Bankrate’s survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted telephone interviews Aug. 2-5, 2012, with 1,005 adults living in the continental U.S. The results of Bankrate’s Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points.
- 23% of Democrats report saving more for retirement this year than last, compared to 11% of Republicans.
- 20% of white respondents say they’re saving less for retirement, compared to 5% of Hispanic respondents.
- 26% of those in the Midwest say they increased savings this year, as did 18% in the Northeast, 15% in the South and 12% in the West.
- 31% of city and rural residents feel more job security now than 12 months ago, versus 20% of suburbanites.
- 22% of parents with kids younger than 18 feel less job security, compared to 13% of adults with no kids younger than 18.
- 25% of Republicans feel less job security than a year ago, versus 15% of Democrats and independents.
- 25% of high earners ($75,000-plus) feel less comfortable about savings this year, versus 40% of those earning less.
- 11% of fathers with kids younger than 18 are more comfortable with savings now than last year, compared to 22% of other men.
- 22% of college grads have a higher level of savings comfort this year, versus 12% of those with a high school diploma at most.
- 27% of men say they’re less comfortable with their debt level this year than last year, compared to 19% of women.
- 24% of those younger than 65 feel less comfortable with debt, while 13% of those 65 and older feel the same way.
- 28% of those earning $30,000 or more feel more comfortable with their debt, while 17% of those earning less agree.
- 23% of white respondents report an increase in net worth over last year, compared to 13% of black respondents.
- 29% of college grads say they’re worth more now, while 17% of those with a high school diploma or less say the same.
- 18% of those making less than $50,000 annually say their net worth is higher, versus 32% of those earning $50,000 or more.
- 30% of men say they’re worse off overall this year compared to last year, and 22% of women concur.
- 28% of Democrats and 24% of independents report being better off, versus 16% of Republicans.
- 29% of city dwellers say they’re doing better financially, compared to 20% of suburban and rural folk.
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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