Psychologists urge level-headedness after stock fall

Stress ensues after stock market drop

Walk the streets asking about money on a day when the stock market dropped more than 500 points, it doesn't take much time to find people who are stressed.

"I've seen my retirement going up in smoke," said Bob Lucky, a 73-year-old retiree from Hypoluxo.

Lucky feels anything but lucky.

He says the value of his stock investments is down more than $20,000 in the last month.

Those losses are on paper for now. He hasn't sold in this jittery market.

Even so, the financial news compound the trouble his family is already facing. He sends $1,000 per month to a son who lost his job eight months ago and can't find another one.

"I'm old enough to know the depression years," said Lucky. "And we came out of it."

Depression is something psychologist John Murray says he sees in patients who are worried about money.

"It's a tool. Money is a tool. It's a vehicle to accomplish goals and to have some freedom," said Murray.

With freedoms restrained in tight times, he says it's common for people to give up things that used to be fun, to lose confidence, and to see things in an unhealthy way.

Because savings can take decades to build, losing chunks of it in one fell swoop can be particularly hard to deal with.

Murray says a reasoned, positive outlook--however difficult-- is vital. It's one reason Bob Lucky is so happy to see his grandchildren today.

"What are grandpas for? To spoil the kids!," says Lucky.

Murray says he recommends not making any rash financial decisions based on a bad day in the stock market.

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