Bankrate’s monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. From July 3-7, 2013, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,005 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 3.6 percentage points. This month, the index decreased to 102, down 0.7 points since June 2013.
- Respondents making six figures prefer stocks (34%) and real estate (32%). People making less than that prefer cash investments (29%), real estate (23%) and precious metals (18%).
- Cash investments were preferred by 32% of people with a high school education or less, compared to 24% of those with some college education and 19% with a college degree.
- Women prefer cash investments slightly more than men do (30% versus 21%), while men prefer stocks more than women do (18% versus 11%).
- Around 1 in 4 men (26%) are feeling more job-secure today, compared to 1 in 6 women (16%).
- 22% of Republicans, 17% of Independents and only 3% of Democrats say their job security has decreased in the past 12 months.
- More than one-third of those 65 and older (37%) feel less secure in their jobs, versus an average of 12% of adults in younger age groups.
- 26% of people who make at least $30,000 a year feel more comfortable with their savings, while just 12% of those making less than that do.
- 2 in 10 adults younger than age 65 (21%) are feeling more comfortable with their savings, compared to approximately 1 in 10 of those (11%) who are at least that age.
- 35% of respondents without a college degree felt less comfortable with their savings, while 23% of more educated respondents felt the same way.
- 13% of college graduates feel less comfortable about their debt, compared to 23% of those without a college degree.
- 17% of full-time workers feel less comfortable with their debt, versus 25% of people employed part time.
- 28% of people making less than $30,000 a year are less comfortable with their debt, but only 17% of people with higher incomes feel that way.
- 34% of men report their net worth is higher today, versus 24% of women.
- 20% of Republicans and 18% of Independents say they have a lower net worth, versus 11% of Democrats.
- 31% of respondents younger than 65 report a higher net worth, compared to 19% of people 65 and older.
- 35% of men say they’re doing better today, versus 22% of women.
- 26% of Republicans and 25% of Independents say they’re worse off today, compared to 14% of Democrats.
- 31% of people younger than 65 say they’re doing better today, but just 15% of respondents 65 or older agree.
Editor’s note: Percentages may not equal 100, due to rounding.
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.