Should we go over the cliff? Some already cushioning for plunge.

By Josh Levs

(CNN) — Across the country, a sudden shift is taking place.

Bobbie Cleave, a retired teacher in Utah, has put off plans to get a badly needed car.

Brian Chandler, a data manager in metro Atlanta, is delaying buying a house, despite needing space for his second child due any day now.

Retired police officer Richard Huffman of Michigan may ditch plans to re-enter the work force.

And several families CNN spoke with said they’re shrinking the gift pile beneath the Christmas tree.

As the nation approaches the so-called “fiscal cliff,” people are taking steps to cushion their families from the plunge.

To them, the threat to the nation’s economy requires preparation — particularly with President Barack Obama warning that going off the cliff could cost the average family of four more than $2,000.

But some say the fears are just hype.

And others see an upside.

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