Should You Tap Retirement Savings to Fund College? There are three things to consider before dipping into retirement savings to pay for college. Share | Related Content 18 Years Worth of Days The average retirement lasts for 18 years. Are you prepared to fill that many days? Healthcare Costs in Retirement Without a solid approach, health care expenses may add up quickly and potentially alter your spending. Retirement Plan Distributions There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.