When asked to compare their financial situation to last year, 42 percent of Americans say they feel less secure now, according to a new Harris Poll.
The poll, of 2,331 adults surveyed online between Dec. 6 and 13, 2010, by Harris Interactive, found that about one-third (36 percent) feel just as secure while one in five (19 percent) say they now feel more secure.
Looking ahead, one-quarter of Americans (26 percent) say they expect the economy to get worse in the coming year while three in 10 (29 percent) expect it to get better and 45 percent say it will stay the same. Last month, 34 percent said they thought the economy would be getting better, 41 percent said it would stay the same, and 25 percent believed it would get worse.
In looking at the job market, just over one in three Americans (13 percent) rate the job market in their region of the country as good while three in five (63 percent) rate it as bad and one-quarter (24 percent) say it is neither good nor bad.
Looking ahead, one-quarter of U.S. adults (25 percent) say they expect the job market to be better over the next six months, one in five (22 percent) say it will be worse and over half (54 percent) believe it will remain the same.
Looking to what people may be doing with regard to their finances in the coming year, half of Americans (49 percent) say they will cut back on their household spending. Two in five say they will pay down their level of debt (41 percent) and save more in the year ahead (40 percent). One in five U.S. adults say they will get rid of one or more credit cards (22 percent) and save more for retirement (22 percent) while 13 percent say they will undertake home improvements that increase the value of their home.
Less than one in 10 say they will invest in less risky investments (8 percent), refinance their mortgage (6 percent) or take out a home equity line of credit (2 percent). And, one in five Americans (18 percent) say they do not expect to do anything differently financially in 2011.
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