Don’t Rely on Benchmarks for Your Unique Retirement

Preston Rosamond |

Investment retirement benchmarks are a bit like some signs you see along the road. Sometimes they’re informative. Other times they’re amusing. But too often they’re just distracting.

And if you focus too much on the wrong ones, you might end up veering off course and missing your destination. Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently. Investors get sidetracked by benchmarks like the S&P 500 index that may not align with their goals or plans, leading them astray. Suddenly they’re speeding up, taking unnecessary risks, and possibly even veering off the road altogether. 

To steer clear of relying solely on benchmarks, I’ve put together some tips to help you prioritize your personal financial journey over generic retirement models.

Identify Your Unique Retirement Goals

Your starting point should be understanding how much you’ll need to pull from your investments/savings on a monthly basis. The amount you decide on should be directly tied to the type of lifestyle you want to live during your retirement years.

Next, decide when you want to retire. This timeline determines how many years you expect to rely on an income source you create. For example, will your income come from Social Security benefits, a pension, 401(k), Roth IRA, or some other source? And in what order?

Don’t forget about family and health considerations. They should be factored into your evolving retirement plan.

All these personal decisions lay the foundation for your unique retirement plan.

Don’t Get Distracted

It’s so easy to be led astray by today’s constant influx of irrelevant information. Imagine trying to research retirement financial information online without getting sucked down a rabbit hole. It’s nearly impossible, right?

Instead of getting irretrievably sidetracked, try to remember the only investment performance you need to watch is how you’re doing in relation to your own personal retirement goals and timeline.

For example, there’s really no point in checking your progress against an index or some random person’s portfolio results. Your investment strategy is 100% based on your past, present, and future life—no one else’s.

Stay Focused on Your Outcome

Mixed messages on social media, email scams, website popups, and news sources are just a few of the many distractions that can lead you astray. Now add in the inherently volatile nature of investment data and you have a recipe for constant disruption, making it way too easy to lose sight of your goal.

Here are some ideas for keeping your eyes on the prize:

  • Regular reviews: Be diligent about scheduling time to regularly check your progress; make necessary adjustments and stay on track.
  • Automated savings: To ensure you’re consistently saving, set up automatic deductions from your paycheck to your retirement savings account.
  • Vision board: Make a visual representation of your retirement goals. Put your vision board somewhere you’ll see it often.
  • Remember your “why”: To help you stay focused, remind yourself of the reasons you want to retire in the first place.
  • Celebrate milestones: Take time to praise yourself for reaching milestone goals, even if they’re small compared to your big-picture goal.
  • Be patient: Like any goal, realizing your retirement dreams takes time. Stay persistent even when life throws you a curveball or two.

The Bottom Line

Your individual financial plan for pursuing your own retirement goals is the only benchmark you need. The internet will throw lots of distractions your way, but try to ignore them and stay focused on your own path.

If you start measuring your goals against online indexes or other people’s retirement plans, you run the risk of losing sight of your own big picture.

Get a Personalized Financial Plan

At The Rosamond Financial Group, we recognize the importance of the human touch in financial planning. Before offering advice, we take the time to truly understand who you are. We know each client is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in finance.

If you’re ready to create a personalized plan, call my office at 830-798-9400 or email Let’s collaborate to tailor a plan that seamlessly fits your needs and situation.

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About Preston

Preston Rosamond is a financial advisor and the founder of The Rosamond Financial Group Wealth Management, LLC with over two decades of industry experience. He provides comprehensive wealth management and financial services to successful business owners, corporate executives, and affluent retirees who enjoy simplicity and seek a professional to help them pursue their goals. Preston personally serves his clients with an individual touch, a sincere heart, and his servant’s attitude is evident from the moment you meet him. Learn more about Preston or start the conversation about your finances with him by emailing or schedule a call on his online calendar.