Lessons learned about an emergency fund in retirement

I am fortunate to have a pension and Social Security so I don’t depend on accumulated assets as most Americans do or will in retirement and we live below our means.

I have long harped on the idea that even in retirement you need an emergency fund or a good steady income to cover unplanned, outside budgeted expenses AND you need the ability to replenish.

Here is my real life experience in the last two months.

Medical emergency due to accident (wife struck in eye with baseball). $1,700 out of pocket costs, plus travel and hotel expenses for specialty care and surgery, $800 … so far

Car battery dead due to faulty fan module; battery $180, fixing module yet to be determined.

Tornado struck trees on property and have to be removed; cost unknown but based on past experience I’m guessing $2,000

Cleaning roof on house getting ready to be sold, $850

You get the idea. If you can’t pay such bills from your regular income stream and must take them from retirement accumulated funds, your income plan may be in trouble. Equally bad if you charge such expenses, your income stream will be inadequate.

You need an emergency fund in retirement and a way to replenish it‼️


  1. I hear you. I budget for car repairs. I have money set aside for medical above my annual expenses. I even have CD’s to cover my car deductible should I get into an accident. Every month I still put money into savings for the unexpected. However, I did not count on TREES!.

    All the oak trees in my neighborhood have been infected by something and then the ants come and kill only the oak trees. I have had to cut down 6 oak trees in 4 years averaging about $1000 per tree. I have 4 more oaks in the yard. Every month somebody is cutting down their oaks. I’ll bet we have lost over 30 trees in the neighborhood. We are so aware of the issue that only a few limbs have impacted houses to date so the neighbors are trying to stay ahead of any real damage. But trees! I never would have thought of them as an issue in retirement. They were going to out live me, right?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s