Should You Tap Retirement Savings to Fund College? There are three things to consider before dipping into retirement savings to pay for college. Share | Have A Question About This Topic? Address Thank you! Oops! Related Contents 18 Years Worth of Days The average retirement lasts for 18 years. Are you prepared to fill that many days? How Will Working Affect Social Security Benefits? Knowing the rules may help you decide when to start benefits. Retirement Plan Distributions There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.