Here’s an interesting statistic that shines some light on how the average person views the best way to save for retirement. According to two recent surveys performed by the Opinion Research Corp. for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA), 21% of Americans–38% of whom have incomes less than $25,000–believe that winning the lottery is the only way they’ll be able to accumulate several hundred thousand dollars for retirement.
The Opinion Research Corp. polled a representative sample of more than 1,000 adult Americans about their views on personal wealth (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%), while FPA surveyed 360 financial planners on the same topics.
The FPA study found that 77% of the planners polled believe it’s very important for Americans to understand how to determine their “net personal wealth,” yet only about half, 49%, of the adult respondents in the Consumer Federation poll knew what constitutes this wealth. CFA and FPA define it as financial assets plus home equity and other tangible assets minus consumer debt. Further, after learning what net personal wealth means, less than half, or 48%, of respondents said they “know exactly or approximately how much wealth they have,” the study found.