When It’s Not Too Awful to Dip Into a 401(k) (Wall Street Journal)

One-fourth of American households have used savings in a 401(k) or other similar account for some use other than retirement, The Wall Street Journal reports. And while that means that this money won’t be there when you retire, it may not be “such a terrible thing” in the right circumstances, such as when you need a to pay for medical expenses, a house down payment, education tuition, or to eliminate high-cost debt or fend off foreclosure.

“Ideally, you would have an emergency cash fund and the financial flexibility to avoid touching your 401(k) money until retirement. But that can be a challenge for young people just starting out or people who have lost jobs or face serious health issues,” the WSJ writes.

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