BLOOMINGTON, Ill., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- After increasing in April, Americans' level of confidence in their overall financial security held steady in June, as the COUNTRY Financial Security Index® ticked down just one-tenth of a point to 64.8. A more optimistic near-term view of Americans' finances was offset by continued uncertainty about longer range issues.
While the overall COUNTRY Index remained stable, the short-term component -- an indicator of immediate financial concerns -- increased for the second consecutive month, jumping another five points to 17. This momentum was driven by improved ratings of overall financial security and an increase in the number of Americans able to set aside money for savings and investments within the past two months. Forty-one percent currently rate their financial security favorably, up two points from April and up six points from the beginning of the year. Forty-six percent were able to save, up one point from April and three points from February.
"As we reach the middle of the year, it is clear Americans are still uneasy about their finances as the unpredictable economic situation continues," says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning for COUNTRY Financial. "It is encouraging, however, to see that sentiments about short-term finances are heading in the right direction. We hope people understand that making the right financial decisions now can help them in the long-term."
Long-term goals remain on shaky ground
In contrast to short-term sentiments, confidence about long-term finances have yet to show significant signs of recovery. The number of Americans confident they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement dipped one point to 56 percent. Confidence in the ability to have enough resources to send children to college increased one point to 62 percent in June, but remains significantly lower than pre-recession readings.
Gen Y grows more optimistic about money matters
In comparison to other generations, the 18-29 age group has grown significantly more confident about their finances in the last few months.
- Forty-four percent were able to set aside money for savings or investments, an 11-point jump from April.
- Those rating their overall financial security as excellent or good increased six points to 39 percent.
- Those confident in their ability to pay debts as they come due climbed five points to 68 percent.
"It's good news that younger Americans have been able to save and invest more recently," adds Brannan. "As this generation has witnessed tremendous economic upheaval so early in their adult lives, they have the potential to learn a valuable lesson in money management that can stay with them as they move through different stages in life."
Individuals can learn more and compare their own results with the national COUNTRY Financial Security Index. The next COUNTRY Financial Security Index will be released August 17, 2010 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