Q: I’m 57 years old. I am considering taking money out of my 401(K) plan to pay off debt. The problem is I am struggling to make ends meet. What should I do?
A: Well, only you know whether or not it’s time for a major career shift. But based on what you said, you seem to be a bit overwhelmed in dealing with such an emotionally demanding job.
You said you’ve worked there since 1997 and have been in the special education field since 1990, so the good news is that it’s not too much of a stretch to take the skills and experiences you’ve amassed over 20 years and apply them in the general education arena.
From a financial standpoint, however, since you have no savings and described yourself as struggling to make ends meet, I would advise you to be cautious about taking money out of your 401(k) plan. You said you planned to roll it over. But into what? Your message didn’t indicate specifics. Into an IRA or something else? Read this post about Roth IRAs and this one as well about the benefits of having a 401(k).