Thanks to Boston Gal's blog, I came across this article in The Boston Globe: More Dip Early Into Funds for Retirement.
Now that's scary.
Having made just about every other mistake, the one sacrosanct financial given, for me, is "Thou shalt not touch thy 401K until retirement. Ever!"
From time to time, I have considered not putting as much money into my 401K each month, but my plan allows such reductions only at the beginning of each quarter, and then the decision must stand for the next three months. So far, I've been unwilling to take that route.
What disturbed me most were the reasons people gave for taking out money. At least if they were doing it for unanticipated medical expenses or some emergency, I'd get it. But because gas prices are higher or living expenses are tighter? Come on!
The advice to file bankruptcy rather than raid one's 401K may come as a surprise, but it IS an option. IRA and 401K funds are exempt from a bankruptcy, which means it should at least be considered prior to sabotaging future retirement.