More than half of Americans say their level of financial security is staying about the same. However, in general, men are more likely to believe their circumstances are improving than women.
According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index, on an individual level, many are accepting their current financial situation as a new normal.
In mid-2015, the Index score jumped 2.1 points to 66.9, the highest score reported since the financial crisis hit the U.S. in 2008. However, following the uptick, the score has moved at a fraction of that rate in the past year, settling in slightly lower at 66.7 in its latest reading.
In the aftermath of The Great Recession, Americans’ financial sentiments reached an all-time low of 63.7. Since reaching the bottom of the trough, the Index score amongst men has rebounded to 68.2, past the national average and near the all-time high of 69.3 set in June 2008.
However, the Index score amongst women remains stuck closer to the all-time low at 65.1 – and three in four women don’t see things getting better. At the same time, women are more likely to feel their overall financial situation is staying the same in comparison to men.
Men are making strides to improve their financial security on a short-term basis, making it easier to see their overall level of financial security improving:
1, In the past three months, men are more likely than women to have set aside money for savings and investments
2. Men are also more likely to feel very confident compared to women in their ability to pay debts – such as mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debts – as they come due
Beyond the basic short-term financial goals such as saving, investing and paying off debts, women have a more negative outlook when it comes to meeting longer-term financial goals.
With the cost of a college education rising and longevity extending in the U.S., women are unsure about their ability to cover the costs:
1. Women are significantly less confident they will have resources to send children to college than men
2. Women also feel significantly less likely they will have enough money and resources to enjoy a comfortable retirement
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