Middle-class military families are more likely to use online tools to manage their finances than their civilian counterparts, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index released Tuesday.
Fifty-six percent of middle-class military families, senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000, are using online financial tools, compared to 44 percent of the general population, the index says.
Of those who use online financial tools, military members also are more likely to use the tools for various tasks than their civilian counterparts. Eighty-four percent of service members who use online tools use them for automatic fund transfers compared to 65 percent of civilians.
Sixty-seven percent of the military who use online financial tools use them for tax preparation compared with 50 percent of the general population. Similarly, 63 percent of military personnel use online tools for investments and stock trading compared with 46 percent of the general population.
Of those using online tools, 40 percent of the military use them for household budgeting. Breaking that number down even further, military families are more likely to do budgeting online if they have a financial advisor (47 percent) than if they do not (35 percent).
“Military families who put their trust in financial advisors are not passive delegators, but active participants in managing their finances,” says Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services Inc. “By delegating some or all long-term planning responsibilities to a professional, they may actually free up time for monitoring key aspects of their monthly finances. This is yet another compelling example of the value a trusted financial coach can bring to the lives of America’s career military.”