One in four Americans is raiding their meager retirement savings to pay their monthly bills, according to a new study.
When Amy Shankland's husband, John, was laid off from his job, they tapped into their IRAs to get by. With credit card debt, big medical expenses, and two young sons, the Shanklands had few options.
"We didn't know what to do. It was either bankruptcy or cash in our IRAs," Amy Shankland told NBC News.
The Shanklands are not alone. Americans are borrowing against their 401(k) to pay for non-retirement needs such as mortgages, credit card debt or college tuition, according to a new study from financial advisory firm HelloWallet. That amounts for more than $70 billion in annual withdrawals.
Financial experts say it's a troubling trend.