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Military families optimistic about economy - for now

Jul. 1, 2013 - 08:41PM   |  
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Military families are falling in line with broad public optimism about the economy and the future of their own financial lives — at least for now, according to a recent survey by a corporation that assists troops with financial planning.

The online survey of about 200 career military families conducted by Fort Worth, Texas-based First Command Financial Services shows concerns about the economy dipping below 50 percent, the lowest since the company began sampling views among these families in 2008.

“People are feeling much better about this cyclical world we live in, in the economy,” says Scott Spiker, First Command CEO.

But Spiker added that attitudes could change rapidly. The survey was conducted in May, months after dire warnings about automatic budget cuts — so-called sequestration — failed to show any immediate dire consequences.

Since then, the Pentagon, as part of cutting about $46 billion this year, has announced that furloughs of 680,000 civilian employees will commence July 8. Training is also being reduced.

While the cuts will not pertain to uniformed personnel, they could impact the lives of troops and their families. In addition, to meet previously set budget reductions, the Army said it recent weeks it would be cutting ranks by 80,000 soldiers through 2017.

“I think the other shoe still has yet to drop with regards to sequestration,” says Spiker. “I just don’t think they (military families) get it yet. They probably are not yet recognizing that their careers have a much higher likelihood of being dramatically impacted.”

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