Financial advisors say you should have enough cash savings to last six months to a year if you no longer have a paycheck or if some disaster should befall you. Cash is certainly the best for your rainy-day fund. But, if you qualify, a home-equity line of credit (HELOC) is a low-cost alternative, say the experts at CNN Money.

HELOC interest rates average about 4.4 percent right now. For a $50,000 line, interest you would pay on a line of credit that size is tax-deductible, which is another plus. When you leave the money there for emergencies, it can be a good deal.

HELOC can also be a great starting point for an investment property. Finding a property that cash flows and has equity can be a challenge, but when you find one it can provide some financial stability for retirement.

According to USA Today, only 8 percent of workers and 12 percent of retirees have $10,000 to $24,999 in savings and investments.