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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 45: An Estate Planning Checklist

Taking the proper steps to organize your estate plans may not be as complicated, or as scary, as you think. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through this sensitive subject by comparing and contrasting what you'd like to have happen to what would happen if you passed away without up-to-date plans in place.

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Episode 44: Do I Need an Accountant

Very few people feel confident in their tax planning and preparation. In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss how to know if it's time to hire a professional and what to look for when you do. Tax planning is vital to your long-term financial plans and you deserve to feel confident in the steps you're taking and the professionals you're working with.

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Episode 43: How Can I Get On Top of my Finances?

If you feel overwhelmed by your finances, it can be hard to work your way out. It's important to have a plan to work through your situation and strategies to help you improve your relationship with your money going forward. In this episode, Ben and Zach work through a plan to help you get, and stay, on top of your money.

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Episode 42: Should I Pay Down Debt or Invest?

Fundamental but not simple, this week's question is one of the most commonly asked. In this episode, Ben and Zach work through the question live to offer suggestions on how you can make a good decision. Whether you are updating your budget, receiving a raise, or planning what to do with your stimulus checks, learning to weigh your options more efficiently is an important change to your train of thought.

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Episode 41: How Much Car Can I Afford?

How can you prepare to deal with car salesmen, financing, maintenance, and repairs? When it comes to buying a new car, most of the system is set up to encourage extra spending. In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss how much of your budget your car payments should make up, how you can decide what you need out of a car, and how you can work to feel good about your next purchase.

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Episode 40: What Should I Invest In?

One of the most common, and sometimes most pressing, questions we get as professionals comes from people concerned with where to put their money to work. In this episode, rather than talking about a specific investment, Ben and Zach walk through some of the ways they might help clients identify what investments might be appropriate for their situation.

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Episode 39: Interview with Anberlin's Stephen Christian

In this special episode recorded in January 2020, Zach interviews rockstar-turned-pastor Stephen Christian of Anberlin. Stephen shares his path into music and how he developed his passions, he speaks honestly about achieving success in the music business, how the lifestyle challenged his identity and his faith, and what his transitions in life have taught him.

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Episode 38: Should I Buy Term or Permanent Life Insurance?

Managing risk is a challenging but important subject. When you've decided that caring for your family's needs means buying or updating your life insurance, you will have to choose what type of insurance suits your situation best. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through what exactly life insurance is, what purposes it can serve, and how you can go about choosing the right type for your family.

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Episode 37: How to Set Financial Goals for the New Year

Many people are excited to cross the threshold into 2021, but how can we start this new year well? Ben and Zach draw from their experience helping clients discover, clarify, and pursue their goals to discuss effective goal-setting and vision-casting. Making your pursuit intentional is your first step toward success.

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Episode 36: How to Perform a Year-End Review

A thoughtful year-end review of your household finances can be a great way to learn from the past and set the stage for a successful new year. In this episode, Ben and Zach offer tips and strategies to make the most of your time spent reflecting on 2020, whether you are a big picture thinker of love getting into the details.

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Episode 35: How Do I Pick An Advisor?

If you are going to trust your financial advisor with your personal information and money, how do you pick a good one? Balancing the varying levels of experience and expertise as well as the personalities and beliefs among potential advisors can be a significant challenge, especially as you look for your first advisor. In this episode, Ben and Zach walk through some of the differences between advisors and some valuable questions you can ask to feel confident in your conversations.

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Episode 34: Should My Values Impact My Investing?

In this unscripted episode, Ben and Zach discuss the principles and challenges of values-based investing and their personal journeys with the subject. Sometimes called ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), SRI (Socially Responsible Investing), or BRI (Biblically Responsible Investing), aligning your portfolio with your values may not be simple, but it may allow you to make a greater impact with your resources.

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Episode 33: How Can I Improve My Credit Score?

Your credit score is one area of your finances that has a ripple effect into other areas. A poor credit score means less borrowing capacity, higher interest rates, higher payments, less cash on hand for your daily needs, less funds available to invest, and may even impact your standing with employers and landlords. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk about what factors impact your credit score, simple steps you can take to improve your credit score, and when you should make sure you stop obsessing about this number.

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Episode 32: Should I Rollover My 401(k)?

Times of transition can be difficult but they can also present good opportunities for wise financial moves. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through the options you have for your 401(k) when you leave a job and how you can make a confident decision for your money.

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Episode 31: When Should I Hire An Advisor?

In this episode, Ben and Zach have an unscripted conversation about the journey that people go on seeking good financial information. Bringing anyone, including a professional advisor, into your financial life is a big decision and here we talk through some of the steps that you might take as you consider if you should and what it would look like if you did.

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Episode 30: Which Spouse Should Handle The Money?

Handling your money well with your spouse represents one of the biggest opportunities to do great things with your dollars. In this episode, we go over some of the strategies that may be successful in managing your household finances but then go deeper to discuss how to trouble-shoot your existing system so that you can continue to improve your relationship with your money.

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