Money experts generally encourage you to set aside three to six months' worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, and many Americans struggle to do even that: The median American household has only $11,700 across all of its savings and retirement accounts. Still, bestselling author of "Smart Women Finish Rich" and co-founder of AE Wealth Management David Bach says that's not enough.
He wants you to fill an emergency account with enough to cover a year's worth of living expenses.
"Here's the thing with emergency money: More is always better," Bach tells CNBC Make It. "You hear all the time experts say, you should have three months of expenses set side. Well, it depends. In the recession, when people lost their jobs, three months of expenses set aside wasn't enough."
Suze Orman agrees that a few months' worth of expenses isn't enough to feel secure. "You should have at least eight months," says the financial expert. "Not six months, not three months. I'd like to see you have eight months to one year."
Life, after all, doesn't usually go as planned. There could be another recession, you could lose your job, have a medical emergency or have to deal with a car breaking down.
That's why "I'm a big encourager of having a year's worth of expenses set aside," says Bach, who personally keep two years' worth set aside in a money market account "because I'm conservative."