Could you weather a financial emergency given your current savings? Where would the money come from to cover something such as unexpected medical bills or a necessary home improvement expense? In such situations it can be tempting to divert money ear-marked for your retirement savings towards those unexpected bills. Yes, such a move will provide short-term relief and provide you with the needed funds, but in the long-term impact can be quite substantial. First off, don’t forget that the money you don’t put into your retirement account won’t have an opportunity to grow (i.e. through investments) and won’t be there later, when you need it. Secondly, if your employer offers contribution matching, you will be missing out on extra money being put into your account. Employers won’t match if you don’t make any contributions of your own. Furthermore, if you are decades away from retirement, those matching contributions could add a nice chunk of money of your retirement savings without you having to do anything. While it might be tempting to stop making contributions for a short time–like a few months–with the belief that such a move won’t have a big effect, you should really avoid such thinking. Any suspension of contributions to your retirement savings should only be done as an absolute last resort and should be avoided at all costs. The key to retirement saving is being consistent with saving. If you do find that you need help with arranging your finances to cover an unexpected expense or want to just have a plan in place to cover an emergency, you should speak with a certified financial planner.