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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 121095

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 awarded the Social Services. What's fair about that?

Its not fair (if we had a dime for everytime something wasnt fair in our lives we wouldn't be having this conversation, we'd both be retired). The people that save can have the retirement they want, the people that squander are dependent on the government. Personally, I'd rather be in the former group and I would have a hard time watching someone starve because of some very poor decisions because Social Services wasnt offered. (But thats for another thread).

Hey, if you can get less restrictions without giving up tax benefits, I'm all for it. (But they'd definitely have to change the name :) )

Good Luck in your pursuit.
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