25% of 401k Holders Raid Their Retirement Fund!

Jar filled with pennies, nickles, dimes, and dollar bills, labeled 401k.
Photo Attribution: takeasmartstep.com

According to HelloWallet and their most recent study about 401k contributions, over 25% of those using a 401k “break” the 401k and borrow from it before retiring. This “fact” received wide attention. But buried deeper in the report was the really mind-blowing data.  “As of 2010, about 40 percent of households included a worker with access to a defined contribution program and 79 percent of those actively participated in it…”

So that means that in total, the most popular retirement plan in America has approximately 32% of the households participating.  And 25% of them are having to borrow or cash out  from it at some point in order to finance some emergency before retirement. So 68 percent of households are depending on social security for their retirement savings plus another 8% who have 401ks but can’t really save enough to use it long term. Wow.

So those who wonder why the value channel of retail is the greatest growth segment in retail over the next 20 years, have their answer.  The dollar store business and opening price point formats are where over 75% of american households will have no choice but to shop.

As Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, act 1 scene 2:

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings. “

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