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Financial Security Index little changed in August

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An indicator of Americans’ sense of financial security in August changed little from the level recorded in July, new research shows.

Bankrate Inc. published this finding in a summary of results from a six-question telephone survey of 1,005 adult Americans to measure how secure they feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted the survey.

Bankrate reveals that its Financial Security Index dipped in August to 100.5 points from 102 in July. The reported decline is within the index’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

When asked how their contributions to retirement savings this year compares to that of 2012, more than half (54 percent) say they are saving “about the same amount.” An additional 18 percent are saving more, while another 17 percent are saving less.

The report notes also that:

20 percent of people with no college degree are saving less for retirement this year, compared to 10 percent of people with a college degree.

17 percent of people earning less than $30,000 didn’t contribute anything in 2013 or 2012, versus just an average 3 percent of people earning $30,000 or more.

18 percent of respondents younger than 65 say they’re saving less in retirement accounts, while just 7 percent of those 65 and older say they’re doing the same. 

When asked how they feel about their job security compared to 12 months ago, nearly one-quarter of the respondents (23 percent) say they believe they’re “more secure” and 20 percent insist they are “less secure.” More than half of those polled feel “about the same.”


More than 1 in 4 men (28 percent) are feeling more job secure today than they did 12 months ago, compared with fewer than one in five women (18 percent). 

17 percent of respondents earning $75,000 per year or more feel secure in their jobs compared to 12 months ago, while 27 percent of those making less than $75,000 feel more job secure.

27 percent of those with up to a high school education feel less job secure, as opposed to 17 percent of those with more education.

As to how they feel about the amount of money they have in savings compared to 12 months ago, nearly one in five (18 percent) of the respondents say they feel “more comfortable.” An additional 35 percent and 45 percent, respectively, say they are “less comfortable” or feel “about the same.”


One in five men (21 percent) say they feel better about their savings, compared with one in 7 women (14 percent).

28 percent of people age 18-29 are more comfortable with their savings, versus just 15 percent of people 30 and older.

42 percent of people making less than $50,000 are less comfortable about their savings, and the same was true for 25 percent of those making at least that much.