Americans level of confidence in their overall financial security held steady this month, according to a new survey, but a more optimistic near-term view of their finances was offset by continued uncertainty over longer-range issues.
The Country Financial Security Index ticked down just one-tenth of a point to 64.8 this month, but while the overall 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.
In contrast to short-term sentiments, however, confidence about long-term finances has 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.
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.
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.
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