• New Survey Finds That 40 Percent Of Military Families Report Feeling Financially Insecure

    Around 40 percent of active-duty servicemembers and their spouses feel financially insecure according to an annual survey conducted by Blue Star Families, an organization which looks at issues affecting military families.

    The 2015 Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey (AMFLS), drawing from data provided by 6,200 military families, found that pay and benefits dominates the list of top concerns—just like last year’s survey.

    Financial stress was not distributed evenly among respondents. Servicemembers in the post-9/11 era and those closest to military retirement age reported higher than normal feelings of financial stress.

    Financial security seems a challenge to obtain for the following reasons: Respondents pointed to uncertainty in military life, difficulty in military employment and saving for retirement as key reasons for why security remains difficult to lock down.

    Uncertainty can be broken down into several factors. Military families are worried about sequestration and being cut from the military. They’re also concerned about receiving retirement and disability benefits.

    Financial security counted as one of the reasons why 85 percent of servicemembers joined the military in the first place.

    The survey indicates that if such promises of security don’t hold, or if the uncertainty is simply too great, servicemembers will look outside the military for other options.

    A week ago, President Barack Obama vetoed the annual defense budget bill. Had the bill passed, 80 percent of active-duty servicemembers would have received increased bonuses and retirement benefits. (RELATED: Republicans Gear Up To Try And Override Obama’s Defense Budget Veto)

    Several servicemembers, as well as their spouses, told Blue Star exactly what they think about financial insecurity. Part of the anger stems from constant back-and-forth political wrangling over benefits servicemembers feel they were promised when they signed a contract with the military.

    “The contract that my Soldier signed with the government has been turned inside out, leaving us with an uncertain future financially,” one military spouse told Blue Star in the report. “We can no longer ‘bank’ on the government to take care of their original obligations to all service members and their family members. I personally am so frustrated by all the issues, I am recommending both of my active duty sons finish their contracts and get out of the military.”

    In 2014, military pay increased by only 1 percent—the smallest increase in over 40 years. The military has poured $287 million into morale-boosting programs since 2009, but with virtually nothing to show for it.

    According to a report by USA Today in April, 52 percent of troops in all services are pessimistic about their future in the military.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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