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February 2014 Financial Security Index charts

Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. From Feb. 6-9, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,004 adults living in the continental U.S. were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. This month, the index fell to 99.3, the same level seen in November.

Financial Security IndexBankrate.com

Highlights:

  • Workers with full-time jobs were more likely to report higher levels of credit card debt. Thirty-six percent of full-time workers said they had a greater amount of credit card debt, compared with 24 percent for part-time workers and 21 percent for people who were not employed.
  • Retirees were more likely to report higher levels of savings. Sixty-four percent of retired respondents said their emergency funds or savings accounts were greater than their credit card debt. That compares with 51 percent for those who weren't retired.
  • College graduates were more likely to report higher savings levels. Sixty-two percent said their emergency fund or savings accounts were greater than their credit card debt. That compares with 49 percent for those with some college and 44 percent for those who'd achieved a high school education or less.
Financial Security IndexBankrate.com

Highlights:

  • A higher percentage of men than women said they felt more secure. Twenty-seven percent of men said they felt more secure today, compared with 19 percent of women.
  • Those just entering the workforce were more likely to feel more secure than those who were about to retire. Respondents between 18 and 29 years old said they felt more secure 31 percent of the time, while respondents between 50 and 64 years old said they felt more secure 19 percent of the time.
  • Low-income workers reported increased financial security. Among those who made less than $30,000 per year, 36 percent said they felt more secure when compared with a year ago. Eighteen percent of those making $75,000 or more answered the same way.
Financial Security IndexBankrate.com

Highlights:

  • Women were more likely to say they were less comfortable with their savings. Forty-two percent of women reported that they were less comfortable, compared with 31 percent of men.
  • People nearing retirement were the most likely to be less comfortable with their savings. Forty-four percent of those between 50 and 64 said so, compared with 34 percent for respondents who were between 18 and 29 and those who were between 30 and 49.
  • Low-income workers were the most likely to report that they were less comfortable with their savings. Forty-four percent of those making under $30,000 per year said they were less comfortable with their savings compared with a year ago.
Financial Security IndexBankrate.com

Highlights:

  • Higher earners were more likely to say they were more comfortable with their debt. Of those making between $50,000 and $74,900 per year, 32 percent said they were more comfortable with their debt. That compares with 18 percent for people who made less than $30,000.
  • People just entering the workforce were more likely to say they were less comfortable with their debt. Among those between 18 and 29 years old, 27 percent said they were less comfortable with their debt than a year ago. Seventeen percent of respondents age 65 or older said the same.
  • Respondents who were employed were more likely to feel less comfortable with their debt than retirees. Twenty-three percent of full-time employed respondents said they were less comfortable with their debt today, compared with just 15 percent of retirees.
Financial Security IndexBankrate.com

Highlights:

  • People from urban and suburban communities were more likely to report an increased net worth than people living in rural communities.
  • People from the Northeast and West were more likely to say their net worth was higher over the past year than people from the Midwest and South.
  • Men were more likely than women to report a larger net worth over the past 12 months.
Financial Security IndexBankrate.com

Highlights:

  • College graduates were more likely than those who didn't attend college to say they felt better about their financial situation.
  • Urban and suburban respondents were more likely than people from rural communities to report that they felt better.
  • Retirees were less likely than working respondents to say they felt better about their financial situation.

Editor's note: Percentages may not equal 100, due to rounding.

Bankrate.comFinancial Security Index

Bankrate's Financial Security Index gauges how Americans feel today versus a year ago on vital financial matters. An index value of less than 100 indicates declining levels of financial security; a value greater than 100 reveals higher levels of security compared to 12 months ago.

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