Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Jan. 19, 2017

First Command Reports: Career military confident Congress will avoid government shutdown

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals majority of middle-class military families are confident that Congress will avoid a government shutdown in April 2017

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FORT WORTH, Texas – America’s career military families are growing increasingly optimistic that lawmakers will skirt a possible government shutdown in the spring, even as their feelings of anxiety linger.

The latest results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that 85 percent of middle-class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are confident that Congress will be able to take appropriate action to avoid a repeat of the 2013 government shutdown. That’s up from just 38 percent in August, when media reports were full of news about a then-looming shutdown.

This growing confidence aligns with the recent vote by lawmakers to pass a continuing resolution that funds the government through April 2017, giving Congress and the White House an opportunity to set policy agendas for a full budget.

The same upward trend is evident in the general population, where 58 percent of respondents say they expect Congress to take action to avoid a shutdown. That’s up from 36 percent in August.

Notably, anxiety over the possibility of a shutdown remains strong among military respondents. Seventy one percent of military families say they feel anxious about the possibility of another shutdown. That compares to 46 percent of the general population. Both are statistically unchanged from August.

“Feelings of anxiety in military families come at a time when many of our men and women in uniform are worried about how cuts to defense spending and military pay and benefits may affect their family finances,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “Concerns are particularly strong on sequestration, with three out of four military families feeling anxious and anticipating being financially impacted by the cuts. We expect high levels of worry over budget cuts and doubts about the effectiveness of lawmakers to continue in the months ahead.”

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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