Johnita Ellerby, a single mother of four, is studying social work while working full time. Art Silverman/NPR hide caption

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Sarah Bidgood is managing editor of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. She says her parents helped her start adult life with no debt, giving her a leg up. Art Silverman/NPR hide caption

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A truck drives through a flooded street caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City's Financial District on Tuesday. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

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The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was empty of traders Monday, as New York's financial district braced for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Waves crash over a road as Hurricane Sandy comes up the coast Monday in Winthrop, Mass. Economists are predicting the storm will cost tens of billions of dollars. Darren McCollester/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael and Amy Tiemann estimate their personal wealth at about $25 million — and say luck played no small part in their financial success. Art Silverman/NPR hide caption

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama debate on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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A construction worker finishes a roof in Chicago on Oct. 12. Signs of recovery in the housing market are springing up nationwide, but there's still a ways to go. Nam Y. Huh/AP hide caption

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Alan Shull attends a job fair in Portland, Ore., on April 24. Rick Bowmer/AP hide caption

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