Americans’ sense of financial well being improved slightly in October after declining for the past six months and hitting an all-time low in August, according to a new report.
Country Financial, Bloomington, Ill., published this finding in its latest edition of the Country Financial Security Index. Based on a national telephone survey of 3,000 Americans, the index is an aggregate of various factors comprising financial security, including savings and investments, financial planning, retirement, education and asset protection.
Country Financial reports that the index inched up 0.8 points to 63.2, driven by an uptick in nearly all aspects of financial security.
The number of people rating their overall financial security positively (36%) and those able to set aside money for savings or investments (44%) both increased two points. These short-term upticks, the study says, might have improved Americans’ long-term outlook.
Respondents reporting that they have enough money for retirement increased to 53% in October from 49% in August. Those indicating they are able to fund a child’s education rose to 57% in October from 54% in August.
Respondents indicating they’re able to live comfortably despite a death or disability also rose to 58% in October from 56% in August.
While Gen Y (18- to 29-year-olds) became more pessimistic about their financial security, the younger half of Gen X (30- to 39-year-olds) expressed the opposite. The number of 30- to 39-year-olds who rate their financial security positively increased nine points to 39%. Eighteen to 29-year-olds who feel this way dropped 14 points to just 21%.
However, for those who sought professional advice, savings increased significantly. Nearly two-thirds (65%) who consulted a financial planner were able to save. That number is 29 points higher than those without a planner.