With Washington battling over what to do about its $16.4 trillion debt pile, rumors are swirling that the government will start taking 401(k) money to cure its fiscal ills.
There's plenty to take.
A study published by the Investment Company Institute in 2012 stated that U.S. retirement assets at the mid-point of the year totaled somewhere in the neighborhood of $18.5 trillion.
If you look specifically at what most Americans take advantage of - IRAs and 401(k) plans - they have amassed $3.5 trillion and $5.1 trillion, respectively.
These large sums of untaxed money are proving to be very tempting to an administration looking for revenue to help rein in our whopping national debt.
"The government is spending money like a drunken sailor, and they need to get their meat hooks into any cash stock pile they can," Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald explained in the accompanying video on why the government could start taking 401(k) money.
Here's why you should be alarmed.