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Report: Military families commit to grow financially in 2016

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Most of America’s career military families feel their financial situation will pick up in 2016. And they plan to help it along through a set of money-themed New Year’s resolutions, according to new research.

Sentient Decision Science, Inc. discloses these findings in its year-end First Command Financial Behaviors Index. The research 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.

The index reveals that 84 percent of middle-class military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are confident that their household finances will improve in 2016. That confidence aligns with positive financial aspirations, with most survey respondents identifying at least one positive strategy or frugal activity they will pursue next year.

“As we look back on another year of uncertainty over defense downsizing and cuts to military compensation, our men and women in uniform are responding through a variety of frugal spending strategies,” says Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “Families who work with a financial coach are more likely to enact many of these strategies in their pursuit of financial security.

“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 2016,” he adds.

Military families’ New Year’s resolutions come at a time of continuing financial uncertainty related to sequestration and defense downsizing. The November survey reveals that 75 of military families are anxious about cuts to defense spending, reflecting a long-term trend.

Financial planners are helping many families counteract feelings of uncertainty about the future. The Index reveals that 59 of active-duty families who have a financial planner feel confident their financial situation will improve in the next year. That compares to just 33 who do not have a financial planner. 

Go to the next page to see the top New Year’s resolutions of military families for 2016.

Top New Year’s resolutions of military families in 2016

  • Get out of debt


  • Improve credit score


  • Be financially independent


  • Use cash or debit more often instead of credit cards


  • Learn to budget responsibly


  • Cut back on excessive spending


  • Learn not to live beyond your means


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


  • Make sound investments in the stock market


  • Keep track of financial activities


 See also:

Best and worst states for military retirees [infographic]

These are the 10 most tax-friendly states for retirees

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