Los Angeles Times

More Americans are prepared for a recession, thanks to painful lessons of the last one

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - When the Great Recession struck in 2007, business was so slow at the Dodge dealership here that Brett Woodruff and his fellow salesmen played football on the empty car lot. Woodruff lost his 3,300-square-foot home by a golf course, his marriage and a prized 2004 black Dodge Viper.

It wasn't until after years of renting that Woodruff cautiously reentered the housing market, and even then with a home one-third the size and cost of his old one. He didn't hesitate recently to use coupons to save a few bucks for drapery ropes. He's squirreled away enough savings to sustain him for six to eight months - far more than the one month's cushion he had in 2007 - and he keeps all of it in

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