We never imagined we'd be peddling our wares for food money at the age of 30.

A greater number of people reported not saving money in 2004 than in 2001. Only 41 percent save regularly. That's a foreboding number for a nation with 76 million people reaching retirement age over the next 25 years.

Stagnant wages and skyrocketing healthcare, education and housing costs, plus greater job instability has pushed America's families right to the limit, and they're borrowing on high-cost credit just to make ends meet.

Americans are keeping their families afloat by putting their greatest asset at risk.

This is the first generation to shoulder the costs of college primarily through interest-bearing loans rather than federal grants that don't have to be repaid.