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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 2.21: How to Optimize Credit Card Rewards

As we've discussed in previous episodes, we think there is a strong case for doing your regular spending on a credit card. However, between points, cash back, and introductory offers, shopping for a credit card can feel as overwhelming as managing your budget itself. In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss how to make the most of your credit card's benefits and, possibly more importantly, when to stop caring and go about your business as usual.

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Episode 2.20: How Should I Give Money to Charity?

Most of the people that Ben and Zach work with are generous, so they talk a lot about giving. However, the decision to give money away isn't the same as the decision of HOW to give money away. In this episode, Ben and Zach unpack this complex topic to explore ways you may be able to optimize you charitable giving for both your family and the causes you want to support.

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Episode 2.19: Should I Invest in Gold?

How you build your portfolio reflects your goals and your beliefs. The decision to invest in precious metals may stem from an opinion on portfolio design, a perspective on future events, or some combination of the two. In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss the reasons that drive including gold in a portfolio and why it may or may not make sense for you.

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Episode 2.18: Should I Use a Roth or Traditional IRA?

If you're hung up on how to begin saving for retirement, remember, the key is to get started! On the other hand, once you've committed to saving for the long term, choosing between a Roth and traditional IRA can be surprisingly nuanced. In this episode, Ben and Zach break down the differences in a straightforward way so that you can make better choices for yourself and your family on your path to building wealth.

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Episode 2.17: Do I Need a Retirement Plan?

The phrase "retirement plan" isn't all that helpful in describing how we should think about our money and what we should do with it to prepare for work becoming optional. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through a better starting point for thinking through retirement planning and the importance of having ambition for your retirement years. Listen in to learn why having a Spending Plan may be crucial to your retirement success.

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Episode 2.16: Mastering Your Budget

Mastering your budget is a truly foundational step on your path to financial success. Does that mean that you have to cut spending and put off doing things you're excited about? We don't think so. In this episode, Ben and Zach break down exactly why budgeting is important and what strategies can help you take control while staying excited about your money.

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Episode 2.15: How Should I Pay for House Projects?

Your home is likely to be the most expensive thing you own. How should you go about enjoying it and taking care of it? In today's episode, Ben and Zach talk through the conversations they have with clients about paying for house projects, both big and small. You will hear about how to balance the financial questions with your vision for your dream house and come away with some tips for weighing the options around both.

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Episode 2.14: The Early Retirement Movement

Whether you call it F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence/Retire Early), early retirement, work optional, or just a hope and dream, there is a lot of focus on how and when people can get out of their jobs. In this episode, Ben and Zach have a candid conversation on their thoughts, as financial professionals, around retiring early. Listen in as they breakdown the exciting parts of planning and goal setting and the big pitfalls that could derail your F.I.R.E. goals.

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Episode 2.13: Where Should I Save My Down Payment (and other cash)?

In today's low interest rate environment, it can feel like a mistake to have money sitting in savings. Savers who have great goals and targets may be worried they are sabotaging their long-term success by not making the right money moves. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through the best ideas on where to keep money you are saving for near-term goals and how to overcome some of the emotional hurdles that stop us from making good decisions with our money.

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Episode 2.12: Where Should I Get Financial News?

How can you cut through the noise to get the information that you need for your finances? In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss how to get quality news while losing the information overload. Simplify your financial life by simplifying your financial news and focusing on the key things to care about.

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Episode 2.11: Should I Go to Grad School?

Grad school is a great example of life and finance intersecting in a challenging way. What things should you consider as you plan your family's future and how do you know if it's worth the money? In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss some of the ideas and techniques behind making this important decision and feeling confident as you move forward.

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Episode 2.10: How to Deal with Concentrated Investments

We often hear talk about "not putting all your eggs in one basket," but what should you do if you find yourself with a successful investment making up a big part of your portfolio? In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through managing concentrated positions and how, if handled well, they can be an important part of your long-term plan. You'll learn about managing your investment portfolio as well as managing your behavior and attitude towards it.

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Episode 2.9: Handling a Hot Housing Market

In this episode, Ben and Zach reflect on the conversations they've been having with clients and planners across the country as they search for dream homes in a seriously hot housing market. You'll hear how they worked through their own house searches, timing the housing market, managing emotions, and finding out how much you can afford.

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Episode 2.8: 529 Celebration!

Today we are celebrating a special holiday in the financial planning world, 5/29! Having just crossed the end of May, we are taking a special deep-dive look at 529 plans and how they work to help you save for college. In this episode, we review some of the technical reasons that a 529 plan might be your best option as well as easy-to-follow planning tips to consider as you review your options. Happy 5/29 from The Dollar Derail!

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Episode 2.7: How We See It - Getting Organized

Ben and Zach have worked with a lot of people to help get their financial lives in order. In this episode, they agree that helping clients get organized may be one of the most valuable things they do through financial planning. If you're ready to hear from experts about how to get excited about your money and what you can do with it, this episode is for you!

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Episode 2.6: How We See It - Taxes

Taxes may be the single most common area where clients feel at a disadvantage. Complex rules, competing strategies, poor communication from experts, and several behavioral biases work together to make it a topic many of us would rather avoid. In today's episode, Ben and Zach talk through how they have come to view taxation as an exciting subject and why they think it may be one of the biggest areas of value that come from the financial planning process. You'll learn how their perspective has changed as they've practiced as professional advisors and how they simplify reviewing tax topics to make it easier to understand for their clients.

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