Should You Tap Retirement Savings to Fund College? There are three things to consider before dipping into retirement savings to pay for college. Share | Have A Question About This Topic? Name Email Address Question Thank you! Oops! Related Contents 18 Years Worth of Days The average retirement lasts for 18 years. Are you prepared to fill that many days? Choices for Your 401(k) at a Former Employer Individuals have three basic choices with the 401(k) account they accrued at a previous employer. Roth 401(k) vs. Traditional 401(k) This calculator compares employee contributions to a Roth 401(k) and a traditional 401(k).