Knowing the presidential transition would take place in January 2017, military families still expressed high levels of anxiety about sequestration in response to a December 2016 survey. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed via the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® expressed anxiety about sequestration, and more than a third of this group indicated they were extremely or very anxious.
The same number also anticipated being financially affected. When asked, “How do you expect sequestration to impact you and your family?” 37 percent stated a reduction in their annual pay increase, 32 percent said by increased responsibility for healthcare costs and 30 percent said a reduction in retirement benefits.
In a separate question about job security in the coming months, 55 percent expressed concern, with 33 percent indicating they were extremely or very concerned. It’s no surprise then that 88 percent of military families are addressing these concerns by taking action. Nearly half plan to increase the amount of money they are saving and nearly one-third plan to cut back on everyday spending. One-quarter of respondents indicated they have begun working with a financial planner.
Despite their anxiety, 57 percent of military families are confident that Congress will void sequestration in 2018. Forty-six percent favor a repeal of the spending caps on defense and non-defense spending while 32 percent believe only the military caps should be reversed.