Financial concerns in military households have lead to smarter military spending habits, according to surveys from the 2011 First Command Financial Behaviors Index. The survey indicates that 39% of military households at pay grades E-6 and above have tightened their finances.
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Military Families Become More Fiscally Savvy

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In response to a debt crisis and a lowered U.S. credit rating, military families have cut spending, increased savings, decreased risky investments, and liquidated investments.

Even more than their civilian counterparts, military families respond to an economic downturn with a strong military resolve, to thrive despite the downturn.

MILITARY TIGHTENS THEIR BELTS TODAY

Financial concerns in military households have lead to smarter military spending habits, according to surveys from the 2011 First Command Financial Behaviors Index.

The survey indicates that 39 percent of military households with senior NCOs at pay grades E-6 and above, as well as commissioned officers, have tightened their finances to meet the challenges of an economic downturn.

This compares with only 34 percent of civilian households with similar incomes, who are responding to economic instability with an increase in conservative spending habits.

According to Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command, there is more awareness among military families to be fiscally conservative and take less, which will help military families understand how to thrive in any economy.

MILITARY STRESS OVER RETIREMENT

In addition to current fiscal concerns, military service members report concerns over their military retirement funds.

With military retirement benefits cuts in an overall Defense Department budget cut of potentially $500 billion, service members' retirement benefits could be at risk.

Another potential change to military retirement aims to save $250 billion by eliminating the current military retirement system whereby any veteran who served for 20 years or more can retire at half military pay.

Instead, a proposed new military retirement system would give service members access to a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

Many military service members feel the new military retirement plan under consideration is inadequate and not what they expected from their military career service benefits.



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