Military Service Members Face Financial Anxiety

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Military service members are facing on-going financial concerns with 77% of them saying they are worried, according to a recent survey commissioned by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

The survey also found that 57% say they are very worried about the potential loss of income and job security resulting from defense cuts and downsizing.

"Men and women in uniform face many challenges and daily sacrifices while serving our country," said Susan Keating, NFCC President and CEO. "Financial concerns shouldn't be one of them. The NFCC is committed to ensuring that members of the military, veterans and their families have access to the financial tools and information they need to live a financially stable life."

The survey also found that for some service members their economic situation has not improved with 28% who are now more worried than they were 12 months ago about how their financial situation will affect their future in the military.

A majority or 55% believe they are ill-prepared to cope with an emergency financially, the survey said.

"NFCC member agencies can assist military personnel through the Sharpen Your Financial Focus program which includes a dedicated military-specific component," she said.

When compared to that of their civilian counterparts, the mobile nature of the military lifestyle creates an extra financial challenge for those that serve, said J.J. Montanaro, a financial planner for USAA, the San Antonio-based financial institution.

Frequent moves can make it difficult for military spouses in the workforce and service members who own a home and receive orders don't necessarily have the luxury of being able to ride out the ups and downs of the real estate market, he said. Deployments and separation are another aspect of the mobile lifestyle that presents financial challenges.

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