A SavvyInterview – Douglas

Douglas Dubitsky is Vice President of Product Management & Development for Retirement Solutions at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. He is responsible for directing Guardian’s retirement product and service offerings. Under his leadership, Guardian is ushering in a new generation of retirement products designed to meet the evolving needs of the small to mid-size business owner and individuals who are looking for guaranteed retirement income.

Douglas DubitskyHe brings more than 15 years of cross-functional experience and a proven track record in retail and wholesale distribution in the insurance and financial services industry to his role at Guardian. Prior to joining Guardian in 2008, Doug held a number of senior level positions with firms such as McKinsey & Company, AXA Financial, and most recently New York Life Insurance.

He is a graduate of Long Island University; holding both a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in History. He also received a MLS from Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Science.

I’m glad he has agreed to sit for a SavvyInterview.

RetirementSavvy:  It’s likely that most readers are not familiar with Guardian. Can you give us some background?

Douglas Dubitsky: The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States. As a mutual company, our policyholders are our owners. We are not a publicly held company, so we don’t issue stock and have no shareholders. This allows us to manage our company based on the long-term interests of our policyholders.

Guardian and its subsidiaries’ offerings range from life insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, and investments for individuals to workplace benefits, such as dental, vision, and 401(k) plans. Guardian has more than 6,000 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide.

RS: What plans does Guardian have for improving financial literacy and increasing financial awareness?

DD: We believe that an educated consumer can make better, informed decisions.  Our public website (www.GuardianLife.com) explains which tools are necessary to reach financial security and our retirement education site (www.myretirementwalk.com) offers individuals the information and tools to help them during the retirement planning process. This site offers calculators to help you set a retirement budget or realize an income gap; the navigation tools help you determine how your personality influences your perception on retirement (we call this the Vision Test) and we also offer information on the “Top Places to Live in Retirement.”

RS: What is the one personal finance concept you believe someone seeking financial freedom should understand and practice?

Guardian ImageDD: Everyone needs protection of some sort in the event something unanticipated happens. As one would have home insurance to protect their home, or disability insurance to protect their paychecks, then for the retirement years it’s important to have an income protection plan to secure retirement assets and provide a guaranteed income stream for your lifetime.

RS: What was the best financial advice you ever received?

DD: Plan early. Being proactive allows you to prepare for the unexpected, such as having to retire earlier than expected.

RS: The worst?

DD: Don’t worry.

RS: If you were introduced to a stranger who only had a couple of minutes to spare, how would you describe the service(s) offered by Guardian and the benefits they could expect?

DD: It’s all about the customer at Guardian.  Meeting our clients’ needs are key, so if you need life insurance, disability, dental or workplace benefits, or retirement planning help, Guardian is a trusted partner that delivers financial security, how, when and where clients prefer.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. Great interview! “Don’t Worry” really is the worst advice you could give someone about their finances.

    • Indeed. Things don’t just care of themselves. Thanks for stopping by, Kristi.

  2. I was a moment maximizer- I guess you could call me that, although it seems to think I’m not too frugal, which I guess I’m not.

    • Based just on the phrase Moment Maximizer, and not having read the description, I take that to mean it believes you are more focused on the present, vice the future, in which case not being too frugal makes sense.

      I just had the wife take the test, and like me, it suggested she is also a Luxurious Lifer.

  3. …the navigation tools help you determine how your personality influences your perception on retirement (we call this the Vision Test

    I like this, going to “see” what my personality tells me.

    When I married in April; we merged auto insurance and are currently in the process of broadening our life insurance /increasing the value. Health insurance is provided by my employer. My wife is self employed and we’ve never considered self employed income protection for a combination of believing I would cover things if something unexpected happened and also did not believe there were programs available with the same level of protection for those who are employed.

    • As with most areas of personal finance, careful analysis should be made to determine where and how insurance should fit into an overall financial plan. For me and the wife, we recently purchased a term-life policy (15 year – $350,000) designed to bridge the period between now and the time we retire. Our current plan calls for our mortgage to be paid off in 11-12 years; hence the reason for a 15 year policy, which extends beyond that time. If I should die before February 2029, the $250,000 (the amount slated for my wife to receive, the other $100,000 is for other family members) is enough to pay off the mortgage today – and of course, the balance will only decrease going forward – ensuring that my wife will not have to touch any of the money in our retirement accounts to deal with the house.

      Thanks for stopping and adding to the conversation, Brian.

    • “I like this, going to “see” what my personality tells me.”

      According to the Vision Test, I am a Luxurious Lifer meaning … I live a rich life and want that to continue well into the future. I dream big but still live the life I want today. I work hard and reward myself accordingly and I’m not afraid to spend a little more on the brands I love.

      Pretty accurate.

      • Like Hannah I Am a Moment Maximizer, “ You work hard to play hard and don’t mind spending extra bucks to create a memorable moment.”

        Ha! While this is not entirely false, I have become more aggressive with planning for these moments and making sure I work a little harder to make up for it.

  4. Nice to meet a fellow LI grad!

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