Bankrate’s monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. From Aug. 1-4, 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 3.7 percentage points. This month, the index declined to 100.5, down 1.5 points since July 2013.
- 20% of people with no college degree are saving less for retirement this year, compared to 10% of people with a college degree.
- 17% of people earning less than $30,000 didn’t contribute anything in 2013 or 2012, versus just an average 3% of people earning $30,000 or more.
- 18% of respondents younger than 65 say they’re saving less in retirement accounts, while just 7% of those 65 and older say they’re doing the same.
- More than 1 in 4 men (28%) are feeling more job secure today than they did 12 months ago, compared with fewer than 1 in 5 women (18%).
- 17% of respondents earning $75,000 per year or more feel more secure in their jobs compared to 12 months ago, while 27% of those making less than $75,000 feel more job secure.
- 27% of those with up to a high school education feel less job secure, as opposed to 17% of those with more education.
- 1 in 5 men (21%) say they feel better about their savings, compared with 1 in 7 women (14%).
- 28% of people age 18-29 are more comfortable with their savings, versus just 15% of people 30 and older.
- 42% of people making less than $50,000 are less comfortable about their savings, and the same was true for 25% of those making at least that much.
- 3 out of 10 suburbanites (30%) say they’re more comfortable with their debt, versus fewer than 2 out of 10 urban respondents (18%).
- 24% of people younger than 65 feel less comfortable with their debt, compared to 14% of people 65 or older.
- 34% of people making at least $75,000 are more comfortable with their debt, as are 29% making $30,000-$50,000, and 18% making less than $30,000.
- 34% of men report more net worth today, versus 23% of women.
- 27% of Republicans and 25% of Independents say they have a higher net worth, compared to 39% of Democrats.
- 39% of college grads say their net worth has increased, while just 25% of people without a college degree say that.
- 38% of Democrats are doing better today, compared to 23% of Republicans and 26% of Independents.
- 35% of parents with kids younger than 18 say their financial situation is better today, versus 26% of people with no kids.
- 33% of people in the South and West feel better about their finances, as opposed to 23% of those in the Northeast and Midwest.
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.