Hey, did you see this? The unemployment rate for folks age 55 and older is way up.

So what?

So folks over 55 are having a harder time finding a new job. I bet some of those folks are going to end up giving up and declaring themselves "retired" earlier than they'd hoped, that's what. And with a lot less money than they'd hoped, too.

Why are you telling me this? I've got stuff to do. My soap opera is on in a minute, the one with all those Tide ads. Gotta love Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG); as long as they keep cranking out those dividends they can run all the ads they want, if you ask me.

Actually, I didn't ask you. I'm trying to tell you something important. P&G's a great company and I'm glad that you bought some for your IRA. But I noticed that you sold some stuff to buy it.

Yeah, so what? I sold Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) because I think that metals have had a good run but the guys on TV keep telling me that inflation isn't going to happen soon, and I sold Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) because it's up high again and I don't know how many iPods they're going to sell if the economy keeps stinking. And now the market's looking a little dicey so I bought a couple of consumer stocks, the soap guys and Diageo (NYSE:DEO), because I don't see people giving up booze or clean laundry when they get laid off. What's the problem?

Dude, what you didn't do was make a new contribution to your IRA this year. And you're putting nothing in your 401(k). You aren't saving any more money for retirement.

You keep telling me there's a recession on, right? Business isn't great. I don't want to be dumping new money into the market. I might need it before I'm an old guy, you know?

I hear that. But seeing people's nest eggs get blown up, and seeing people maybe being pushed into retirement before they were financially ready for it, has me thinking that maybe some people have blown off their retirement saving too casually.

I don't know about casual. I was down at the coffee shop having my doughnut yesterday and a guy was telling me about his daughter and his son-in-law, they ran up $60,000 in credit card debt. $60,000!

That's a lot. But --

And he says the son-in-law's company is having layoffs. Not a lot of job security out there right now. I read that the Discover card guys -- Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS) -- say their charge-off rates are still going up. American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) are already over 10%. People lose their jobs and can't pay these things; it wrecks their lives. They've got no business saving for retirement until they pay those things down, if you ask me.

Maybe that's so. But I think there are people out there who maybe don't have huge credit card balances but still dialed down their contributions when things got scary last fall. How much do you have on your credit card right now?

Nothing. I pay every month; you know that.

But you stopped putting money into your 401(k) last fall. And I think you --

Oh come on, the mutual funds all stink right now. Who wants to put money in their 401(k)?

You ever hear of buy low, sell high?

So what?

So first of all, if a mutual fund's price is down, it's because the fund's holdings are down. That can be a good time to buy. Second, nobody's one-year track record looks good right now. But now that things are getting a little bit more stable, it's a good time to find the good funds and --

Stable? This economy isn't stable. You want stable? Look at this woman on the soap opera, Helen Whatsherface, been on this show since 1956 or something. That's some job security right there.

Helen Wagner, yeah. Anyway, listen to me. You need to start investing for retirement again. You need to get back to your 401(k).

But ... you know, I shouldn't tell you this, but I look at it and I feel stupid. You know, I'm OK with stocks now. I know how to do that. But they've got all these weird funds and I don't know ...

You need some help.

Yeah, but I don't want to pay that advisor now.

So try the Fool's thing. Rule Your Retirement, it's called. A whole year is cheaper than a meeting with the advisor, and on top of all the great content it's got a special discussion board so you can still get all the help you need.

Eh, I don't know.

C'mon, try it free for 30 days, see what you think.

OK. What do I gotta do?

Just click here to get rolling. It's painless, I promise.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Apple and Diageo, and has no plans to sell either. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. American Express and Discover Financial are Inside Value recommendations. Diageo and Procter & Gamble are Income Investor selections. The Fool owns shares of Procter & Gamble and American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.