SAN ANGELO, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people in the dark. People are struggling to find a job or worried they may be released from their job, which will make money and having to pay rent or put food on the table more of a struggle than ever.
Even if a person needs extra funds pulling from their 401(k) should be their very last resort.
"Your 401(k) is something you're not supposed to touch, and if you do, then there's a severe penalty for taking money out of there," Better Business Bureau’s Glenna Friedrich said. "So that would cost you right up front and, of course you have to count it as income."
Friedrich explains why it should be last resort, and how it can affect someone's retirement in the future. The money you take out of your 401(k) may help for a short time, but you are going to have pay double to make up what was taken out.
However, there are plans but many require you to repay through automatic paycheck deduction.
Which means your income will decrease even further as money for your 401(k) contributions will also be cut from your paycheck.
If you borrow from your 401(k) to pay off another debt, you will still be in debt. Many people think that they are just using their own money, but they're taking out a loan.
Friedrich explains one of the best ways to avoid having to dip into your 401(k) is to try to negotiate.
"You're better off going to your landlord and trying to negotiate some rent payment," Friedrich said
She knows these are tough times for many people who may be living paycheck to paycheck but do everything you can to avoid touching your 401(k).
"Dipping into funds is never a positive thing because what you're doing is stealing from tomorrow to live today," Friedrich said.
The best way to stay afloat, according to Friedrich, is to budget your money as tight as possible.