The new year and new administration have not altered feelings of anxiety among military families surveyed regarding cuts to defense spending. Approximately seven-in-10 are anxious about possible cuts and anticipate being financially affected by them. These results are based on findings from the latest First Command Financial Behaviors Index®, which was administered prior to President Trump’s announcement in his Tuesday evening address to Congress and the nation that he plans to eliminate the defense sequester. First Command will continue to survey military families throughout the year on these same issues to monitor any changes.
Survey results show that military families are most concerned about increased responsibility for healthcare costs (36 percent indicated concern). Despite their recent 2.1 percent pay increase, 29 percent are worried about future reductions in annual pay increases. Half of military families also express concern over job security. To address these worries, a majority (88 percent) are taking action by increasing savings and cutting back on everyday spending.
In spite of their anxiety, 60 percent of military families are confident that Congress will void sequestration and avoid automatic budget cuts in 2018. Nearly half of these families favor a repeal of spending caps on both defense and non-defense spending.