For many people, there's good reason to be fearful of the future, even if problems like terrorism and global warming are solved. A problem that will hit home much harder is the lack of personal savings that will leave many people scraping to get by well after normal retirement age.
As noted by William Creekbaum in Sunday's paper, the personal savings rate is at record lows, and average Americans are spending more than they earn. More and more, people are putting off saving for retirement, and sometimes giving in to short-term temptations such as high-interest or variable-rate loans that send them deeper down the financial abyss.
It's capitalism that's helped make this country great, of course. But the need for immediate gratification expressed through buying luxury or unnecessary items is becoming a way of life for some people who don't seem to have a concept of what it will mean for their retirements.
Other Nevadans are doing their best to save and prepare for the future, but finding the cost of living is making it harder and harder to get by. Already, there are plenty of seniors among us fighting to get by on fixed incomes, through no fault of their own. Some are holding jobs well beyond normal retirement age just so they can afford their monthly bills and prescriptions. And who knows if the Social Security they depend upon will be viable in another decade or two?
You know the situation is bad when the vice president identifies it as a major problem, which he did in a speech last year. Dick Cheney said "... a lot of American families live paycheck to paycheck - often finding, as the saying goes, too much month at the end of the money."
Nevada leaders are doing the right things by regulating payday loan businesses and undertaking efforts to attract high-paying businesses, but they won't be able to solve the problem.
That can only be done on an individual basis and only when people begin to realize how difficult their retirements will be if they don't start saving and investing. Today.