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August 2014 Financial Security Index charts

Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. From August 7-10, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,003 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 held steady at 100.1.

At what age did you begin saving for retirement, or have you not started saving?

Highlights:

  • People with part-time jobs are nearly twice as likely as full-time workers to have no savings plan.
  • 14% of teens in rural areas say they're saving for retirement, compared with 8% of teens in urban areas.
  • College grads are more than twice as likely to begin retirement planning in their 20s as people without a diploma.
How do you feel about your job security compared with 12 months ago?

Highlights:

  • Republicans and Independents are more than twice as likely to feel less secure than Democrats.
  • Millennials (between 18 and 29 years old) are twice as likely to feel more secure than seniors (65 years old and older).
  • People in suburban and rural areas are twice as likely to feel less secure than people living in urban areas.
How do you feel about the amount of money you have in savings compared with 12 months ago?

Highlights:

  • People in the workforce were more than twice as likely to say they were more comfortable about their savings than retirees.
  • 24% of Democrats said they were more comfortable, compared with 14% of Republicans.
  • College grads were more than twice as likely to say they were more comfortable with their savings than people who never attended college.
How do you feel about the amount of debt you have compared with 12 months ago?

Highlights:

  • 25% of people nearing retirement feel more comfortable about their debt, compared with 16% of 18- to 29-year-olds.
  • 30% of people earning at least $75,000 a year said they felt more comfortable, compared with 20% of those who made less than $30,000 a year.
  • 31% of parents said they were less comfortable, compared with 21% of nonparents.
Please think about your net worth, or your total assets, including any real estate equity, minus your debts. Compared with 12 months ago, is your net worth:

Highlights:

  • 24% of those living in rural communities said their net worth was lower this year, compared with 15% of those living in urban areas.
  • 29% of people from the Midwest said their net worth was higher, compared with 19% of those in the Northeast.
  • 30% of men said their net worth was higher, compared with 21% of women.
Compared with 12 months ago, do you feel your overall financial situation is:

Highlights:

  • 26% of whites said their overall situation was worse today, compared with 13% of blacks.
  • 25% of Republicans said their situation was worse today, compared with 14% of Democrats.
  • 25% of people from the South said their situation was worse today, compared with 17% of those in the West.

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

Financial Security Index

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