Latest LearnLux News
Sep 23, 2021
Keep a larger emergency fund for retirement — you'll want about 12 months of expenses While you could get away with a smaller emergency fund while you were working, you'll want a larger one in retirement. Financial planner Mamie Wheaton of LearnLux says that having the extra cash will mean extra security. "I would generally recommend around 12 months of liquid expenses on hand for retirees or someone who is just about to go into retirement," she said. That's bigger than the traditional emergency fund. However, she says 12 months isn't the maximum you can keep. "Everyone has a comfort level on the amount of cash they want to hold," she said. Having a few months extra may not be a bad idea for someone craving extra security. Use your emergency fund in case of a market downturn or unexpected expenses There are a lot of things that your emergency fund can be used for, from home repairs to unexpected bills. But, in retirement, there are a few more situations when it's safe to use your emergency fund. One scenario is when it's not beneficial to pull money from your retirement account if the market goes down, and your portfolio is worth less. You can dip into your emergency funds instead of your retirement account, Wheaton said. "If you have a lot of your retirement investments in securities, that's where you would probably want a little bit more of a cash buffer so that you don't have to pull from those accounts in the event of a market downturn," she said. "You can let it recover." In addition to having cash to cover your expenses if the market goes down, a larger emergency fund in retirement could also help you with medical emergencies and expenses if needed. With some expenses not covered by Medicare or private insurance, it could fall to you — and your emergency fund — to pay for what you need. "They should prepare for higher health costs ; things like mobility issues. You don't really think about that, but a lot of times that's not always covered. When a mobility issue comes up, you'll have to pay out of pocket for it," she said. That's where your emergency fund can come in. Your emergency fund should be larger to protect your retirement account, Wheaton said. "You generally don't want to pull large sums of money from retirement accounts at one time. If you do have an emergency or a medical expense you have to pay for, it's nice to pull it out of your emergency fund, as opposed to pulling it from your retirement account. " That way, your retirement money will be there when you need it, and your emergency fund will help to make sure the unexpected is covered, too.