Americans' Financial Optimism Seeks Shade from the Summer Sun

COUNTRY Index: Despite seasonal slip, Americans feel more financially secure than a year ago

Jun 19, 2012, 06:00 ET from COUNTRY Financial

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As temperatures rise, Americans' financial security tends to fall. The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® dropped 1.1 points to 65.1. June has marked the beginning of a summertime slide since the peak of the recession in 2009. However, the surge in confidence over the last eight months means Americans are still feeling better than this time last year, when the reading stood at 63.7.

Confidence decreased in nearly all aspects of financial security this month, especially in long-term financial obligations.

  • Just 54 percent feel they will have the financial resources to send their children to college, down seven points from April. This is its lowest level since August 2010.
  • Those confident in their ability to retire comfortably dipped three points to 54 percent.
  • Americans' ability to save faltered slightly, dropping two points to 51 percent.

"The summer can be a stressful time for your finances," says Keith Brannan, vice president of financial security planning, COUNTRY Financial. "Summer travel expenses, college tuition payments and weekend outings make saving a challenge. Just one of those can impact your ability to reach your immediate goals. No matter your concern, a financial plan is the key to overcoming it. Especially for recurring, seasonal expenses, it's never too early to plan."

For tips to survive the summer spending season, watch a video interview with Brannan at

Confidence up year-over-year

Despite the seasonal financial challenges, Americans are more optimistic in many aspects of their financial security than they were a year ago.

April 2012

June 2012

June 2011

COUNTRY Financial Security Index®




Set aside money for savings or investments




Pay off debts as they come due




Enjoy a comfortable retirement




"It's encouraging to see Americans' positive year-over-year progress," adds Brannan. "Becoming financially secure isn't a sprint. It requires a comprehensive plan that addresses both your short- and long-term needs. The overall trend shows Americans are headed in the right direction."

To access embeddable data charts and video interviews about the latest COUNTRY Index data, please visit 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 August 21, 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 COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial  and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans.

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 ( 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.