I almost hate seeing the word "recovery" these days, though the story that follows is nothing to cheer about.
In Spite of the Recovery, More Workers Are Borrowing From 401(k)s
One statistic about U.S. household finances is so startling that it deserves its own post: Nearly one in three employees say they took a hardship loan or distribution from their 401(k) retirement accounts last year, up from one in four in 2011. Considering that hardship loans and distributions can trigger penalties or other costs, this is an expensive proposition.
Women. Thirty-four percent of female employees said they took 401(k) loans or hardship distributions, compared to just 23 percent of men—a wider gap than in 2011.
Lower-income employees. Forty-five percent of employees earning from $35,000 to $60,000 said they had to tap their 401(k)s, compared to 11 percent of people earning more than $200,000.
Younger workers. Those aged 30 to 44 reported a big increase in hardship loans and distributions, going from 27 percent in 2011 to 37 percent in 2012.
There is more at the link, and also a link to a report with info about the data: http://www.financialfinesse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2012_Year_in_...
Already more than a third of people hit retirement withe less than $10K in savings, and when you have people pulling out their nest egg for just basic living, it not only tells you the economy is a stinky thing, but that the future may be a dark and foreboding place for many more than we think.