First Command Reports: Military Families Resolve to Cut Debt and Spending in 2017

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals top 10 financial
resolutions for new year

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Members of America’s career military are looking forward to improving
their family finances in 2017 through a set of money-themed New Year’s

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 89 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 their household finances will improve in the new year.
That confidence is accompanied by a variety of positive financial
aspirations for 2017, especially cutting back on household spending and
reducing consumer debt. Most survey respondents identify at least one
positive strategy or frugal activity they will pursue this year.

The top 10 New Year’s resolutions from military families for 2017 are:

  • Cut back on excessive spending

36 percent

  • Get out of debt

33 percent

  • Improve credit score

29 percent

  • Keep track of financial activities

28 percent

  • Learn to budget responsibly

27 percent


  • Use cash or debit more often instead of credit cards

26 percent

  • Start saving money for retirement or put more money into
    retirement savings

25 percent

  • Have adequate health insurance

25 percent

  • Learn not to live beyond your means

24 percent

  • Make sound investments in the stock market

22 percent

Notably, several of these New Year’s resolutions reflect significant
financial issues being experienced by some career military families. The
November survey reveals that respondents say they are experiencing
problems with credit card debt (31 percent), overall debt levels (28
percent), inadequate savings (28 percent) and spending without a budget
(27 percent).

Family financial concerns are being influenced in part by continuing
uncertainty related to sequestration and defense downsizing. The Index
reveals that 74 percent of military families are anxious about cuts to
defense spending, reflecting a long-term trend. When November survey
respondents were asked to identify ways that sequestration impacts their
family, their No. 1 pick was increased responsibility for healthcare
costs (31 percent). That concern is mirrored in the top 10 New Year’s
resolution related to health insurance, which was selected by 25 percent

Financial advisors are helping many families counteract feelings of
uncertainty about the future. The Index reveals that 67 percent of
active-duty families who have a financial advisor feel confident their
financial situation will improve in the next year. That compares to just
43 percent who do not have a financial planner.

“Families who work with a financial coach are more likely to enact
frugal strategies in their pursuit of financial security,” said Scott
Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “We look for a
growing number of military families to put their trust in knowledgeable
financial professionals as they look for new ways to grow their
household finances in 2017.”

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 Advisory Services, 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.

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.


First Command Financial Services
Mark Leach, 817-569-2419