Bankrate’s monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. From Dec. 5-8, 2013, telephone interviews (on landlines and cellphones) with 1,002 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 rose to 100.4, up 1.1 points from November.
- 42 percent of women expect to spend less this holiday, compared to 33 percent of men.
- 21 percent of people age 18-29 expect to spend more this holiday, versus 12 percent of people 30 and older. 17 percent of parents of kids under 18 expect to do more holiday spending, compared to 12 percent of other respondents.
- 25 percent of people in the Western states say they’re less job-secure, versus 18 percent of Southerners, 13 percent of Midwesterners and only 5 percent of people in the Northeast.
- 19 percent of people 30 and over feel less secure in their jobs, compared to 8 percent of people age 18-29.
- 21 percent of people who never went to college feel less job-secure, almost double the rate for college grads (11 percent).
- 20 percent of people with at least some college education feel more secure about their savings, compared to 9 percent of people who never went beyond high school.
- 28 percent of people making $75,000 a year or more are feeling fine about their savings, while just 11 percent of those making less are in that camp.
- 19 percent of people aged 18-29, 15 percent aged 30-64, and 13 percent of those 65 or older are more comfortable with their savings today.
- 24 percent of men and 17 percent of women are more comfortable with their debt today.
- 25 percent of people with some college education, but no degree, are less comfortable about their debt, compared to 20 percent of less-educated people and 17 percent with a degree.
- 26 percent of those making less than $30,000 are more uncomfortable with their debt, versus 18 percent of people making at least that amount.
- 31 percent of men report a higher net worth, compared to 24 percent of women.
- 52 percent of people with an income of at least $75,000 a year say their net worth rose, compared to 19 percent of people making less than that.
- 33 percent of rural Americans say their net worth is higher, versus 27 percent of suburbanites and 25 percent of urban dwellers.
- 33 percent of parents with kids under 18 say they’re better off today, compared to 22 percent of other respondents.
- 28 percent of people younger than 65 are better off today, versus just 14 percent of those 65 and older.
- 27 percent of people living in rural places are worse off today, while just 17 percent of suburbanites and 16 percent of urbanites say the same thing.
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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