Bankrate’s monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. From From April 3-6, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,010 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 declined to 100.5 from 102.2 in March.
Are you more inclined to invest in the stock market now that interest rates on savings accounts and CDs are so low, or not?
- Twenty-seven percent of employed respondents said they were more inclined to invest, compared with 16 percent of those who were unemployed.
- Thirty-five percent of college graduates were more inclined to invest, compared with 17 percent of people who didn’t attend college.
- Thirty-four percent of those with salaries of at least $75,000 said they were more inclined to invest, compared with only 13 percent of those with salaries of $30,000 or less.
How do you feel about your job security compared with 12 months ago?
- Men (30 percent) were more likely to feel secure about their jobs than women (17 percent).
- Job security was higher for those beginning their careers than those who were about to retire.
- Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of those making between $50,000 and $74,900 said they were less secure about their jobs, compared with 9 percent of those making $75,000 or more.
How do you feel about the amount of money you have in savings compared with 12 months ago?
- Men (24 percent) were more likely to feel comfortable about their savings than women (16 percent).
- People between ages 18 and 29 were more likely to feel comfortable with their savings than older age groups.
- People making between $50,000 and $74,900 were nearly twice as likely to say they were uncomfortable with their savings as people who made $75,000 or more.
How do you feel about the amount of debt you have compared with 12 months ago?
- Those without college diplomas were more likely to feel uncomfortable about their debt.
- People with the lowest incomes, under $30,000, were more likely to be uncomfortable with their debt.
- Employed respondents were more likely to be comfortable with their debt than people who were unemployed or retired.
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:
- Working-age respondents were more likely to see an increased net worth than retirees.
- People with jobs were more likely to notice a higher net worth than the unemployed or retired.
- High earners — those who make $75,000 or more — were more likely to see a higher net worth than others.
Compared with 12 months ago, do you feel your overall financial situation is:
- Men (34 percent) were more likely than women (25 percent) to feel better about their overall financial situation.
- Working-age respondents were more likely to feel better than retirees.
- Those identifying as Democrats and Independents were more likely to feel better about their overall financial situation than Republicans.
Editor’s note: Percentages may not equal 100, due to rounding.
Financial 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.