In April 2008, Qiao Ming picks out 2007 tax forms at the Illinois Department of Revenue in Springfield. Some people prefer to do their own taxes, while others take comfort in using a professional. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

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Over the past several decades, many states and local governments made pension promises that will be expensive to keep. Now, they're struggling to fund their obligations. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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William and Laura Betts live on Dana Lane in the community of Moreno Valley, Calif. The couple stand out because they actually paid off their mortgage in 2005. William, who lost his job in November 2009, is glad they don't have to worry about making payments on their house. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Since the January earthquake, Luxon Fanfan now operates his barbershop in Port-au-Prince, from a street corner. Here, customer Cadelis Dennis gets a haircut. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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Many of the children displaced by the earthquake aren't orphans. Ten-year-old Harry Bienaime was separated from his mother when he was airlifted for medical treatment. Now he's recuperating at God's Littlest Angels orphanage as the staff searches for his mother. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

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