My only concern about pulling 401k money to buy a house or pay debt etc is from personal experience years ago when hubby lost a job and we pulled some 401k money and I learned a lesson months later. Money taken out of a retirement account not only gets the penalties, but also becomes taxable. You said hubby makes 60,000 a year—if you pull 50,000 out of 401k—they will charge you the penalties as you pull it—but then when you file your taxes—-it as if you made 110,000 this year. This could bump you into a higher tax bracket. It could also affect what you can itemize and claim, etc…..