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March 26, 2018 | Posted in:

Should You Withdraw From Your 401(k) in these 3 Scenarios?

Ideally, you should try not to tap your 401(k) or IRA accounts before it’s time to retire. But life happens. In certain situations, you may need to withdraw a portion of your nest egg while you’re still working full time. Here are three scenarios where this may be the case — and possible alternatives to avoid tapping your retirement accounts too soon:

 

High-interest credit card debt has become unbearable.

Your retirement plan may allow for a 401(k) loan that can be used to pay off expensive credit card accounts. Although the loan is paid back to your own account (paying yourself the interest), this solution has some disadvantages. For one thing, money that’s withdrawn from your 401(k) account isn’t available for long-term growth. Also, should you lose your job, the loan may become due immediately.

If you can’t settle the debt right away, you may be subject to a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty and regular income taxes on the outstanding loan balance. Consider paying off debts using other funding sources as it may be a more prudent solution.

 

Your family is facing foreclosure on your home.

The hit to your credit score can be devastating if you default on a mortgage. But, again, using your retirement nest egg should be considered a last resort. You may be better off working with your lender to revamp your mortgage. Consider extending the term or renegotiating the interest rate to reduce monthly payments.

 

You are heading back to college.

If you need to retool for a new career, the IRS allows you to make penalty-free withdrawals from your IRA accounts before age 59½ if the money is applied toward higher education expenses. But be aware that the same rules do not apply to 401(k) accounts. If you haven’t reached age 59½ and use funds from a 401(k) to cover college expenses, early withdrawal penalties and income taxes may apply.

 

Learn more about hardship withdrawals →

 

The best way to avoid penalties is to understand the rules around retirement account withdrawals. Give us a call to learn more about tax penalties you may face if you withdraw funds early from retirement accounts. We can help you create the best plan for your situation.

 

© MC 2018 | “Financial Tips” are published monthly to provide useful financial information. The information contained in this site is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance. Visit www.asfinancialservices.com for more information on managing your finances with a sound financial plan.

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