The bimonthly survey showed a slight uptick, to 66.2 points in financial security sentiments—the fourth consecutive increase in financial security sentiments, the longest in the five years Country Financial has been producing the report.
Improvements in savings and optimism about college funding helped to drive the overall increase. Of survey respondents, 53% were able to set aside money for savings, a three-point increase from February, the largest number able to save since October 2008.
The number of people who expressed confidence in their ability to send their children to college jumped five points, to 61%.
Despite these gains, Americans seem undecided about the future of their financial security.
Americans who said their overall level of financial security was getting worse inched up two points, to 39%.
"With both gains and declines, the data seems to show cautious optimism. Americans might be unsure what shape economic recovery will take, which could be fueling their desire to save," said Keith Brannan, vice president of financial security planning at Country Financial.
More than any other age group, 40- to 49-year-olds exhibited strong optimism in both their short- and long-term money matters. Confidence in retirement and those who rate their overall financial security for 40- to 49-year-olds were both up six points, to 57% and 41%, respectively.
Eighty-one percent were confident in their ability to pay debts, up nine points. There was also a 13-point jump, to 58%, in those able to set aside money for savings.
Sixty-four percent were confident in their ability to send their children to college, a 12-point increase from February.
The index is an aggregate of various factors comprising financial security including savings and investments, financial planning, retirement, education and asset protection. It is compiled by the independent research firm Rasmussen Reports LLC, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans.
For more information on the Index, visit www.countryfinancialsecurityindex.com.
- Jill Cornfield
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