The impact of working with a financial advisor is particularly evident when examining long-term savings behaviors.

Military families who work with a financial advisor save more for retirement than do colleagues who are without one, according to a new survey.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index reveals that middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) who work with a financial advisor are putting almost twice as much money into short-term savings as those who don’t work with an advisor. During the fourth quarter, their average monthly rate totaled $1,228. In contrast, the survey shows, those without an advisor averaged just $683.

The impact of working with a financial advisor is particularly evident when examining long-term savings behaviors. The fourth quarter survey results reveal that military families who work with a financial advisor put an average of $1,133 per month into long-term savings.

That’s about four times the $278 per month saved by those who don’t work with an advisor. And the average monthly retirement savings rate was $1,657 for those with an advisor versus $1,055 for those without.

“All told, service members who work with a financial advisor are saving an average of $2,000 more per month than those who go it alone,” says Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command. “This dramatic savings gap highlights the positive influence a trusted financial advisor can have on the money habits and long-term financial security of our men and women in uniform.

Most survey respondents, the report adds, do not foresee making a change in their savings behaviors in the coming months. These and other financial intentions, attitudes and behaviors that are tracked in the monthly surveys helped the quarterly Index score hold steady in the fourth quarter to close out the year at 118, virtually unchanged from 117 in the third quarter and a high for the year.

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.