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Military Families in Financial Stress
Posted on: 03/05/18

Survey Finds Military Families Suffer from Widespread Financial Stress

Brian Everstine, Air Force Magazine

Military members and their families are facing heavy financial stresses, exacerbated by constant moving and a large amount of debt, according to a new survey focused on military family support. The Military Family Advisory Network on March 1 released its 2017 survey of 5,650 respondents—mostly current service members and their families or veterans and their families. The survey found that 60 percent of respondents do not have enough savings to cover three months of expenses, and 15 percent have trouble providing food to their families. Almost 93 percent of these families are carrying debt. “Military life creates financial stress, and that stress has widespread implications,” the report states. A large portion of this stress comes from orders that force families to move quickly, which in turns causes them to take on debt to cover moving expenses coupled with an inability to find child care and difficulty moving forward on education, the report states. Despite these challenges, the report finds that 77 percent of respondents would recommend military service to someone they care about, while the civilian population is only 37 percent likely. To address some issues in the survey, MFAN recommends the Defense Department recognize health care as a priority for those in service, prepare for an increase in early retirements, and consider that family satisfaction will impact retention rates. The Pentagon should explore the financial stresses that military families experience, and work with communities who can help, according to the survey.

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