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Securing the Future

October 2007 Survey Research Report

 Overall results

1. In general, do you think the nation's economy is headed in the right direction or is it off on the wrong track?

  # %
Right direction 208 28
Wrong track 476 63
Not sure 66 9
TOTAL 750  
Net right direction -267 -36%
Right : wrong 1:2.3  

2. In terms of your own personal situation, are you better off, worse off, or about the same financially as you were one year ago?

  # %
Better 177 24
Worse 178 24
About the same 396 53
TOTAL 750  

3. Looking ahead, do you expect your personal financial situation to be better, worse or about the same one year from now?

  # %
Better 220 29
Worse 123 16
About the same 379 51
Not sure 29 4
TOTAL 750  

4. Have you personally had to sell your home, or do you know anyone who has had to sell their home or had their home mortgage foreclosed as a direct result of the current problems in the home mortgage market?

  # %
Yes 99 13
No 651 87
TOTAL 750  
Net yes -553 -74%
Yes : no 1:6.6  

5. Do you believe the federal government should intervene to financially help individuals who may lose their homes because they over-extended themselves financially, or do you think that is a risk they took and they should not be helped by government?

  # %
Government should help 217 29
Government should not help 450 60
Not sure 83 11
TOTAL 750  
Net should help -233 -31%
Should help : should not help 1:2.1  

6. A number of home mortgage firms either have gone bankrupt or may go bankrupt as a result of rising interest rates and the slowdown in the residential housing market.  Do you think the federal government should financially assist such companies, or do you think that is a risk they took and they should not be helped by government?

  # %
Government should help 147 20
Government should not help 541 72
Not sure 62 8
TOTAL 750  
Net should help -395 -53%
Should help : should not help 1:3.7  

7. Do you own your own home?

  # %
Yes 638 85
No 112 15
TOTAL 750  
Net yes 526 70%
Yes : no 5.7:1  

8. About what percentage of your take home pay goes toward your mortgage payment?

  # %
10-20% 125 24
21-30% 103 20
31-40% 33 6
41-50% 28 5
More than 50% 19 4
Not sure 215 41
Refused 115  
TOTAL 638  

9. Do you have an organized plan for your personal finances?

  # %
Yes 569 76
No 171 23
Not sure 10 1
TOTAL 750  
Net yes 398 53%
Yes : no 3.3:1  

10. How important would you say it is to have an organized plan for your financial future:

  # %
Very important 610 81
Somewhat important 98 13
Somewhat unimportant 7 1
Not important 18 2
Not sure 17 2
TOTAL 750  

11. Are you now or have you ever participated in private savings programs to finance higher education costs for yourself or a member of your family?

  # %
Yes 248 33
No 494 66
Not sure 8 1
TOTAL 750  
Net yes -246 -33%
Yes : no 1:2.0  

12. What type of savings program have you utilized?

  # %
Pa tuition acct program 32 13
529 savings plan 51 21
Bank/credit union acct 52 21
Mutual fund 49 20
State savings plan 1 0
Regular savings acct 6 3
Stock market 2 1
Insurance 3 1
Trust fund 2 1
Ira 3 1
CDs 2 1
U-promise 1 1
Savings bonds 4 2
Student loans 7 3
Other 9 4
Not sure 23 9
TOTAL 248  

13. Do you personally plan to retire on or near age 65 or do you anticipate working significantly past that age?

  # %
Yes/retire on/near 65 222 30
No/work longer 201 27
Already retired 287 38
Not sure 41 5
TOTAL 750  

14. How confident are you that you have set enough resources aside for retirement income:

  # %
Extremely confident 80 11
Very confident 199 27
Somewhat confident 259 35
Confident 279 37%
Not very confident 102 14
Not confident 186 25%
Not confident at all 84 11
Not sure 26 3
TOTAL 750  
Net confident 93 12%
Confident : not confident 1.5:1  

15. How much will you depend on the government for such items as retirement income, health care and other social services once you retire:

  # %
Heavily dependent 111 15
Somewhat dependent 437 58
Not dependent at all 171 23
Not sure 31 4
TOTAL 750  

16. Aside from social security, are you presently saving for retirement via an employer-sponsored pension program, 401k, IRA, or other investment instrument?

  # %
Yes 418 56
No 325 43
Not sure 5 1
Refused 2  
TOTAL 750  

17. Why types of savings instrument are you utilizing?

  # %
Employer-sponsored 58 14
Traditional pension 29 7
Mutual fund 26 6
401k 175 43
403b 15 4
Ira 76 19
All of above 4 1
CDs 1 0
Personal income 6 1
Stock market 2 0
Other 8 2
Not sure 11 3
Refused 9  
TOTAL 418  

18. Looking ahead to retirement, what portion of your retirement income do you expect to come from social security, and what portion do you plan to finance from private investments:

  # %
100% Ssocial Security 68 9
75% ss/25% private 81 11
50% SS/50% private 176 24
25% SS/75% private 189 26
Mostly private 120 16
Not sure 94 13
Refused 23  
TOTAL 750  

19. What portion of your annual income do you currently invest or save for the future:

  # %
Under 5% 222 31
6%-10% 160 22
11%-15% 97 14
16%-20% 66 9
21%-25% 29 4
Over 25% 37 5
Not sure 103 14
Refused 34  
TOTAL 750  

20. Are you or is anyone in your household presently insured for "end-of-life" expenses, such as extended nursing home care:

  # %
Yes 148 20
No 588 78
Not sure 15 2
TOTAL 750  
Net yes -440 -59%
Yes : no 1:4.0  

21. Should the government participate in paying for "end-of-life" expenses such as extended nursing home care?

  # %
Yes 409 54
No 259 35
Not sure 82 11
TOTAL 750  
Net yes 149 20%
Yes : no 1.6:1  

22. How important is it for you to pre-plan final documents, such as a will, living will, and/or power of attorney:

  # %
Very important 602 80
Somewhat important 115 15
Somewhat unimportant 10 1
Very unimportant 9 1
Not sure 13 2
TOTAL 750  
Important 717 96%
Unimportant 20 3%
Net important 697 93%
Important : unimportant 36.2:1  

23. Do you favor or oppose enactment of what's commonly referred to as the right to work law, whereby a worker cannot be compelled to join or pay fees to a labor union as a condition of employment?

  # %
Strongly favor 261 35
Somewhat favor 158 21
Somewhat oppose 93 12
Strongly oppose 134 18
Not sure 105 14
TOTAL 750  
Favor 419 56%
Oppose 226 30%
Net favor 193 26%
Favor : oppose 1.9:1  

24. Do you agree or disagree that employees who choose not to join a union should still be required to pay an administration fee to a labor union if their workplace is represented by a union?

  # %
Strongly agree 161 22
Somewhat agree 131 18
Strongly disagree 183 25
Somewhat disagree 200 27
Not sure 68 9
Refused 7  
TOTAL 750  
Agree 292 39%
Disagree 383 52%
Net agree -90 -12%
Agree : disagree 1:1.3  

25. Age group

  # %
18-34 52 7
35-44 90 12
45-54 157 21
55-64 210 28
65+ 240 32
TOTAL 750  

26. Income

  # %
Under $20,000 128 20
$20,000-$30,000 94 15
$30,000-$50,000 140 22
$50,000-$75,000 115 18
$75,000-$100,000 63 10
Over $100,000 76 12
Not sure 29 5
Refused 106  
TOTAL 750  

27. Political philosophy

  # %
Conservative 381 52
Liberal 215 29
Moderate 100 14
Not sure 41 6
Refused 13  
TOTAL 750  

28. Education

  # %
Less than high school 35 5
High school graduate 273 37
2 yr degree/technical 151 20
4 year degree 156 21
Graduate degree 129 17
Refused 6  
TOTAL 750  

29. Religious affiliation

  # %
None 65 9
Protestant 174 25
Catholic 211 30
Jewish 15 2
Christian 88 12
Lutheran 34 5
Methodist 43 6
Evangelical 6 1
Baptist 41 6
Episcopal 7 1
Mennonite 4 1
Pentecostal 1 0
Buddhist 6 1
Other 8 1
Not sure 6 1
Refused 41  
TOTAL 750  

30. Affiliation

  # %
Democrat 370 49
Republican 298 40
Independent 69 9
Other 14 2
TOTAL 750  

31. Gender

  # %
Male 371 49
Female 379 51
TOTAL 750  

 


Taking the Pulse of Pennsylvania