While investors have continued to steadily contribute to their 401(k)s throughout the two-year-long financial crisis and have kept 401(k) loans, hardship withdrawals and cash-outs to a minimum, there was, after all, a sudden surge in withdrawals last year, according to Vanguard.

In fact, investors who borrowed money from their 401(k)s in the first half of the year rose 6% overall, and non-hardship withdrawals by workers 59-1/2 or older still on the job rose 14%, according to Vanguard.

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