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Financial Well-Being Scores Higher for Military, Vets

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Monday, April 15, 2019

A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report says military and veteran families are doing well when compared to other segments of the population, but those in financial trouble are reluctant to seek help.

“Service members and their families are reluctant to use the financial education resources they are provided by the military services because they either find such resources unhelpful or they have a perception that seeking financial help could harm their careers,” says the report from the 8-year-old federal government agency.

The report is based on a survey of financial well-being conducted in 2016 that asked about respondents’ current situation. About 10 percent of the responses were from veterans and current service members, a small sample that makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions.

Still, veterans scored higher on financial well-being than the general population in terms of liquid savings, the ability to absorb unexpected expenses, and income stability. They were less likely than the general population to be rejected for credit or have difficulty paying bills.

On the financial well-being scale, the average score was 54, but the average for the military and veteran population was 61.

Military and retired pay and government health care benefits are part of the reason for stability, the report says, concluding, “military service may provide a solid foundation for people to build their financial capabilities, if that foundation can be carried forward for service members as they transition to veteran status.”

The full report can be downloaded here: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_osa_financial-well-being-americans_report.pdf