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Four Factors That Impact Your Financial Plan

While every financial plan and individual is unique, the core basis of how financial plans work is fairly similar. The good news is that there’s only a handful of data points that will really impact your financial plan, however that is also the bad news, because there’s only a few data points that will truly impact your financial plan.

There's four factors that may impact your financial plan.

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Your Life Expectancy

How long you live is likely the most impactful data point in your financial plan. After all, what you’re planning for is to not run out of money after you retire, so you need to anticipate how long that period after retirement until the end of your life will last. In general, the population is living longer and this can have an impact on your finances as you may have to plan for a longer lifespan. While your life expectancy isn’t entirely under your control, you can take steps to live healthy lifestyle.

Your Spending

Your expenditures clearly impact your financial plan – if you imagine a group of ten individuals with the same income level and same assets, they’d likely all have different expenditures and would likely all have different success rates in retirement. When you’re thinking about how much money you’ll truly need to retire, that answer depends on how much you’ll planning on spending during retirement – if you’re a low spender, obviously you won’t need as much as someone who is used to spending more in their lifestyle. You’ll also need to account for unknown expenditures, such as healthcare and potential long-term care in retirement, when thinking about your potential expenses. The good news here is that your spending is an area within your control, but it can be difficult.

Your Saving

On the flip side of spending is saving, and your ability to save absolutely impacts your financial plan. The people who prioritize saving generally have an easier time hitting their retirement goals, and the sooner you start the easier it may be to get there.

Minor Factors

While your life expectancy, spending and saving are the main factors that can impact your financial plan, there are several minor factors at play that can influence your plan. Inflation can certainly influence your plan, and this is out of your control. How your investments are structured, by your risk tolerance, may impact your financial plan, and this not only impacts your plan but is within your control. How much money you earn throughout your life impacts your plan, as it obviously allows for you to save more (but potentially also spend more) as you increase your earning potential.

While you can’t control everything that impacts your financial plan, there’s a lot than you can control, and much of it you can get help with through a professional such as a financial advisor.

By Andrew Rosen, Contributor

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