Americans’ financial security sentiments inched up in October for the first time in six months, increasing by 0.7 points to 64.4, the Country Financial Security Index shows.

The biggest financial concern to receive a boost was confidence in the ability to send children to college, jumping seven points from the 61% reading in August, the last time the survey was taken.

Confidence in the ability to save jumped two points to 45%, and in the likelihood of living a comfortable retirement rose two points, as well, to 55%.

However, only 36% describe their overall financial situation as excellent or good, a drop of three percentage points from August.

“It’s encouraging to see people more positive about several aspects of their finances,” said Keith Brannan, senior vice president of financial security planning for Country Financial. “However, it’s not surprising they still remain skeptical about the big picture.”

The survey also showed that married people feel more secure than unmarried folks, with those with 43% of those with a spouse rating their overall financial security as excellent or good. In contrast, only 25% of those who are not married feel that way. Similarly, 83% of those who share financial decisions are confident they can pay debts as they come due, compared with 74% who go it alone.

Working with a financial planner also greatly improves investors’ outlook, with 72% who have a planner saying they are confident they will have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement, compared to 46% who have no financial planner.

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