Only 17 percent of Americans say their financial situation is now better than it was a year ago, according to Bankrate.com’s monthly financial security index survey. The index, which tracks how people feel about their finances and the outlook for the future, was compiled from 1,000 telephone interviews during October.
The poll found a greater amount of pessimism among older Americans, with 38 percent of those surveyed, who classified themselves as retirees, reporting their money problems have worsened in the past year.
Among those aged 50 to 64 and still working, 31 percent said they were more concerned now about losing their jobs than they were last year. Meanwhile, 56 percent of the older survey participants said they feel “less comfortable” with their savings than they did one year ago.
Concerning their overall financial status, just 19 percent of survey participants reported a higher net worth than a year ago, while 30 percent reported a lower net worth.
Only 20 percent reported being more comfortable now with their overall debt than they were a year ago, a figure that Bankrate.com officials said has dropped every month since June despite some signs of an improving economy.
“The weak economy, ailing housing sector and volatile stock market continue to undercut consumers’ feelings of financial security,” said Bankrate.com senior financial analyst Greg McBride. “Americans’ feelings about their savings, debt and net worth continue to erode.”
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