Jim had major credit card bills—and a big IRA balance “that's just sitting there. Wouldn't it make sense to pull that money out and use it to get debt-free?”
John lost his job, and his company mailed him a check for his 401(k) balance. “I know this money is for retirement,” he said, “but I need it now.”
Wendy had a great idea for a business, but she couldn't convince any of the area banks to give her a loan to get started. She was convinced if she used her retirement money, the success of her future enterprise would allow her to more than replace what she took.
All these folks thought they had good reasons to raid their retirement funds. And they're all wrong.
The taxes, penalties, and lost future income I described ...