Early withdrawals from retirement accounts are a double-edged sword, because withdrawals reduce retirement resources, but they also allow individuals to smooth consumption when they experience demographic and economic shocks. Using tax data, we show that preretirement withdrawals increased between 2004 and 2010, especially after 2007, but early withdrawal rates are substantial (relative to new contributions) in all those years.
Early Withdrawals from Retirement Accounts in the Great RecessionRobert Argento, Victoria Bryant, and John Sabelhaus ,
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Contemporary Economic Policy