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.

He 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?

DD: 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.

James
 

James retired in 2005 after serving 21 years in the United States Army. During the latter part of his career, James' interest in personal finance was piqued based on his own experiences and observations of the way most Americans plan – or more accurately, fail to plan – for retirement and the difficulty many face in starting the process. His most valued education has been lessons learned from personal experience and through conversations with smart, savvy friends.

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