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FidelityVoice: The Risks Of Cashing Out Your 401K Early

All too often, people make a critical mistake when it comes to managing their 401(k) savings: They cash out prematurely. Recent data compiled by Fidelity notes that one in three 401(k) participants has cashed out of his or her plan, often when changing jobs. For many, cashing out a 401(k) is a relatively easy way to solve a short-term cash crunch, whether it’s due to temporary cash-flow problems created by the loss of a job, or simply paying down a credit card or covering an emergency home repair. But while liquidating your 401(k) may not seem like a big deal, especially if you have a small balance over a long period of time, the consequences of cashing out can be devastating to the average investor.

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