By Zivica Kerkez @

Despite years of distance between today and the depths of the Great Recession, many retirees and savers are still feeling the pain. Lydia Depillis, writing for CNNMoney details the despair some Americans are still in.

A business lost, a life reinvented

Landscape architect Dan Donohue and his wife, who ran marketing and accounting for their small firm in Batavia, Illinois, had been through downturns before in his 25 years of experience. But the Great Recession, which brought to a halt the real estate development they counted on, knocked them out.

With no business and four young kids to feed, Donohue says he applied to hundreds of jobs. At various points, he commuted 153 miles each way for a part-time teaching position at Purdue University that paid $16,000 per semester, worked as an aide in a middle school for $11 an hour, and even took a landscape architectural internship for a park district.

The fall from middle class life to near-poverty was swift, and forced the family to forgo even the smallest of luxuries. Donohue recalls explaining to a frustrated teacher that he couldn’t afford to pay for his daughter’s field trip.

“The teacher stated: ‘But it’s only $6,'” recalls Donohue, 57. “And I said, ‘yes, it is only $6, but it’s $6 I don’t have for a field trip.'”

After going back to school for a master’s degree in special education, Donohue now makes about $55,000 a year as an elementary school teacher, and his wife works for a state-run science and math boarding school. They managed to keep their house with the help of an 18-month mortgage assistance program, but the schooling has left them with a pile of debt.

To Donohue, it all feels a little unfair.

“Jamie Dimon, and many others on Wall Street took bailout money and gave themselves million-dollar bonuses,” he says. “But thousands of others like myself are now indentured servants to credit card debt and school loans.”

Read more here.

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