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Consumers Unaware of Social Security Tax Holiday

Apprisen reveals latest consumer survey

Columbus, Ohio - March 14, 2011 - Apprisen Financial Advocates is a local nonprofit consumer Financial Services agency that provides personal Financial Services and financial education. A February poll hosted on the National Foundation for Financial Services, revealed that close to half of the 2,037 survey respondents, 46 percent were unaware of the Social Security tax break which cuts the workers' share of Social Security payroll taxes by close to one-third during 2011.

Since the tax cut results in a larger paycheck, it is puzzling why so many people remain unaware of this windfall money. One of the basic elements of personal finance is knowing how much you make, as this should be the basis of all spending decisions. These numbers speak to the continuing need for financial education in our country.

Since the percentage of the tax cut is the same across the board, the lower wage earners won't realize as large of a dollar amount increase in their checks. However, those earning up to $106,800, the maximum amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes, could enjoy an extra $2,000 in their paychecks over the course of the year. Regardless of the amount, consumers should put this money to good use. The tax cut was only approved for 2011.

For those who were aware of the extra money in their pockets, most indicated they would use it to deal with an existing debt concern. Twenty-two percent responded that they would utilize the money to catch up on past-due bills, while 19 percent earmarked the money for increased payments to creditors.

Eight percent intend to put the extra money into savings. Only three percent felt that the best use of the money was to prepare for their future by putting it toward increased retirement contributions. While the intent of the tax cut was to stimulate spending, only one percent indicated they would treat themselves to something special, suggesting that consumers are not inclined to begin spending.

The actual poll question and results are as follows: Question: Paychecks are now larger due to the social security tax holiday. What are you going to do with this windfall money?

  1. Save it-8%
  2. Catch up on past-due bills - 22%
  3. Increase payments to creditors - 20%
  4. Increase retirement contributions - 3%
  5. Treat myself to something special - 1%
  6. This is news to me, I haven't heard a thing about it - 46%

Contact: Kathy Virgallito, 614.552.9578 kathy.virgallito@apprisen.com

If you need help determining the best use of this money, reach out to a trained and certified credit counselor. by calling 800.355.2227. Note: The NFCC's February Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC Web site (www.DebtAdvice.org) from February 1-28, 2011 and was answered by 2,037 individuals.

About Apprisen
Apprisen Financial Advocates, a national nonprofit Financial Services agency, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt since 1955. Certified counselors provide money management, debt counseling, HUD-approved housing counseling and financial education. Services are provided in- person in 10 states through local offices and nationally by phone or via the Internet. The oldest nonprofit Financial Services agency in the country, Apprisen Financial Advocates is known in its local communities as Consumer Financial Services Service (CCCS). Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), Apprisen is a member of the National Foundation for Financial Services (NFCC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and AICCCA. Information is available 24/7. Call 800-355-2227 or visit the website, www.apprisen.com. You can also follow CCCS/Apprisen on Facebook and on Twitter.

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