Borrowing against 401k to pay off debt in very hard times?

My parents are looking to borrow against my father's 401k plan to pay off debt. Extreme hard times have come and getting by is next to none. I have personally advice them not to do so because (1) possible penalties, (2) golden years need to remain golden, (3) hurdles have come before and each have been... show more My parents are looking to borrow against my father's 401k plan to pay off debt. Extreme hard times have come and getting by is next to none.

I have personally advice them not to do so because (1) possible penalties, (2) golden years need to remain golden, (3) hurdles have come before and each have been jumped and (4) my dad will celebrate is 61st birthday this year. He does not have much longer before either early retirement or full retirement.

What are the facts that I can relate to my parents?
****PLEASE FACTS ONLY**** MANY OFTEN FEEL THE NEED TO EXPRESS OPINION (HARSH OR NOT) BUT NONE IS NEEDED!!! ***AGAIN FACTS ONLY***
Thanks a million!!!!
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