Statistics have shown that after the market hits near bottom, within a few years, it rises up again and surpasses the highs. Look at what happened after 9/11. The market is just about as low right now as it was was then. I have faith that the market will regain all of it's losses within four years. I'm a government employee and contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) which is a combination of stocks and bonds.
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
This is our 401k. Every two weeks 16% of my wages go into the TSP. It seems a lot but we can live on what my take home is. I'll be eligable to retire at age 54, but I plan on retiring at 57 or 58. That's another 19 years from now, so I'm in for the long haul. The good thing about this is that every two weeks, I'm buying low.
Hang in there guys. It'll get better.