smart spending

Americans' feelings on financial security

What's holding Americans back from spending more? More than three-quarters of respondents cite either stagnant income, the need to save more or worries about the economy. Nearly one-third, or 32 percent, of those holding back point to stagnant incomes. About 1 in 4, or 24 percent, say it's because they need to save more. And 1 out of 5 blame worries about the economy.

Only 11 percent says it's because they have too much debt, and just 6 percent say it's due to worries about job security. Those younger than 50 are most likely to say they need to save more, while those 50 and up are most likely to say it's because their income hasn't changed.

Additionally, the Financial Security Index slid for a fourth consecutive month, to 97.4. This is the lowest reading since February and the second lowest reading of 2013.

With hundreds of thousands of government employees furloughed and many government contractors reeling from the shutdown at the time of the poll, feelings of job security plummeted to the lowest level in nearly two years. While every age and income bracket feels less secure in their job now than one year ago, it is most pronounced in the 50-64 age group.

For more information on this month's Financial Security Index, just visit Bankrate.com. I'm Greg McBride.

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