It seems like we're getting it from all sides in today's economy. We should buy houses to pursue the American dream; we should keep buying iPads for us, and personal trainers for our kids, and everything else we need to keep up. Oh, iPads for our kids, too.

At the same time, it's harder to find a job -- and a lot of the jobs out there are insecure: part-time, or temporary, no benefits.

And -- oh yeah -- we're supposed to save for our retirement.

 Can we afford the consumer economy? Marketplace explores how we consume, what we get from it, what it costs and whether we can keep it up. 

Explore the whole series here.

Reports tell us all the time about what we need to do to have enough money to retire without becoming poor. Are they realistic?

A recent report from Fidelity Investments, one of the largest mutual-fund companies, spelled out what someone needs to do to retire and maintain a similar lifestyle. That recipe?

By age 25, work and save without a break until 67. Never get sick, or laid off, or change jobs, or take time off to have a child. Get a raise every year that beats inflation. Get the 401(K) match every year. Have investments that beat inflation every year.

Is that you? We turned to Lizz Winstead, creator of "The Daily Show" and Air America Radio, for a reality check. Hear the full story at the link above.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal