BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans are regaining confidence in their financial security. The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® increased for the third straight month. Higher savings rates and more positivity about debt repayment pushed the reading up one point to 65.8, the highest level since December 2009.
Confidence in several aspects of financial security rose to its highest level in at least two years.
- Half of Americans were able to set aside money for savings, up six points to a three-year high.
- Eighty percent are confident in their ability to pay debts, up three points since December. This is its highest reading since October 2008.
- Americans rating their overall financial security positively increased two points to 41 percent. Confidence in the ability to retire comfortably rose three points to 58 percent. Both are at their highest level since December 2009.
"It's been a while since Americans were feeling this optimistic. Steady improvements since September could signal people are breaking the recession mindset," says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning at COUNTRY Financial. "Now's the time to create or revisit a financial plan that addresses both short- and long-term goals, which can help maintain this optimism."
Middle Income Earners Feel More Secure
While other income groups' financial sentiments remained stable or declined, middle income earners grew more upbeat. Forty-eight percent with an annual household income of $60 - $75K and 53 percent with an income of $75 - $100K rate their overall financial security positively. These are up five and nine points from December, respectively.
30–39 Year Olds Drive Overall Optimism
Of all the age groups, 30 to 39 year olds showed the largest uptick in their confidence this month.
- Fifty-eight percent were able to set aside money for savings, a 15-point jump.
- Sixty-one percent are confident in their ability to retire comfortably, up eight points.
"Financial security is achievable no matter your age or income," adds Brannan. "The key is simply to establish financial goals and stick to them."
To access embeddable data charts and video interviews about the latest COUNTRY Index data, please visit www.countryfinancialsecurityindex.com. Individuals can also learn more and compare their own results with the national COUNTRY Financial Security Index. The next COUNTRY Financial Security Index will be released April 17, 2012 and subsequently every other month.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® is a bi-monthly measure of Americans' sentiments toward their overall financial security. It is an aggregate of various factors comprising financial security including savings and investments, financial planning, retirement, education and asset protection.
The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
COUNTRY Financial (http://www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.
SOURCE COUNTRY Financial