Lorraine Garner, 44

Retirement Home Nutritionist
Hague, Va.

If you had to use one word to describe your own personal financial situation these days, what would it be?

Stable, working consistently, saving.

All in all, how financially secure do you feel?

Somewhat secure.

Are you personally hopeful that your financial situation will improve?

Of course. Yes, I'm getting a raise. When I went into the job, after six months you get a raise. And they do that for two years. And then after that you get a raise every year.

Are you better off than your parents were when they were at your stage of life?

Yes, because when I was with my parents we didn't have no running water. We had outside toilets. We not only had to plant a garden. Our vehicles wasn't as good. Now we got better vehicles. We got running water. It's an easier life than it was back then.

Do you think your children will be better off than you are?

Yes, I'll be sure of that. I always told my kids I want them to have better than what I have. Right now [my daughter] is doing really good; you know, manager, making good money, and she's got her own place and she's young.

PHOTO: Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post

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