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Your Money: Don't cash out 401(k) to pay off debt

Dave Ramsey: You never cash out a 401(k) or IRA to pay off debt, unless it's to avoid a foreclosure or bankruptcy.
BY DAVE RAMSEY Published: December 3, 2012



I've got a better idea. Save up the money.

You guys are in great shape already. And to me, this opportunity seems like a small investment with a fabulous return. I really like the idea. But you have to be careful when it comes to things like this. You don't want to get into the habit of calling things emergencies when they're not emergencies. It's a great thing, but it's nowhere near an emergency.

I know she's excited about the possibilities, but I'd just roll up my sleeves, save a little extra for a while and cash flow the classes. She'll probably get reimbursed for the first classes right after she gets her grades, then you can use the reimbursement check to pay for the next classes, and the next check the next classes. Make sense?

I love the school idea, and I'm glad your wife has such a great opportunity. But I don't want you to take a chance on messing up the progress you've made in taking control of your finances. Just take your time and save for those first classes. You'll be glad you did.


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