A majority of Californians believe that they can do a better job of investing a portion of their Social Security payments than the government can -- even though 80 percent admit that they have little or no investing experience, according to a recent poll.
In a survey of 800 Californians sponsored by the California Society of CPAs, when asked, "How does the prospect of managing a portion of your own Social Security investments strike you?" 51 percent said that they could make better investments than the government, while 41 percent were concerned about their ability to make such decisions.
When asked how they would describes themselves as investors, 52 percent admitted that they have little investment knowledge or experience, and 28 percent said that they have no investment experience. Only 19 percent said that they were very knowledgeable and experienced in investing.
Asked what they would consider the best solution to the Social Security "crisis," 35 percent of those surveyed favored allowing contributions to personal accounts, while 22 percent would continue the system as is, and 17 percent said that they'd increase the Social Security tax. Eight percent of respondents favored raising the minimum retirement age, while 14 percent said that they don't know what the correct solution is, and 1 percent declined to answer.
A quarter of respondents said that their 401(k) will be their primary source of retirement income, while 20 percent said that it would be Social Security, and another 20 percent said that it would be savings and investments that they fund themselves. Eighteen percent plan to rely on a pension as their chief retirement income source, while 10 percent will look to their IRAs.
Social Security topped the list of secondary sources of income for retirement, cited by 23 percent, followed by personal savings and investments (22 percent) and 401(k)s (16 percent), IRAs (13 percent) and pensions (10 percent).
When allowed to combine these sources of retirement income, 52 percent said that they'd rely on Social Security, IRAs, 401(k)s and other investments for their retirement. Thirty-six percent said that when they reach retirement age, they expect to work while also tapping these other sources of income. Seven percent said that they were likely to rely primarily on Social Security and no other sources of income.
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