The 24/7 Wall St./Harris Poll survey of 2,364 U.S. adults found only one quarter (24%) report they think they will personally receive more money this year as a result of the changes, half say they will not receive any additional money (49%), and 27% are not sure. Of those who believe they will receive additional money in 2011 as a result of recent changes in tax legislation and Social Security, 52% say they will use the money to pay down their debt.
According to a press release, just under half (46%) say they will likely use it for everyday spending, such as paying bills and buying groceries, and two in five (41%) say they will use this money to add to their savings and/or investments. One in five (19%) say they will use the money to make a specific purchase, such as a car, new home, home renovation or piece of jewelry, while 15% say they will use the money to take a vacation.
The survey found that although a majority of Americans are familiar with the changes overall, older Americans are more likely to be familiar with them than those younger. Over four in five Americans age 55 and older say they are familiar with the extension of the unemployment benefits (85%) compared to three in four of those 45-54 (76%), two thirds of those 35-44 (65%), and just half of those 18-34 (51%). Similarly, Americans 55 and older are more likely to be familiar with the legislation to extend the Bush-era tax cuts as well as the changes to Social Security contributions (80% and 70%, respectively) than are those younger. Among 18-34 year olds under half are familiar with extending the Bush era tax cuts (48%) and just over one-third (36%) are familiar with changes to Social Security, the press release said.Older Americans are also most likely to say they do not think they will receive any additional money this year as a result of the changes. Over six in ten Americans 55 years and older say this (62%) compared to fewer Americans aged 18-34 (44%) and 35-44 (38%) who say the same. Not surprisingly, younger Americans, least familiar with the changes, are more likely than those older to be unsure whether or not they will receive more money as a result – one third of those 18-34 say this (33%), compared to a quarter of those 45-54 (25%) and only one in five of those 55 and older (20%).