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CA Voters Polled On Importance Of Social Security

October 29, 2010

No cuts, please -- Californians like, and depend, on their Social Security. That's the consensus of a new survey of more than 400 registered voters aged 40 and above who put protecting the Social Security system among their top two issues of personal importance. Creating jobs was their number one concern. The survey, conducted by AARP, is being released as President Obama's deficit reduction commission is likely to propose changes to the system.

Lisa Davis with AARP says the survey shows there's a real fundamental disconnect between how policymakers and average Americans look at the issue.

"People are very scared and insecure as they're thinking about retirement, and Social Security is that one foundation that they really can count on and need, as we've seen home values plummet, savings accounts really take a dive."

The survey found women are even more worried about their retirement security. When asked if the average Social Security benefit of around 12-hundred dollars a month was too much, only three-percent agreed.

"Women tend to have lower lifetime earnings, they're less likely to have a pension and savings and they live longer, so retirement is a very personal issue for them."

Women were even more worried about the retirement security of future generations, with 77 percent having little confidence their children and grandchildren will have a secure retirement.

Budget experts say with the baby boom generation entering retirement age, it would be difficult to significantly reduce future deficits without addressing the rising cost of Social Security.

The national survey, along with oversampled data of Californians and an analysis of responses by women, is available at www.aarp.org/SocialSecurityVoicesandValues.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA