Military families* continue to be concerned about possible cuts to defense spending, with 70 percent of those surveyed in February expressing anxiety and 73 percent anticipating being financially affected by cuts. These levels have remained relatively consistent throughout most of the past year. When asked “How do you expect sequestration to affect you and your family?” 37 percent said by an increased responsibility for healthcare costs. When asked “How concerned are you about your job security in the coming months?” 54 percent were at least somewhat concerned.
Military families are addressing these concerns through financial readiness, with 86 percent taking some type of action. Interestingly, only 36 percent of respondents said they are increasing the amount of money they are saving, after averaging about 50 percent during the previous two months. Thirty-six percent also said they are cutting back on every day spending. This figure has remained more consistent over the last couple of months.
Despite their anxiety, 60 percent of military families are confident that Congress will void sequestration and avoid automatic budget cuts in 2018. Forty-three percent of them favor a repeal of spending caps on both defense and non-defense spending.
*Commissioned officers and senior NCOs in pay grades E-5 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000 surveyed via the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®.