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Make emergency savings a priority

While you save for long-term goals such as college or retirement, it's important to also set aside money for unexpected major expenses—or temporary periods of income loss.
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We’ll help you plan for the future & prepare for the unexpected
A Thrivent financial advisor can help you fit emergency savings within your overall financial strategy.
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  1. We will review your request and get back to you within 24–48 hours.
  2. We will match you with a financial advisor that meets your needs.
  3. There is no obligation to buy at any time.

Choose saving strategies that suit your life stage

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Student or early career
How to save: You may have little or no disposable income right now. But when you save money—even in small amounts—consistency counts. If you set aside just $5 per week, you'll accumulate $260 per year to help cushion against emergencies.

Where to save: Keep your emergency fund separate from your checking and other savings accounts. That can help reduce the temptation to use its money for nonemergency purposes.
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How to save: With ongoing expenses such as rent, student loan and credit card payments, it can be challenging to prioritize emergency savings. You might find it helpful to put it on autopilot—that is, have a portion of each paycheck automatically deposited into your emergency savings account.

Where to save: In an emergency, you may need fast access to your money. That doesn’t mean stash it in your mattress. Instead, consider an interest-earning savings account. Your money can earn a modest return—and still be available when you need it.
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Balancing work & family
How to save: As your life changes, so do your finances. So revisit your emergency savings strategy whenever you experience major milestones—such as changing careers or starting a family. As you pay off student loans or credit cards, consider redirecting your former monthly debt payments into an emergency fund.

Where to save: Already have some emergency reserves in a savings account? Consider putting extra in a money market account or a certificate of deposit (CD). Those solutions may offer a higher interest rate than your savings account’s, while still providing the liquidity you'll want if unexpected expenses arise.1
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Nearing retirement
How to save: Right now, your savings strategy is probably focused on retirement. But don't forget emergency savings too. You can allocate tax refunds, bonuses or side-job income toward your reserves. Doing so could help cover the costs of a new roof, a refrigerator or an unexpected surgery during retirement.

Where to save: Keep your retirement savings and emergency savings separate from one another. Consider building up your rainy day fund in its own savings account—one with a competitive interest rate.
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Living in retirement
How to save: Living on a fixed retirement income can make it hard to prepare for financial surprises—such as unexpected home repairs or health care bills. Nevertheless, review your budget and see if you can set aside some money for such expenses. If you're 72 or older, one option may be to use your retirement accounts' required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Where to save: If you already own investments, consider allocating extra reserves in your portfolio for emergencies. An interest-earning savings account may be another useful vehicle for accumulating money earmarked to cover unexpected expenses.
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Set your emergency savings goal
To calculate how much savings would cover three to six months' worth of your expenses, look back at your recent banking activity. Add up what you spend in a single month. Some expenses stay the same every month (mortgage or rent payments, for example). For expenses that vary—such as groceries or gas—consider taking what they cost you over an entire year and divide by 12.

Once you’ve totaled your estimated monthly expenses, multiply that amount by 3. Then multiply that same amount by 6. Your two results provide a range to aim for as you accumulate emergency savings.

Unsure how to make savings part of your everyday budget? We’ve got an online tool to help you take a balanced approach to money management.
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How much should I set aside?

We encourage clients to build up a “rainy day” fund that could cover three to six months’ worth of expenses. We know that may feel daunting, especially if you’re devoting resources to other priorities too. But we can help you prepare for the unexpected while you pursue lifelong goals. To get started, find a Thrivent financial advisor.
1CDs offer a fixed rate of return. The value of a CD is guaranteed up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured institution, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. A money market fund seeks to maintain the value of $1.00 per share, although you could lose money. The FDIC is an independent agency of the U.S. government that protects the funds depositors place in banks and savings associations. FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

Thrivent and its financial advisors and professionals do not provide legal, accounting or tax advice. Consult your attorney or tax professional.