Survey: Americans’ financial security edges up in August

By National Underwriter

National Underwriter

By Warren S. Hersch

Americans’ confidence in their finances has edged up since June, according to a new survey.

Country Financial, Bloomington, Ill., published this finding in its August 2012 release of the Country Financial Security Index. The company recorded an index score of 65.9 in August, 0.8 points higher than in June 2012.

Though a smaller percentage of people this month indicate their level of financial security is “excellent” (7.6 percent versus 9 percent in June), more respondents in August note that their financial security is “good” (32.2 percent versus 30.4 percent in June) or fair (41.2 percent versus 38.2 percent).

Also, fewer people in August say their financial security is poor (17.3 percent versus 20.8 percent).

Reflecting the increased optimism, more survey respondents in August than in June indicate they are setting aside money for savings or investments (51.5 percent vs. 50.5 percent), are somewhat likely to enjoy a comfortable retirement (39.6 percent vs. 35.5 percent), are somewhat confident they’ll have enough money to pay for a child’s college education (41.2 percent vs. 33.9 percent) and are somewhat confident they can pay off all debts as they come due (34.3 percent vs. 33.2 percent).

Men in the survey evinced a higher level financial security than women (68.2 vs. 64.0 on the Country Financial index). The gender gap is mirrored in the percentages of men and women who are setting aside money to save and invest (55.3 percent vs. 48.4 percent), are very likely to enjoy a comfortable retirement (21.4 percent vs. 15.0 percent) and who say that, if they were die or become disabled, they would leave enough money for their families to live on (23.9 percent vs. 20.2 percent).

Also showing the highest levels of financial security are boomers between the ages of 50 and 64, who score 65.8 in the Country Financial Index, Caucasians (66.5), people with annual incomes over $100,000 (79.3), married individuals (68.2) and those who are without children (66.5).

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