The other most common reasons cited were to cover a financial emergency or medical expense.
Less than 10 percent said it was to buy a home and just said 3 percent said they tapped their retirement savings to pay college costs.
But for those with little or no savings, a lack of proper investment income and planning leaves many Americans at risk of retiring broke.
Most financial experts recommend stashing at least a six-month cushion to cover anything from a dental bill to a car repair — and more if you are the sole breadwinner in your family or in business for yourself.
GOBankingRates polled nearly 2,000 people who dipped into their retirement funds.
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