Turns out, many Americans simply don't have the financial freedom to save for retirement. 

There's nothing really surprising about that, but what's worse is what's actually made it to the bank is disappearing at an increasingly alarming rate.

Nearly one out of three workers took a distribution or a hardship loan for their 401(k) retirement plan in 2012, according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Those numbers are pretty upsetting, especially when one considers the acceleration rate: the amount of loan takers was just one in four the year before. Those who making between $35,000 and $60,000 a year account for 45 percent of those loans.

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