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Americans Embrace 2014 with Financial Optimism

COUNTRY Survey: Nearly 1 in 3 expect next year to be better financially than 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans are approaching 2014 with a positive financial outlook.  According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index®, 32 percent think 2014 will be better for them financially than 2013, the most optimistic they've been about the year ahead since December 2007 (42 percent). The relatively rosy forecast comes as the overall COUNTRY Index dipped 0.2 points this month, driven by a drop in the ability to save.

Those Americans expecting an improved financial future are banking on increased income expectations (48 percent), decreased debt (14 percent) and improvements in the economy (14 percent) in 2014. For the 25 percent of Americans who feel 2014 will be worse for them financially, most say a worsening economy (41 percent) and increased healthcare expenses (20 percent) will be to blame.

"It's great to see more Americans are optimistic about their 2014 financial situation. Creating a financial plan – or reviewing your existing one – will help ensure that confidence remains throughout the year," says Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial. "While there are outside factors affecting financial security you can't control, focus on those you can control when laying out your short-term and long-term financial goals."

2013 Index in Review
Americans' financial security sentiments have been little changed over the past year, with the exception of their ability to save. This month, 48 percent were able to set aside money for savings, down four points from June and marking the first reading below 50 percent since December 2011.


December 2013

June 2013

December 2012

COUNTRY Financial Security
Index

65.7

65.9

66.3

Have enough money to enjoy a
comfortable retirement

57%

58%

58%

Have enough resources to send
their children to college

61%

59%

59%

Able to pay off debts as they
come due

79%

78%

81%

"It's not surprising to see a drop in savings this time of year with the holiday season in full swing. As for the fairly consistent financial security sentiments overall, this may be a sign that Americans have settled into the new economic reality," adds Buhrmann. "Moving into 2014, redefine what financial security means for you. That way you can map out a realistic plan for your individual needs."

For more information and an infographic of the findings, visit www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans' sentiments of their personal financial security. The COUNTRY Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com and on Twitter at @FinanceSecure.

The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial  and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans. 

The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About COUNTRY
COUNTRY Financial (www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.

SOURCE COUNTRY Financial

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