Americans Remain Resilient Despite Tough Economic Times

COUNTRY Financial Security Index up after hitting all-time low in August

Oct 18, 2011, 06:00 ET from COUNTRY Financial

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans' financial security sentiments improved slightly in October after steadily declining for the past six months and hitting an all-time low in August. The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® inched up 0.8 points to 63.2, driven by an uptick in nearly all aspects of financial security.

The number of people rating their overall financial security positively (36 percent) and those able to set aside money for savings or investments (44 percent) both increased two points. These short-term upticks might have improved Americans' long-term outlook.

Long-term Financial Security Sentiments

August 2011

October 2011

 

Enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement

49%

53%

 

Able to fund a child's college education

54%

57%

 

Family able to live comfortably despite a death or disability

56%

58%

 
     


 

"It's encouraging to see this resilience after six months of steady declines," said Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning at COUNTRY Financial. "Although the economic climate is largely unchanged, people are adapting, revisiting their plans and finding ways to save for both their short- and long-term goals."

To see how Americans have fared in October over the years and what historically happens in December, visit www.countryfinancialsecurityindex.com for an exclusive video interview with Brannan.

Gen X regains lost ground; Gen Y grows gloomier

While Gen Y (18- to 29-year-olds) became more pessimistic about their financial security, the younger half of Gen X (30- to 39-year-olds) expressed the opposite. The number of 30- to 39-year-olds who rate their financial security positively increased nine points to 39 percent. Eighteen to 29-year-olds who feel this way dropped 14 points to just 21 percent.

Surge in savings for Americans with a financial planner

Despite an increase in savings for October, more than half of people (53 percent) were still not able to set aside money. However, for those who sought professional advice, savings increased significantly. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) who consulted a financial planner were able to save. That number is 29 points higher than those without a planner.

"Whether you seek the advice of a professional or educate yourself, knowing how to allocate your finances can help you endure economic turbulence," added Brannan. "With the expensive season of summer in the past, October has traditionally been a slightly optimistic month. Especially during economic volatility, it's comforting to see this trend continue."

Survey Highlights

 

 
 

Topic

October 2010

August 2011

October 2011

 

COUNTRY Financial Security Index

64.4

62.4

63.2

 

Rate overall financial security as excellent or good  

36%

34%

36%

 

Able to set aside money for savings and investments  

45%

42%

44%

 

Enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement

55%

49%

53%

 
       


 

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 December 20, 2011 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 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.

About COUNTRY

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



RELATED LINKS

http://www.countryfinancial.com