Bankrate's survey of six questions is designed to gauge how secure Americans feel about their personal finances. On Feb. 2-5, 2012, telephone interviews with 1,006 adults were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The survey results below have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
- 70% of those earning $75,000-plus have more in savings than credit card debt vs. 40% of those earning less than $30,000 per year.
- 64% of college grads have more in savings than in credit card debt vs. 46% with a high school education or less.
- 31% of parents say they have more credit card debt than savings vs. 22% of nonparents.
- 25% of men say they feel more job security today than a year ago vs. 13% of women. About 20% feel less secure regardless of gender.
- 27% of those 50 and older say they feel less secure today vs. 15% of those younger than 50.
- 27% of Republicans feel less job security vs. 15% of Democrats.
- 47% of those 50-64 years old say they're less comfortable with savings than a year ago -- that's 10 to 15 percentage points higher than other age groups.
- 25% of high earners ($75,000-plus) say they're less comfortable with savings now vs. about 44% of those earning less.
- College grads feel more comfortable with their savings (18%) vs. those who have a high school diploma or less (10%).
- 26% of those younger than 65 are less comfortable with their debt than a year ago vs. 10% of those 65 and older.
- 15% of those making $75,000-plus are less comfortable with debt vs. 27% of those making less.
- There was no statistically significant correlation between comfort with debt and education levels in this month's survey.
- 33% of college grads say their net worth is higher than a year ago vs. 19% of those with some college and 18% with no college education.
- 29% of Republicans say their net worth is lower than a year ago vs. 18% of Democrats.
- 43% of those making $75,000-plus say their net worth is higher. That's 18 to 30 percentage points higher than those earning less money.
- 33% of Democrats say they are better off than a year ago vs. 18% of Republicans and 23% of independents.
- 63% of those older than 65 say their financial situation was about the same as it was a year ago vs. 45% of those younger than 65.
- 30% of those in the West say they feel better off now than a year ago. The same was true for 22% of the rest of the nation.
Bankrate's Financial Security Index gauges how Americans feel today versus a year ago on vital financial matters. An index value below 100 indicates declining levels of financial security; a value above 100 reveals higher levels of security compared to 12 months ago.