Financial Security Index edges up
Bankrate's survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted telephone interviews Aug. 2-5, 2012, with 1,005 adults living in the continental U.S. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points.
- 23% of Democrats report saving more for retirement this year than last, compared to 11% of Republicans.
- 20% of white respondents say they're saving less for retirement, compared to 5% of Hispanic respondents.
- 26% of those in the Midwest say they increased savings this year, as did 18% in the Northeast, 15% in the South and 12% in the West.
- 31% of city and rural residents feel more job security now than 12 months ago, versus 20% of suburbanites.
- 22% of parents with kids younger than 18 feel less job security, compared to 13% of adults with no kids younger than 18.
- 25% of Republicans feel less job security than a year ago, versus 15% of Democrats and independents.
- 25% of high earners ($75,000-plus) feel less comfortable about savings this year, versus 40% of those earning less.
- 11% of fathers with kids younger than 18 are more comfortable with savings now than last year, compared to 22% of other men.
- 22% of college grads have a higher level of savings comfort this year, versus 12% of those with a high school diploma at most.
- 27% of men say they're less comfortable with their debt level this year than last year, compared to 19% of women.
- 24% of those younger than 65 feel less comfortable with debt, while 13% of those 65 and older feel the same way.
- 28% of those earning $30,000 or more feel more comfortable with their debt, while 17% of those earning less agree.
- 23% of white respondents report an increase in net worth over last year, compared to 13% of black respondents.
- 29% of college grads say they're worth more now, while 17% of those with a high school diploma or less say the same.
- 18% of those making less than $50,000 annually say their net worth is higher, versus 32% of those earning $50,000 or more.
- 30% of men say they're worse off overall this year compared to last year, and 22% of women concur.
- 28% of Democrats and 24% of independents report being better off, versus 16% of Republicans.
- 29% of city dwellers say they're doing better financially, compared to 20% of suburban and rural folk.
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.