First Command Reports: Career Military Doubt Congress Will Avoid Government Shutdown

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals majority of
middle-class military families are not confident that Congress will
avoid another government shutdown

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the end of the federal government’s fiscal year draws near, the
majority of America’s career service members and their families doubt
lawmakers will sidestep another government shutdown.

The latest results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®
reveal that 62 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 not confident that Congress will be
able to take appropriate action to avoid a shutdown for the new fiscal
year starting on Oct. 1.

This high degree of doubt that Congress will dodge another shutdown is
similar to that expressed in the August 2013 Index survey, when 87
percent of service members said they were not confident that Congress
would evade a then-looming shutdown. Their skepticism in lawmakers
proved to be well founded. On Oct. 1, 2013, the federal government
entered a 16-day shutdown after lawmakers failed to approve neither
legislation appropriating funds for the new fiscal year nor a continuing
resolution for interim funding.

The uncertainty expressed today by service members mirrors the view of
the broader American Middle Class. Among general population respondents,
64 percent doubt that Congress will avoid a shutdown.

“This lack of confidence that lawmakers will keep the government
operating into the new fiscal year is particularly notable in that it
comes at a time when key congressional leaders are contending that they
will reach a short-term continuing resolution,” said Scott Spiker, CEO
of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “Memories of the 2013 shutdown
are still fresh, and most Americans are apparently disinclined to take
the word of elected officials that they will succeed in keeping the
government funded and operating.”

While military and civilian respondents express similar levels of doubt
in Congress, anxiety is notably higher among service members. Seventy
percent of military families say they feel anxious about the possibility
of another shutdown. That compares to 51 percent of the general
population.

“The heightened level of anxiety in military families comes at a time
when many of our men and women in uniform are worried about how cuts to
defense spending and military pay and benefits may affect their family
finances,” Spiker said. “Concerns are particularly strong on
sequestration, with seven out of ten military families feeling anxious
and anticipating being financially impacted by the cuts. We expect high
levels of worry over budget cuts and doubts about the effectiveness of
lawmakers to continue in the months ahead.”

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. http://www.firstcommand.com/fbi/

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
data.

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
SIPC,
FINRA),
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.
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where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by
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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.

Contacts

First Command Financial Services
Mark Leach, 817-569-2419
Media
Relations
msleach@firstcommand.com