Americans more secure about personal finances


ChartAccording to the results of a new survey, financial confidence ticked upward from its July level and is even more improved when looked at year over year. The increase in optimism is led by younger citizens.

The survey, from COUNTRY Financial, states that the COUNTRY Financial Security Index now stands at 65.9, up from 65.1 in July 2012 and up from 62.4 in August 2011. COUNTRY noted that the 62.4 reading marked the nadir of the ongoing survey and the 65.9 is the best reading for August since August 2008.

Some of the details: The percentage who believe they have the wherewithal to send children to college improved from 54% to 61%; and the percentage confident in their ability to retire improved from 55% to 58%; and 20% believe that their financial security is improving – before this month, the highest result had been 18%.

“We are used to a seasonal dip in confidence in June and August, so it’s refreshing to see financial optimism this month,” said Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial. “Americans have made great strides this year, especially in their ability to set aside money. To maintain this positive momentum, remember to plan ahead and set aside savings for any unexpected obstacles that might set you back.”

In general, men exhibited more confidence than women and were better able to save money.
The most confident age demographic was the 18-29 year old group. 49% of the demo reported positive financial security, which was said to be 6% better than the next best group.

“Younger adults are staying optimistic despite some unsettling economic news recently,” said Buhrmann. “With long-term goals like retirement and college funding further away, they’re making the most of that time by saving early. However, no matter your age, you need a financial plan to reach your goals.”