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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/whats-so-special-about-a-quotretirementquot-15797680.aspx

Subject:  Re: Need relief from 10% penalty Date:  9/24/2001  1:48 AM
Author:  conick Number:  54180 of 123001

What's so special about a "retirement" account? It's just funds with a name.

And a hefty tax break.

Reasonable people would tend to want to use those funds as a last resort, meaning there is some dire need when they have exausted all other sources.

Reasonable people would ONLY have retirement accounts if there was no penalty for withdrawl (until they were maxed out of course).

You probably know this already but the current system has hardship exceptions built in. Check out:
http://www.fool.com/money/allaboutiras/allaboutiras07.htm

It wouldn't surprise me if these people would be denied any Social Services because they actually have scrimped and saved for the future. OTOH, the people that squandered their funds on the pleasures of the hour would be so poor that they would be