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The changing terrain: Sequestration concerns affect service members’ health

| July 22, 2016

Ongoing concerns over sequestration and defense downsizing appear to be affecting the health of career service members and their families. The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that health issues commonly associated with financial worries are widespread among military families who report high levels of concern over sequestration and the financial impact of anticipated cuts to defense spending.

Eighty-four percent of middle-class military families (commissioned officers and NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) who feel extremely or very anxious about sequestration also report that someone in their family has experienced one or more money-related health challenges during the past year:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep: 39 percent.
  2. Changes in appetite: 28 percent.
  3. General increase in stress: 28 percent.
  4. Increased feeling of anxiety: 23 percent.
  5. Unhealthy diet: 20 percent.

 



Military retirement: Current vs. blended

| July 18, 2016

The new military retirement system will take effect Jan. 1, 2018. Anyone with less than 12 years of service (YOS) as of Dec. 31, 2017 has the choice whether to stay in the current system or elect to convert to the blended system. 

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The changing terrain: financial readiness in the new retirement era

| July 15, 2016

America’s career service members who will have the choice to opt in to the new blended retirement system in 2018 have questions about the changes. The latest results of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that four out of five are expecting to seek professional help making the critical decision between opting in to the new system or sticking with the traditional pension.

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DoD budget cuts mean shorter vacations for military families

| July 11, 2016

America’s career military families are dialing back their vacation plans this summer, driven by persistent concerns about defense downsizing. In fact, 73 percent of middle-class military families surveyed* say their plans have changed as a result of defense spending cuts.

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The changing terrain: Military families react to annual pay raise

| July 8, 2016

When it comes to benefits, military families (commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) unsurprisingly rank basic pay as the most important.

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The changing terrain: Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) releases “Losing Our Edge” report

| July 1, 2016

The non-profit organization Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released the report Losing Our Edge: Pentagon Personnel Reform and the Dangers of Inaction on Wednesday. The report makes it clear that the Department of Defense (DoD) is in dire need of consistent funding and a new personnel management system that is more appealing to potential recruits.

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Transitioning from Military Service

Transitioning careers? You have options!

| June 27, 2016

As the Director of Recruiting for First Command, I’ve found military experience is a strong leading indicator for success. Transitioning military servicemembers tend to have the right combination of intangible qualities we look for in candidates – traits like a strong work ethic, a character worthy of trust and a willingness to be coached.

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The changing terrain: Budget cuts stress military families

| June 24, 2016

Military families continue to be anxious about cuts to defense spending, with 69 percent indicating anxiety and 74 percent anticipating being financially affected by cuts.

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PCS

Preparing financially for PCS season

| June 20, 2016

We’re in the middle of peak PCS season, and many career military families are packing for their next move. Although Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves can be stressful, we’ve discovered that the majority of families moving this year are financially ready.

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The changing terrain: NDAA 2017

| June 17, 2016

The Senate on Tuesday approved its version of the National Defense Authorization Act with $602 billion allocated to base defense and war spending. The House passed its version last month.

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