More Americans tap into "nest egg" for help now

By Carly O'Keefe - bio | email

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - A record number of Americans are dipping into their retirement early.

According to a recent report from Fidelity Investments 62,000 workers borrowed from their 401k's during the second quarter of this year. That's the highest number in 10 years.

"A lot of 401k's have a hardship option where you can borrow your own money out of your retirement and pay it back to yourself," said Chuck Dobrinick, a financial advisor with Edward Jones.

But Dobrinick warns, while the interest may be lower than a traditional bank loan, you're still setting yourself back.

"They're going to have to contribute more to get that balance back up," said Dobrinick

Still some folks, like Heartland News Facebook page poster Anne Cave Gooch say they had no choice.

"I had to when I lost my job at the first of the year," Gooch said in a Facebook posting. "I know I have heard others will be dipping into theirs because of job loss or hours. I know I didn't plan on taking any money out of mine until I was ready to retire and I am just thankful that I had it to use."

"Understand the consequences of this action," said Dobrinick. "It's either going to delay your retirement, reduce the standard of living you're hoping to enjoy when you retire, or it may cause you to drop your current standard of living to get back on track."

Dobrinick says if you've exhausted all other options, try to borrow the smallest amount you can from your 401k just to get by. Also keep in mind you'll have to pay an IRS penalty and income tax on that money.

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