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Retirement savings could be a source of startup funds--but proceed with caution.

By Eileen Figure Sandlin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Jody Ordioni needed funds to launch a new advertising and communications business, she didn't hesitate to tap into the 401(k) funds she had amassed over 12 years at her previous job.

"You can't make business decisions based on fear," says Ordioni, 50, president of New York City-based Brandemix, which specializes in brand strategies and earned 2006 revenue of nearly $2 million. "I didn't want to be held back because of money coming to me in 15 years. You can't live on $100,000 in a 401(k) anyway."

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