Bankrate’s monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. From Nov. 7-10, 2013, Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,003 adults living in the continental U.S. The results of Bankrate’s Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. This month, the index rose to 99.3, up 1.9 points from October.
- 29 percent of people making at least $75,000 prioritize paying down debts, compared to 16 percent of other respondents.
- 52 percent of people making less than $30,000 are focused on staying on top of bills, versus just 28 percent of people earning more than that.
- 27 percent of 18-29-year-olds are concentrating on saving, while just 15 percent of those 30-and-older say the same thing.
- 26 percent of parents with kids under 18 say they are less secure in their jobs today compared with 16 percent of other respondents.
- 23 percent of men feel a greater sense of job security today — about twice the rate of women (12 percent).
- 22 percent of people with some college education feel more secure at work today versus 12 percent of college grads.
- 39 percent of women are less comfortable with their savings, compared with 29 percent of men. 38 percent of people making less than $50,000 a year feel less comfortable with their savings, versus 25 percent of those making at least that much.
- 22 percent of 18-29-year-olds say they’re less comfortable with their savings, while 37 percent of those 30 and older feel that way.
- 27 percent of adults under 50 are less comfortable with their debt, compared with 16 percent of people 50 and older.
- People making at least $30,000 a year are twice as likely to be more comfortable with their debt versus people earning less. (31 percent versus 14 percent).
- 28 percent of parents with kids under 18 are less comfortable with their debt, while 20 percent of other respondents feel that way.
- 33 percent of men report a higher net worth, compared with 25 percent of women.
- 36 percent of people making at least $30,000 per year say their net worth has risen, while just 20 percent of those making less than that say the same thing.
- 30 percent of Southerners, 29 percent of Midwesterners, 28 percent of Westerners and 25 percent of Northeasterners say their net worth has risen.
- 31 percent of parents with kids under 18 are doing worse today. For all other respondents, that number is 22 percent.
- 29 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of independents say they’re doing worse, compared with 18 percent of Democrats.
- About 3 in 10 men (29 percent) say their finances are better today, while 2 in 10 women (21 percent) say the same.
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.
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