It Isn’t the Known Unknowns That Get You

The Bird’s Eye View:

We all deal with unknowns in our lives, but beware of the unknown unknowns. Those will get you, according to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.


Your Guide:

On this episode of Your Retirement Elevated podcast with Scott Dougan, we’re not discussing dollars and cents. We’re talking about the unknown in life.  

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had an operating hypothesis that he was always going to be dealing with unknowns. He said the unknown breaks down into two categories – known unknowns and unknown unknowns. It isn’t the known unknowns that get you.

If we look back, one example of a known unknown would be Y2K. As the millennium approached, a problem in the coding of the world’s computer systems threatened to render them inoperable at midnight on Dec. 31, 1999. On the other side, Sept. 11 was an unknown unknown.

In 2020, investors have been faced with both a known unknown – the presidential election – and an unknown unknown – the Covid-19 pandemic.

So many people wanted to get out of the markets before the election, fearing the success of one candidate over another would plunge our nation into chaos. But that’s not rational thinking, it’s emotional.

“The markets have weathered the storm [in 2020]. It’s been choppy. It’s been uncomfortable. But they’ve continued to perform,” said Scott.

It’s best to stay the course and be goal-focused, planning-driven investors.

“When we get emotional and let our decision-making process get clouded, that’s where we can get hurt,” said Scott.

Listen to the full episode. Use the timestamps below to find specific segments.

[2:16] – Known unknowns

[4:37] – Unknown unknowns

[9:09] – The election and pandemic

[12:49] – Stay the course

[15:55] – Being emotional about your savings

Thanks for checking out the Your Retirement Elevated Podcast. We’ll talk to you again on the next show.


Your Guide:

Home Insight About Scott

Scott Dougan, RFC, Investment Advisor – Contact

Will the Pandemic Rob Your Retirement? 4 Things to Check Now

The Bird’s Eye View:

The fear for many right now is that once the pandemic finally passes, the financial impact will knock them off track for the future. If you’re worried that the coronavirus could rob you of your retirement, there are four areas of your finances that you can check right now. Find out what they are and why they’re good indicators of where you’re headed.


Your Guide:

With the coronavirus still creating many economic and financial issues across the country, pre-retirees along with retirees are concerned about their future. How long can they withstand the volatility before it robs them of their retirement?

Our hope is that you already had a solid plan in place when the year started and haven’t spent much time worrying about the state of your finances, but many people did not. And then there are others that just aren’t too sure about where they stand.

On this episode of Your Retirement Elevated Podcast, Scott Dougan will provide you with a list of four items that you can check on right now that will help you determine whether you’re still on track or whether you need to make adjustments.

No. 1 – Check in on your expenses.

How well are you managing you money during the pandemic? You should have a budget in place already but you should check to see if you’re sticking to it. You might even find during this time that you can cut certain expenses out of your life. Plus, look ahead to see if there are any expenses coming so you can allocate that money now.

No. 2 – Check your assets.

These assets give you the ability to generate income and that’s essential to live the way you choose. Take inventory of what you have.

No. 3 – Check your risk tolerance.

Is your portfolio built to withstand the ups and the downs? You might have thought your risk tolerance was higher than you realized you’re comfortable with, but check to see if you have more risk than you actually believe.

No. 4 – Check the income gap.

Finally, take a look at what your expenses are compared to your guaranteed income sources. If there’s a gap, you need to make changes.

We’ll run through all of these in more detail on the show but use this as an opportunity to look through your finances and find out exactly where you stand.

If you’d like to check out the PDF we’ve created, click here. 

Thanks for checking out the Your Retirement Elevated Podcast. We’ll talk to you again on the next show.

[0:53] – Will a recession rob your retirement?

[2:07] – Most of the folks we work with still have the same plan now that they did before the pandemic.

[3:29] – No. 1 – Check in on your expenses.

[6:26] – No. 2 – Check your assets.

[9:26] – No. 3 – Check your risk tolerance. Here’s what that means.

[14:18] – No. 4 – Check the income gap.

[18:12] – How does Scott use this checklist with clients?


Your Guide:

Home Insight About Scott

Scott Dougan, RFC, Investment Advisor – Contact