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A New Financial Conversation

The Dollar Derail

Guide Financial Planning's Ben Wacek joins Zach Ashburn of Reach Strategic Wealth on Christian financial podcast The Dollar Derail for some quick conversations to change your financial train of thought.

The Dollar Derail is intended for general information and entertainment purposes only and should not be considered investment, tax, or legal advice or as a recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security.


Episode 2.55: Investing in Bonds Today

Every generation of investors facing unique challenges and those preparing for retirement today are looking at a bond market that may feel difficult to navigate. In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss the purpose of bonds, the challenges investors are seeing in the bond market right now, and what you should know as you prepare your financial plan.

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Episode 2.54: Tax Myths - My CPA Does Tax Planning

We often hear about a client's frustration with their tax preparers or a sense of concern that they are not being proactive in working to reduce their lifetime tax bill. In today's episode, we discuss the confusion that exists between tax preparation and tax planning, and how you may not be paying someone for the job you think you are. If you have had issues with your tax preparer or want to work to proactively lower your tax bills, this episode is for you!

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Episode 2.53: Is Indexing Really Passive?

There's a strong debate among investors about the merits of passive versus active investing. While there is a lot to learn on both sides, we are asking a different question today. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through their experience reviewing and managing portfolios to discuss if investors are really achieving the goal of passive investing with the holdings and strategies they are using.

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Episode 2.52: Tax Myths: Giving to Charity Saves Taxes

On every flyer for every charitable cause will be a line that says something like, "As a 501(c)3 organization, your gift is a tax deductible donation." While this statement might be true at face value, today we look a little deeper to see how you can decide how giving to charities will, or won't change your tax bill this year.

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Episode 2.51: Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Early?

For many Americans, your home represents a key part of your long-term financial or retirement plan. Today, Ben and Zach zoom out from a lot of the loud voices on this subject to walk through how you can decide if paying off your mortgage early is actually in line with your goals. You'll hear how to weigh financial decisions, how to deal with emotional choices, and how to use long-term planning to improve your outcome past this one decision.

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Episode 2.50: Understanding Asset Location

You may have heard the term "Asset Allocation" referring to how your portfolio is divided up among different investments. Today, we're discussing something different, Asset Location, and how positioning your investments correctly across accounts can make a huge difference in your lifetime tax bill.

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Episode 2.49: How to Reduce Self-Employment Tax

If you're working for yourself, you not only pay income tax but you pay all of the Social Security and Medicare taxes that an employer would normally pay. This can feel like a big burden as you calculate your tax bill quarterly. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through what things actually reduce your self-employment taxes (it isn't everything), how to plan your business thoughtfully to lower your lifetime tax bills, and why focusing on your busines goals may be the secret to getting past the stress of writing the check to the IRS.

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Episode 2.48: A One-Page Financial Plan

This week, Ben and Zach offer an encouragement toward simplifying your financial plan to suit your life and reflect on what they've learned in 2 years and 100 episodes of the podcast!

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Episode 2.47: Graduating from Financial Peace University

Financial Peace University has been an amazing starting point for people all over the country to organize their finances. Today we ask, "What happens when it's time to graduate?" In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss how to move forward after taking the baby steps provided by FPU, some of the good and the bad that can come from the program, and how to maintain a healthy perspective on money as your net worth grows.

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Episode 2.46: Tax Myths - You Need an LLC

Welcome to a brand new series on The Dollar Derail where we will be busting popular tax myths to stop you from basing your plans on bad information. In today's episode, Ben and Zach talk through the popular advice that, "you need an LLC to save money on taxes." You'll hear where this comes from, why it falls short, and what you need to know to have a good strategy in place for your finances.

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Episode 2.45: Setting Your Rate For Consulting Or Speaking

A growing number of people are viewing independent consulting work as a viable route to financial independence. Whether you're looking to hone your skills, get paid what you're worth, or accelerate your retirement, this episode is for you. Ben and Zach will work through different ways to set your consulting and speaking rates and strategies for responding to feedback on your pricing from your marketplace.

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Episode 2.44: Selling Your Home Tax Free

As we hit springtime in a fast-paced housing market, you might be considering listing your home. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through the tax bill you can expect to receive if your home has gone up in value and how you can do a little bit of planning to lower or eliminate it.

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Episode 2.43: How Many Investment Accounts Do I Need?

Some of the common questions around investments aren't related to individual holdings but to the accounts themselves. We work through common questions like, "Where should I have my account" "What type of account should it be?" "How should it be titled?" and "Am I diversified?" In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss the reasons to have multiple accounts, the reasons not to, and how to think about separating your dollars across companies.

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Episode 2.42: Russia, the Economy, and Your Portfolio

While times of crisis may increase stress and confusion, they can also provide valuable insights and opportunities to refine your financial strategies. In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss the factors for current events that impact your portfolio and how you can approach your money with a healthy mindset in times of crisis.

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Episode 2.41: Can We Afford To Adopt? Part 2

In the second, and final, part of this series, Ben and Zach discuss the costs of different types of adoptions and how you can prepare. We'll work through some of the ways having children impacts you financially, what options exist for adoption and what the varying costs are, and what strategies you can use to make these costs more manageable as you plan for your family's future.

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Episode 2.40: Can We Afford To Adopt? Part 1

When it comes to how you use your money, there's nothing more important than the future of your family. In the first episode of this two part series, Zach shares his experience as a foster parent on the path toward adoption. You'll learn about the process, the costs, and how this is an important topic that mixes both emotion and practical information. Come back next week for a closer look at costs associated with international, private, and public adoptions.

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