FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2019

Contact: Angela Caban, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Debt Repayment is Service Members’ Number One Savings Goal

Washington, D.C. – Twenty four percent of respondents listed debt repayment as their top savings goal, according to a recent survey by Military Saves. It was the first time in nearly a decade that retirement savings was not at the top. 

The 2019 Military Saves Saver Survey details the saving habits and challenges of military service members, military spouses, and veterans. The organization has been surveying the military community on savings-related topics since 2007.

While retirement was not the top savings goal, nearly sixty-eight percent of respondents reported that they have contributed to their retirement accounts and 87% of those who are not retired have taken some sort of step toward retirement readiness.

“I think it is a wonderful thing to see that more respondents are taking action toward setting up retirement accounts, and while we still have more work to do in motivating junior enlisted, we are on the right path,” said Angela Caban, Director of Military Saves. “Military Saves plans to focus our efforts on engaging junior enlisted service members who have the advantage of time on their side, to start early and get in the habit of  saving automatically for retirement.”

While saving for retirement is reported as a high priority, the survey results also indicate that (66%) like to save automatically through payroll deductions or account transfers when they are able to do so. But 33% of respondents only put money aside manually and a further 4% say they have never been able to save.

The 2019 Military Saves Saver Survey also asked about top savings challenges.

  • 57% cite unexpected expenses as biggest challenge to ability to save
  • 37% report they buy things they do not need
  • 33% cite that they have too much debt
  • 31% state not making enough money
  • 24% have too many bills

Download the full report here.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted online for Military Saves by HoltSolutions from September 4-18, 2019. The survey was open to the entire military community, including active duty service members, veterans, and military families. There were 1,125 respondents with a 95% completion rate.

About Military Saves
Military Saves, a component of America Saves, seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. The research-based campaign coordinated by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America (CFA) uses the principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to change behavior.

Military Saves encourages the entire military community to take the Military Saves Pledge and for organizations to promote savings year-round, and especially during Military Saves Month in April.

Military Saves also works with government agencies, defense credit unions, military banks, and other non-profit organizations to promote savings and debt reduction.

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