Feelings of financial security slipped to their lowest point in the past 12 months, according to a monthly reading by Bankrate.
Bankrate’s Financial Security Index for October measured 101.1 — the lowest since October 2014. The reading is still high enough to indicate that Americans feel stronger about their personal finances than they did this time last year.
Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst, noted that Americans still showed improved confidence in their jobs and greater comfort with levels of debt, net worth and overall financial situation. The readings for job security, debt and net worth did slip in October, however.
The Financial Security Index uses a national telephone survey that’s conducted in English and Spanish by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Calls were made Oct. 1-4 to 1,000 adults living in the continental U.S. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
Highlights: Do you have any reasons to limit how much you spend each month?
- Among those nearing retirement (age 50-64), 73% said “yes” compared with 48% of people who were 65 or older.
- People who were of retirement age (age 65 and older) were nearly twice as likely to say “no” than people nearing retirement (age 50-64).
- 65% of workers said “yes” compared with 57% of people who don’t have a job.
Highlights: What is the biggest reason for not spending more each month?
- The most popular reason cited by the youngest group (age 18-29) was the need to save more.
- Among those identifying as Republicans, 30% said they were worried about the economy, compared with 8% of Democrats.
- People making between $30,000 and $49,999 were more than 6 times as likely as people earning $75,000 or more to say they were worried about job security.
Highlights: Compared with last year, how secure is your job?
- Low-income workers (earning less than $30,000 a year) were more than 5 times as likely to say they were “more secure” about their jobs than people making a moderate income (between $50,000 and $74,999).
- 22% of those who had a full-time job said they felt “more secure” compared with 8% of those with a part-time job.
- 20% of men and 16% of women said they felt “more secure” in their jobs.
Highlights: Compared with last year, how do you feel about your savings?
- 22% of men said they felt “more comfortable,” compared with 15% of women.
- Those in the youngest group (age 18-29) were more than twice as likely as the oldest group (65 and older) to say they’re “more comfortable.”
- Among those making salaries of $75,000 or more, 24% said they were “more comfortable” compared with 14% of those who made less than $30,000.
Highlights: How do you feel about your debt, compared with a year ago?
- 25% of men said they felt more comfortable, compared with 16% of women.
- 25% of people between 30 and 49 years old said they were “less comfortable,” the highest rate of all the age groups.
- 25% of those who had a job said they felt “more comfortable,” compared with 14% of those who were unemployed.
Highlights: How is your net worth, compared with a year ago?
- 31% of men said it was “higher,” compared with 23% of women.
- 30% of white respondents said it was “higher,” compared with 19% of Hispanic respondents.
- 22% of those living in suburban areas said it was “lower,” compared with 14% of those living in urban areas.
Highlights: How would you describe your overall financial situation compared with a year ago?
- 30% of men said it was “better” today compared with 23% of women.
- 30% of those making less than $30,000 a year said it was “worse” today, compared with 12% of those earning $75,000 or more.
- 33% of parents said it was “better” today, compared with 23% of those who don’t have children.
What’s the status of your personal finances? Give yourself a checkup with a free credit score at myBankrate.
Editor’s note: Percentages may not equal 100, due to rounding.