You know how important it is to build an emergency fund while you’re working. But here’s what you might not know: You need to keep that emergency fund well-stocked with savings even after you retire.

An emergency fund might be even more important once you leave the working world. You won’t have a regular salary to fall back on in retirement if an unexpected expense pops up. One costly car repair or medical bill can set you back and cause a lot of financial problems.

While you’re working, you should keep anywhere from six months’ to a year’s worth of daily living expenses in this fund. That way, if you lose your job, you’ll have money available to pay your daily living expenses while you search for a replacement. You need to do the same during your retirement.

How an emergency fund changes in retirement

Social Security payments often complicate the emergency fund equation in retirement. That’s because you are guaranteed these payments each month. When you’re working, there is always a danger that you’ll lose your job and your paycheck will disappear. That won’t happen with your Social Security benefits. An emergency fund won’t ever have to replace this source of income.

By the time you reach retirement, you should also know how much other income you can rely on each month. Most of this will probably come from the retirement savings you’ve built up over time. You should have created a retirement budget listing how much money you’ll have available each month when factoring in withdrawals from these savings and…