Should You Tap Retirement Savings to Fund College? There are three things to consider before dipping into retirement savings to pay for college. Share | Related Content The Power of Tax-Deferred Growth Why are 401(k) plans, annuities, and IRAs so popular? Retirement Income and the Traditional Portfolio Experiencing negative returns early in retirement can potentially undermine the sustainability of your assets. Retirement Plan Distributions There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.