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Stocks plunge. The fear’s back. Market mayhem.

Just scanning financial headlines is enough to make you sick to your stomach – figuratively or literally. And people who are retired or close to it have more reason to worry. But the experts seem to have a clear message: don’t panic (and remember to be thankful for Social Security).

We’re not suggesting a tattoo… A pep talk, and some practical advice, would probably make more sense. Watch Surviving a Market Downturn or How to Cope in Volatile Financial Times. Those are a couple of places to start. And there’s more… Knowledge is power, right? Right.

If you’d rather read than watch, check out some of these articles. 7 Things to Do When the Market Slumps. Should You Stick with Stocks? The Great Stock vs. Bond Debate. Finding Income in a Volatile Market. Some experts are even commenting on the silver lining, like low interest rates…at least for now. . Others are saying that the stages of grief for financial loss are similar to those of other life events – and it’s good to know you’re not alone.

If you were planning to claim Social Security soon, you might want to consider waiting for a few years. This interactive Social Security benefits calculator can help you explore different scenarios to see what the tradeoffs could mean to your personal bottom line.

Speaking of Social Security, it’s also a good time to examine options for making it stronger for younger generations – and explaining to them why they might need it more than they think. After all, it’s likely that they will have their own market downturns…along with their own tattoos.

‘Don’t Panic’ photo courtesy of Nevermindtheend’s photostream on Flickr Creative Commons.