Poll: Reactions to recession vary; how are you coping?

This group is just plain sanguine. (That's "cheerful and confident; optimist; hopeful," according to Webster's Dictionary.)

This is the only group in which a majority isn't worried about having enough money for retirement.

They're the least likely to worry about losing job benefits such as health insurance (22%). And they're second behind the In-Control Realists in believing that outside factors don't affect their personal finances much.

This is the oldest group; the average age is 50. It has the second-largest percentage of men (54%). And it has the smallest group of low-income people; only 3% earn less than $20,000. It has the highest percentage of retirees (29%).

This group is likely to be white, male and Republican (38%).

Like Terry Harris of Lakeland, Fla., they feel like they've seen it all before.

"It really comes down to: What's different today than yesterday?" Harris says. "The mortgage industry screwed us all up, but my house is paid off. My bank is still running. I work in a job in health care, and people are always going to get sick. Unemployment is high, but it was higher when Jimmy Carter was president."

Harris, 41, is married with three children. Times are a "little tight," but he's not worried.

"It's nothing we haven't lived with before," he says.

He's confident he could take his skills as a systems programmer for a local hospital to any business.

"I remember back in the '70s, you couldn't get a job. You couldn't buy a house. My parents bought a house, but it was very difficult. There were gas lines at the pumps because of the (OPEC) oil embargo, and we were waiting in line in the heat for gas," he says.

He's not that concerned that economic Armageddon is on its way.

"I'm not worried about my immediate situation," he says. And, as far as the economy: "America still makes stuff. It'll be fine."

I'm OK, the Economy's Not

•By far, this is the best off financially of any of the groups; 97% say their finances are in good or excellent shape.

•Yet, everyone in this group (100%) says the economy is in the worst economic crisis in their lifetime.

•This group has the largest percentage of stock owners (77%), and largest percentage of homeowners (80%).

•But they're more likely than two of the five groups to be worried about losing their jobs or benefits because of economic turmoil.

This is the most affluent, most educated, most male, most white and most married of all the groups.

It has the highest income: 50% have annual household incomes of $75,000 or more. It has the highest percentage of whites (93%).

This group includes men such as Ken Bomeisl, 59, who retired after 30 years with the New York State Department of Health and moved to Henderson, Nev., one of the nation's fastest-growing cities, near Las Vegas.

"I'm in great shape," Bomeisl says. He's got a government pension, saved conservatively in stable funds and paid cash for his condo in a development with a pool.

The economy is another matter.

"People got themselves into trouble. Let's not blame it all on the banks and hedge funds. They were taking out mortgages for $1,300, $1,400 a month, and I'd say, 'I make more money than you, how can you afford it?' But they thought real estate was just going to keep going up and up and up."

He sees the poor economy's effect all around him. Two of his neighbors' condos have gone into foreclosure, and he knows if he had to sell today, he'd get less than he paid. But he doesn't have to.

He's all set.

TELL US: How does your economic personality affect your finances?

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