First Command Reports: Career Military Families Financially Prepared for 2016 PCS Season

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Many of America’s career military families are packing for a Permanent
Change of Station this summer, and the majority of them report feeling
financially ready for the household move.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 86 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) who
will be making a Permanent Change of Station (or PCS) this summer have
budgeted for the costs of their move. Almost half say they expect
out-of-pocket costs of at least $1,000, and one out of six expect to
spend more than $2,500.

“Regular relocations are a part of the lives of our men and women in
uniform, and our career service member families have learned that
planning ahead is critical to keep these frequent moves from negatively
impacting their finances,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command
Financial Service, Inc. “Perhaps most notably, these pre-emptive
budgeting efforts are paying off emotionally. Three out of four
relocating families say they feel financially confident about their
preparations for this year’s move. This is another example of how
proactive financial behaviors can positively impact feelings of
financial confidence.”

Approximately one-third of active-duty service members are moved in a
given year, according to the Department of Defense. While service member
families benefit from a number of PCS entitlements, they can encounter
unexpected and unreimbursed expenses. To keep out-of-pocket expenses to
a minimum, First Command recommends that service members do their
homework before a PCS.

“Take advantage of resources which may be available through the
transportation office, finance office and family center at your
installation,” Spiker said. “Find out which benefits you’re entitled to
and determine how much of your expenses they’ll cover.”

Service members may be entitled to:

  • Advance Basic Pay — an interest-free loan of up to three months of
    basic pay.
  • Advance Basic Allowance, Housing (BAH) — an advance on monthly pay for
    off-base rental housing.
  • Dislocation Allowance (DLA) — helps pay for moving expenses.
  • Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT) — pays for mileage
    when driving to a new station.
  • Per Diem Allowance — helps pay for meals and lodging while traveling.
  • Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) — helps pay for meals and lodging when
    temporary housing is required.

Still, many expenses are not covered by government benefits.

“First Command Financial Advisors often recommend that our active-duty
clients make sure to figure in costs for food and household items
they’ll need to purchase when they arrive, as well miscellaneous costs
like deposits for utilities,” Spiker said. “The better your idea of your
expenses, and the better your knowledge of what’s covered, the better
you’ll be able to establish a budget for your move.”

The Index reveals that about one in five survey respondents will have a
PCS this summer. Roughly half say they’ve had a PCS within the past two
years. Peak season for PCS moves runs from mid-May through August.

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.

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

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
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.
Insurance products and services are offered
by First Command Insurance Services, Inc., in all states except Montana,
where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by
First Command Financial Services, Inc. (a separate Montana domestic
corporation). Banking products and services are offered by First Command
Bank. In certain states, as required by law, First Command Insurance
Services, Inc. does business as a separate domestic corporation.
Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may
lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement
or other financial goals will be met. First Command Financial Services,
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.


First Command Financial Services
Mark Leach, 817-569-2419