Entries in Survey (18)


For Retirement, Is 80 the New 65?

Rosemary Calvert/Photographer's Choice RF(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The traditional retirement age of 65 is an outdated concept and middle-class Americans expect to continue working far longer, according to a survey released Wednesday by Wells Fargo & Co.

Some 76 percent of the 1,500 middle-class Americans surveyed by Harris Interactive said it is more important to have a specific amount saved before retirement, regardless of age, and just 20 percent said it’s most important to retire at a specific age, no matter how little or much they saved.

The survey taken in September and October also found that 25 percent of middle-class Americans say they will “need to work until at least age 80″ to live comfortably in retirement and three in four said they expect to work in their retirement years.  Of those, it was split about evenly between those who will have to work to maintain their lifestyles and those who will work because they want to.

The survey found that 49 percent of middle-class Americans aged 25 to 49 would accept future cuts in Social Security to help reduce America’s debt, but that dropped to 28 percent of those age 50 to 59 and just 19 percent of those age 60 to 75.

A majority of those surveyed said they would “need to significantly cut back on spending today to save for retirement.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Outlet Stores Satisfy in Bad Economy, Says 'Consumer Reports'

Martin Poole/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- Cautious consumers are finding buying opportunities at outlet stores. In a recent survey by Consumer Reports, outlet stores received high marks from shoppers searching for deals in a sluggish economy.

For the report, more than 17,000 readers answered a survey about shopping habits at 58 large outlets.  The report looked at consumer reactions to stores based on value, quality, selection and service, and found a sector riddled with both praise and criticism.

According to the survey, 60 percent of outlet shoppers were completely satisfied or very satisfied by their experiences at outlet stores.

The number-one complaint about outlets? Higher-than-expected price tags.

“When you factor in sales and discounts at regular stores, the average savings at outlets is 38 percent,” Linda Humphers, editor at Value Retails News, told Consumer Reports.

When it came to quality, outlet stores fared much better. Three quarters described the merchandise at the discount entities as “excellent or very good,” according to the survey. In fact, the same percentage found the merchandise at outlet stores and regular stores to be comparable in quality.

“A consumer’s experience may depend on how hard they are on clothes, how finicky they are about styling, or how happy they are saving money. Our shoppers saved up to 61 percent on outlet items,” Tod Marks of Consumer Reports said in a statement.

Here’s a look at the ratings for outlets:

Top  Performers:

  • Jockey
  • Carter’s
  • Harry & David
  • Corningware
  • Izod
  • Van Heusen
  • Coach

Stores Cited By Consumers for Inferior Goods

  • Banana Republic
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Gap
  • J. Crew
  • Pottery Barn

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Zagat Survey Ranks Top Fast Food Chains

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Subway is considered the most popular “Mega” fast food chain, while Starbucks finds itself rated the number one “Quick Refreshment” stop, according to Zagat’s latest annual National Fast Food Restaurant Survey.

The survey divided restaurant chains into four categories: Mega Chains with over 5,000 outlets; Large Chains with up to 5,000 outlets; Quick Refreshment outlets that focus on specific food items such as beverages and ice cream; and Full Service outlets.  The survey involved 6,064 diners.

Here are the results, listed in order:

Popular Favorites
-- Mega Chains: Subway, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell
-- Large Chains: Five Guys, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger
-- Quick Refreshment: Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Culver’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Cold Stone Creamery

Top Overall Rated Chains
-- Mega Chains: Wendy’s, Subway, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC
-- Large Chains: Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Papa Murphy’s, Panera Bread, Chipotle
-- Quick Refreshment: Pinkberry, Red Mango, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Culver’s, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Zagat also asked respondents to name the best fast food chain for a variety of categories.  Their answers are listed below:

-- Burger: Five Guys
-- Fried Chicken: KFC
-- Grilled Chicken: Chick-fil-A
-- Fish: Long John Silver's
-- French Fries: McDonald's
-- Coffee: Starbucks
-- Milkshakes: Dairy Queen
-- Ice Cream/Custard: Ben & Jerry's
-- Smoothies/Frozen Yogurt: Red Mango
-- Breakfast Sandwiches: McDonald's
-- Salads: Panera Bread
-- Value Menu: McDonald's
-- Overall Value: McDonald's
-- Child-Friendly: McDonald's
-- Drive-Thru: McDonald's
-- Wings: Buffalo Wild Wings

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jobs Survey: Americans Out of Work Longer, Taking Pay Cuts

db2stock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new nationwide study shows people are out of work much longer in this weak economy and forced to take desperate measures.

Nearly 6 in 10 unemployed workers have been looking for a job for over a year, according to the Rutgers University study, and 1 out of 3 unemployed Americans have been out of work for more than two years.

“More than half of those people who've become re-employed took a job simply just to get by,” said the study’s author, Cliff Zukin.

The study shows people are taking jobs they don't like, taking major pay cuts, and moving to other parts of the country to find work.

“Half of the people who found jobs took a pay cut,” Zukin said.

The research paints a heart-wrenching picture of how losing your job these days can devastate your life.

“People are telling us they're having trouble sleeping,” Zukin said. “They're getting in more quarrels at home, they're not going out socially, they're losing contact with close friends.”

More than half of those surveyed believe a real economic recovery is three years away.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nice Guys Finish Last in the Workplace

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NOTRE DAME, Ind.) -- "Nice guys finish last" the old adage goes, and a new study suggests there just might be some truth to this dictum — at least when it comes to workplace earnings.

The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Behavior, found that men who described themselves as nice -- agreeable, cooperative and kind -- earned 18 percent less than men who characterized themselves as disagreeable and aggressive. Women earned the least amount of money, but women who called themselves disagreeable made about 5 percent more than their more friendly female counterparts.

Timothy A. Judge, a professor of management at the University of Notre Dame and lead author of the study, said the most significant finding showed that what works for men -- disagreeableness -- didn't work as well for women.

Two factors probably contribute to this, he said.

"First, I think people interpret disagreeable behavior by men and women differently," Judge wrote in an email to ABC News. "Disagreeable men are [seen as] tough-minded and good negotiators. Disagreeable women are seen as "bit**es" or labeled in a similarly derogatory way. Think of Martha Stewart and Hillary Clinton. Appropriate behavior is somewhat gendered."

"It's age old — women who are assertive get perceived as being aggressive," said Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. "It is a culturally bound factor that is not fair but highly prevalent."

Data from nearly 3,500 workers, ranging from recent college grads to those near retirement, was used in the investigation. The researchers collected the data from three American surveys -- the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, the National Survey of Midlife Development and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey -- which consisted of self-reported facts regarding work experience, salary and other personal information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The Fourth of July is the Number One Holiday for Cookouts

Polka Dot/Jupiterimages(NEW YORK) -- In addition to the Fourth of July being one of the busiest travel holidays of the year in the United States, a new survey has revealed it is also one of the busiest days in the kitchen -- or outside with the grill.

While airlines and gas stations will be cashing in from travelers over the July 4 weekend, supermarkets will also be making big bucks, as a new survey by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association ranks the Fourth of July as the most popular outdoor cooking holiday. Memorial Day is the second most popular holiday for a cookout, followed by Labor Day and Father’s Day.

Thirty-three percent of Americans say they go for hamburgers at a Fourth of July cookout, while 29 percent prefer steak. Fourteen percent of respondents said poultry was their top food choice while seven percent named hotdogs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Survey: Record Pessimism About Retirement

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- How are Americans feeling about retirement?  In one word: grim.

That's the finding of a new survey just released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which asked 1,258 respondents how confident they felt they'd be able to afford a comfortable retirement.

Their pessimism set a new record for the 21-year old annual survey.  Twenty-seven percent declared themselves "not at all confident" they'd be able to retire comfortably, up from 22 percent the year before.  Only 13 percent said they were "very confident" of being able to.

Jack VanDerhei, research director at EBRI, says what surprised him most -- in light of the stock market's rebound in 2010 -- was the five percent increase in "not at all confident" responses.  The increase was not uniform, but varied according to income.

The increase in the total percentage of workers not at all confident appears to be largely the result of a loss of confidence among those who have less than $100,000 in savings, the report found.  That percentage increased sharply among people with savings of less than $25,000 (43 percent in 2011, up from 19 percent in 2007) and between $25,000 and $99,000 (22 percent in 2011, up from seven percent in 2007).´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Outrageous Excuses for Missing Work

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The country’s weak economy has more people using bogus excuses to get out of work, according to a new survey commissioned by

The survey said 27 percent of supervisors have seen an increase in people using excuses to get out of work, a trend they say is caused by stress and burnout from the down economy. Twenty-nine percent of workers surveyed admitted to having called in sick at least once this year when they weren’t.

The survey asked bosses for the most unusual excuses employees have given for missing work.  Here are some highlights:

* Employee said a chicken attacked his mom.

* Employee's finger was stuck in a bowling ball.

* Employee had a hair transplant gone bad.

* Employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man.

* Employee said he wasn't feeling too clever that day.

* Employee called in the day after Thanksgiving because she burned her mouth on a pumpkin pie.

* Employee was in a boat on Lake Erie, ran out of gas and the Coast Guard towed him to the Canadian side.

Some of the most common reasons for calling in with a bogus excuse?  “Just not feeling like going to work” was the numbe- one reason, followed by “just needing to relax” and “catching up on sleep.” 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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