I have several clients that were laid off from a major manufacturer several years ago and are still struggling to find work. All these add to the daily stress of you wondering how you're going to make it financially.

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(Financially, it can be a tossup, depending on how long you intend to stay put; check out Trulia's rent vs.

buy calculator to get a recommendation for your situation.)Read Next: The Right Way to Take Your IRA Withdrawals But the experts warn against tapping IRA funds -- even more so if they offer your only avenue toward home ownership.

You can save for a downpayment by investing in the stock market.

As you get closer to the time you want to buy, you can dial down your risk.

You might initially think your 401(k) will easily pay the balance and leave you $60,000 to restart your retirement.

But, thanks to taxes and fees, it will take all of your retirement savings as well as some cash out of your pocket to pay off your home. But you’re probably also over age 40 with zero retirement savings.

Listeners call into Dave’s radio show all the time to ask if they should cash out their 401(k)s to pay off their credit cards or even their homes.

To see why cashing out a 401(k) isn’t worth it, let’s take a look at how it could play out in a real-life scenario.

Debt collectors calling you every hour on the hour.

That's up from 2% in the prior year, and was the highest level in 10 years. Sometimes the withdraw rules can be confusing, so it's important to know when you are allowed to pull money from your 401k because of hardship.

That shift may have to wait till we can pull together a down payment -- a priority we have to balance against paying down student loans and funding our child's college account.