Bankrate’s monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. From Nov. 8-11, 2012, telephone interviews with 1,000 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 3.7 percentage points.
- Catching up on bills is the top priority for 36% of women, compared to 27% of men.
- 27% of those with some college education prioritize paying down debt, compared to 16% of the less educated.
- 41% of rural respondents place emphasis on catching up on bills, versus 29% of city and suburban dwellers.
- Just 13% of white respondents say they feel more job security now, compared to 25% of black and Hispanic respondents.
- 25% of those younger than 30 say they feel more job security than a year ago, versus 15% of older respondents.
- 31% of Republicans say their job situation is worse today, compared to 10% of Democrats.
- 20% of college grads feel better about their savings this year than last, compared to 12% of less-educated respondents.
- 50% of people age 65-plus say they’re less comfortable with their savings compared to 36% of their younger counterparts.
- 49% of Republicans, 33% of Democrats and 36% of Independents say they’re less comfortable with savings.
- 26% of people younger than 30 are more comfortable with debt this year than last; 16% of those 65-plus agree.
- 33% of those making less than $50,000 a year are less comfortable with debt, versus 17% of higher earners.
- 19% with at least some college are less comfortable with debt, versus 31% with a high school diploma at most.
- 28% of men report a higher net worth this year than 12 months ago, compared to 19% of women.
- 29% of retirees say their net worth has taken a hit, while just 18% of workers say the same.
- 33% of those earning at least $50,000 a year report higher net worth, versus 18% of those making less.
- 35% of Republicans, 18% of Democrats and 29% of Independents say their overall finances have worsened since last year.
- 30% of women say they’re worse off this year, versus 22% of men.
- 37% of those younger than 30 say they’re better off, while 19% of their elders say the same.
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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