July 2011 financial security

Financial Security Index survey chart

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Compared to 12 months ago, do you feel your overall financial situation is:

  • There was a slight weakening from June, with the number feeling better off declining 2 percentage points, and the number feeling worse off rising 2 percentage points.
  • Age works against you, with just 7 percent of those 65 and older feeling better off, while 30 percent of those younger than 30 did.
  • One-third of all respondents in households earning $50,000 or more reported feeling better off.

I think many people talked about it and didn't change their behavior.

Michael Masiello

Founder, Masiello & Associates, Rochester, N.Y.

On a practical matter, I don't think that people's financial situations are better a year later for the most part. Some are, and I think it is a really a function of who got serious about making effective changes to their savings (and) spending habits and credit card debts. But I think many people talked about it and didn't change their behavior. Fundamentally, it's never been an income problem; it's always been a discipline problem. There are people who make $30,000 and can't make ends meet and there are people who make $300,000 a year and can't make ends meet. People need to fundamentally take a corrective adjustment in how they do things and spend. At every level this country doesn't get it.

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