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Most Americans predict a repeat of the sequester

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The majority of Americans are not confident that Congress will take appropriate actions to avoid a repeat of sequestration in 2014, according to a new survey.

This finding is disclosed in the First Command Financial Behaviors Index, which examines financial behaviors, attitudes and intentions among U.S. consumers. The research on which the index is based is derived from a survey of 530 U.S. consumers, ages 25 to 70, with annual household incomes of at least $50,000.

The report shows that 55 percent of the general population and 71 percent of military families are not confident the government will pass a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown. And still larger majorities of Americans — 83 percent of military families and 73 percent of the general population — are not confident that Congress will act to avoid another sequester.

The survey reveals that 62 percent of military families are experiencing anxiety about sequestration. This compares with 47 percent of households among the general population.

The report adds that military families are more likely than the general population to deal with sequestration by undertaking the following measures:

  • Reducing everyday spending (48 percent);
  • Increasing the amount they save (31 percent);
  • Decreasing aggressive investments (12 percent);
  • Moving investments to cash (7 percent);
  • Starting to work with a financial planner (5 percent).

The research adds that military families also expressed increased concern about job security in September, exceeding the general population on this measure for the first time since May: 35 percent versus 25 percent, respectively.

The report adds that military families who work with a financial planner are more likely than those without one to believe their financial situation will improve in the next year (41 percent versus 39 percent) and to retire comfortably (40 percent vs. 34 percent).


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