There is a general guideline of 6 months - 12 months.
I think that is arbitrary. First, 6 months of $2000 is rather different from 6 months of $10K
We need to understand the nature of our job, how easy is it to lose our job, or is it a iron rice bowl.
I consider my job an iron rice bowl job. (I traded high pay for security if you like)
Next, how cover are you and your family when accident or illness strike?
Is there any existing illness that are excluded in your H&S plans for you and your immediate family. My wife is diabetic, so there is plenty of problems getting H&S, so we need to have good shield plans as alternative.
So, if you also have an iron rice bowl, and all your immediate family are covered, does it mean you can have a lower emergency fund of 1-2 months?
I think I miss out a very important equation in my calculation until it dawns on me very strongly.
With parents, I mean both your in-laws and your biological parents.
They are from the generation, whereby insurance is a dirty word, most of them, except the savvy ones will not have accident plans or H&S, when you are aware, their age is most probably too old to get H&S plans anymore(Not economic with too many exclusions)
I am young, but I am at the stage whereby I attend my friends' elders wakes and funerals rather often, some are down with chronic illness that wiped out their child savings.
Also, what about the aftermath? Even if the elders are financially independent, you couldn't be asking the windowed for money to settle the funeral or pay the hospital bills first isn't it?
Money, when it is available, is last of thing you want to worry about when tragedy struck, but is the first thing you worry about if you do not have enough of it. And trust me, when you do not have enough of it, there will be quarrels and finger pointing, shirking of responsibilities.
I know when my time comes, I want to go in a dignified manner, not with my kid/s quarreling and my wife weeping at my deathbed. I also told me wife straight in the face when she asked if I would prefer she goes first or I go first... I said:" she, because I know I can settle everything nicely for her, and I can take all the stress and emotional onslaught, whereas if I were to go first, she will have a lot of trouble, and I will have a lot of worries." She agreed.
Although both my parents and in-laws do not need intimate care now for their daily needs, we must prepare for the eventuality that the time will come, it would be good if we are able to get a domestic helper or our job allow us some time to shuttle between home and hospitals. Such is life.
Of course, we can never have enough, and soft emotional support is more important and warmth than cold hard cash. That's why we need to build our emotional wealth too, able to take each day as a blessing and all misfortune in its stride, there is only that much cash can help. But the lack of cash, complicate matters.