NEW YORK — A study released by Bankrate.com revealed a steep drop in consumers’ financial security. Bankrate’s overall Financial Security Index fell to a 2011 low of 92.3 amid a recent stock market correction, a U.S. credit downgrade and a barrage of poor economic data. Consumers’ feelings about their savings, net worth and job security all established 2011 lows.
The new study was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and can be seen in its entirety here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/aug-2011-financial-security-poll.aspx.
Overall Financial Situation:
- 35% of Americans say their overall financial situation is worse now than 12 months ago; just 19% say it is better.
- 41% of senior citizens feel their overall financial situation is worse now than one year ago.
- One in three Americans younger than 30 say their overall financial situation is better now than it was 12 months ago.
- 30% of Americans report lower net worth than one year ago; only 20% say their net worth is now higher.
- 47% of Americans are less comfortable with their savings now compared to 12 months ago.
- More than half of Americans age 50 and older are less comfortable with their savings now compared to 12 months ago.
- One-third of Americans between ages 30 and 64 feel less secure in their jobs now compared to 12 months ago.
- 29% of employed Americans are saving less for retirement than last year, nearly double the 15% that are saving more.
“Recent volatility clearly has consumers nervous,” said Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “But in these uncertain times, it’s important not to overreact to short-term events. Consumers should make sure that their investments properly reflect their long-term objectives. As long as that’s the case, substantial changes are not necessary.”
Bankrate’s Financial Security Index results are based on telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,001 adults. The interviews were conducted from August 4-7, 2011 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The margin of error is +/- 3.7 percentage points.
About Bankrate, Inc.
The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com, Bankaholic, CreditCards.com and NetQuote. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company’s flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com’s information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers.