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Any point at which an Emergency Fund becomes unnecessary?
Old 06-04-2016, 10:59 AM   #1
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Any point at which an Emergency Fund becomes unnecessary?

Is there a reason to maintain a separate Emergency Fund if the rest of your finances are set up to absorb hits?

I have about $11K in a dedicated emergency fund. I also have:
>$100K in an easily accessed taxable account
>$20K available credit
>$20K available in cash for other line items (vacation, car expenses, etc)
A very stable job that pays ~2x my expenses

Is there really a reason to maintain an emergency fund at this point? It earns just a few dollars each month sitting in a savings account, when it could be earning far more elsewhere. Since I could easily cover an emergency with the other accounts, it seems silly to let the money languish at .75% APY.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:15 AM   #2
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We don't have an emergency fund because we are financially independent, and already have several years of expenses and other set asides in cash which could cover emergencies, and we can always tap into our retirement portfolio if necessary.

We have plenty of money "languishing" at 0.9 to 1.3% APY, but I don't worry about that, because we have a whole lot more invested in riskier investments.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
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I don't have a dedicated emergency fund either. I have several years' worth of expenses in a GIC ladder and HISA and a HELOC at prime +0.5%. I also have insurance. I figure that's sufficient liquidity to get me through most foreseeable emergencies, unless I am kidnapped for ransom.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:31 AM   #4
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I've never really had one. Way back when, in a different life when we were trying to keep up with the Jones' and struggling to make mortgage payments and pay down credit cards, it didn't make sense to me to set money aside while paying high credit card interest rates. I figured if an emergency did come along I'd tap into the credit cards more.


Once I got ahead, I figured I was better off investing the money while I was getting fantastic returns in the mid/late 90s. If I had to I'd sell off some stocks, but it worked well for me to stay fully invested. I was usually well ahead of my budget too, so when cash built up and I had no foreseeable need I'd add to the investments.


Now in ER, I keep a year or so of cash for living expenses on hand, so that's also available for emergencies. I can tap into investments if needed, and if it's a bad time to sell equities I can buy them back in my IRA, exchanging from the bond fund.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:36 AM   #5
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If it really is your emergency fund then 2% cashable 5yr CD's so you know the money is all then when needed.

Not sure the the 100K in taxable account really can be counted.
What would you do if the stock market tanks by 50% next year, and then you get your emergency of say 15K ?
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:46 AM   #6
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I was happy to let my taxable brokerage account double as my emergency fund. Never needed emergency cash, so it always remained invested in equities.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:48 AM   #7
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Not sure the the 100K in taxable account really can be counted.
What would you do if the stock market tanks by 50% next year, and then you get your emergency of say 15K ?

Use the $45K+ in savings and credit availability that isn't my EF.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:51 AM   #8
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Because we carry no debt. I have many sources of emergency cash. Even the credit cards (our last choice) have $30k on them which would be paid off by arranging more permanent choices before any interest came due.

(I spent my working life on commission so I have lots of experience.)
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:02 PM   #9
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Use the $45K+ in savings and credit availability that isn't my EF.
Pretty obvious you don't need an emergency fund.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:22 PM   #10
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DW is more conservative than me so there is some in savings acct. to cover any readily foreseeable emergency. Yes it could be invested at a higher ROI elsewhere but it also lets her sleep at night so there is value in that too.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:41 PM   #11
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This has been discussed many times over the years. What I have, as many others do, is a layered or tiered approach in my portfolio. I keep about $750 extra in my local bank's checking account over and above what I would need to avoid monthly account fees. That is readily available cash or personal check to cover an immediate emergency.


My next tier is about $40k I keep in an intermediate-term muni bond fund which has checkwriting privileges. It earns just over 2% mostly tax-free interest per year with a little but not a lot of risk to principal. I can write a check from there or transfer money to my local bank's checking account to use in a few days. I average about 1 check per year from that account over the 10+ years I have had the account.


After that, I have less liquid, less secure (i.e. invested in equities) accounts I rarely tap into except for a large, usually anticipated purchase such as a new car.


I hate the idea of having a lot of my money tied up in investments which earn nothing or next to nothing.


And I always have the ability to charge things on my CC which wouldn't have to be paid off for at least a few weeks without incurring interest charged, giving me plenty of time to move money around to pay the bill.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:59 PM   #12
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Never had one.

I do keep around 5 grand in cash in a basement safe along with some fire arms. Some ammo. And some nice 30 year old scotch.

I'm not a doomsday Prepper...but I guess I am somewhat prepared ...
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:05 PM   #13
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Pretty obvious you don't need an emergency fund.

I agree, it seems obvious to me but goes against conventional wisdom. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FI by 2024 View Post
I have about $11K in a dedicated emergency fund. I also have:
[...]
>$20K available in cash for other line items (vacation, car expenses, emergencies. etc)
You seem to have two emergency funds right now. Maybe even three.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:05 PM   #15
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I've never had an emergency fund. I keep around $500 in cash in the house and if there's an emergency that's what a credit card or line of credit is for.

And like papadad, I always keep some extra bottles on hand...but rum instead of scotch.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:38 PM   #16
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We keep a few years living expenses in online savings accounts and CDs in case of a market meltdown. We also keep plenty in diversified equities for growth, income and inflation protection. We also have a rental property and two personal residences for seasonal use. Overall growth and income is satisfactory for our needs, though we will seem overly cautious to many.


Enjoying life!
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:02 PM   #17
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Seems like your $100k is a good enough emergency fund.


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Old 06-04-2016, 04:54 PM   #18
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We got caught in a natural disaster that closed our banks while we were evacuated from our home. We always keep some extended travel cash available. Learned from my mistake.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:38 PM   #19
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I never had a designated emergency fund either. I have and do keep some of my portfolio in cash and I suppose this serves the same purpose.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devans0 View Post
We got caught in a natural disaster that closed our banks while we were evacuated from our home. We always keep some extended travel cash available. Learned from my mistake.
These must have been local banks with no online capability?

If I lost all online access, I would be at the pawn shop!
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