Commissary vendors pass out free turkeys Nov. 15, 2012, during a turkey giveaway at Naval Outlying Land Field (NOLF) Imperial Beach. About two-thirds of middle-class military families plan to scale back their Thanksgiving celebrations this year out of economic concerns, according to a survey by First Command Financial Services. (MCS Seaman Karolina A. Martinez / Navy)
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About two out of three middle-class military families plan to scale back their Thanksgiving celebrations this year out of economic concerns, according to a survey by a corporation that assists troops with financial planning.
The survey by Texas-based First Command Financial Services tracked this response from 62 percent of commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers at staff sergeant rank and higher — a nine-point increase over a similar poll last year.
A battery of economic threats for the military have emerged this year including the recent government shutdown, debates over raising the debt ceiling, cutbacks known as sequestration and plans to downsize the military.
The families cited several ways of being more frugal this year. Some 29 percent vowed to reduce traveling, 23 percent would stick to a set budget and 22 percent said they would spend less on food.
“We have seen a drop in feelings of financial security month to month and a drop in confidence in the ability to retire comfortably,” says Scott Spiker, First Command CEO.
The survey results were derived from a September canvassing of 530 U.S. consumers, ages 25 to 70, with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more. Among them were 200 military families.
The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent, according to First Command.