Military Families Working With an Adviser Have Far More Saved

They have more than $260,000 saved, compared with $82,000 for those without an adviser.

Career military families that are working with a financial adviser are amassing assets that are significantly larger than their do-it-yourself counterparts, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index.

As of the second quarter, these families had $262,710 in retirement and savings accounts, compared to $82,710 for families without an adviser. They are also more likely to own a retirement savings account (62% versus 52%) and a long-term savings vehicles (56% versus 30%).

They are saving an average of $995 a month for retirement, compared to $545 for those without an adviser. Additionally, military families with advisers are saving $889 a month for non-retirement long-term savings, compared to $378.

Forty-seven percent of those with a financial coach are either extremely or very confident in their ability to retire comfortably. By comparison, only 24% of the DIY-ers share this confidence.

“Our research has consistently revealed that saving for retirement and other long-term needs can bolster feelings of financial confidence and security,” says Scott Spiker, chairman and CEO of First Command Financial Services. “Military families who have a financial plan with a financial adviser typically feel more certain in the pursuit of their long-term goals. Confidence often aligns with a strong net worth position, which is reinforced by savings and other positive financial behaviors.”

Forty-seven percent of military families working with a financial adviser are extremely or very confident their financial situation will improve in the next year. This is true for only 33% of the DIY-ers.

Additionally, military families with an adviser are saving $673 a month for short-term savings (versus $379). They are also paying $2,165 a month to pay down short- and long-term debt. The DIY-ers are contributing $1,769 a month for these efforts.

“Career military families who work with a financial adviser are more likely to save more and feel more confident about their finances,” Spiker says.

Sentient Decision Science Inc. conducted the survey of 530 people for the First Command Financial Behaviors Index.