More than 25% of Americans are dipping into 401(k) retirement accounts to pay for bills.
U.S. workers are tapping into nearly a quarter of the $293 billion placed into their retirement savings each year to pay for mortgages, credit cards and other debts, according to a report from financial advisory firm HelloWallet. Those in their 40s are the most frequent raiders, with about one-third using their 401(k)s to pay for current bills.
Other studies bear out those results. Vanguard, an investment management group, said that Americans workers withdrawing money from 401(k)s or taking out loans against their accounts jumped 12% since 2008.
Draining funds that ensure security when workers retire has raised new worries about the shaky foundation for older Americans.
Many workers use loans that incur large penalties to dip into retirement accounts. In addition to paying income taxes, many are hit with a 10% tax penalty.