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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 29: How Can I Save On Taxes?

Are you leaving money on the table during tax season? In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through the steps and mindset that may benefit taxpayers as they seek to improve their outcome. You'll hear some practical steps along the way as they discuss a better question to change your perspective on tax planning.

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Episode 28: When Is It Right To Make A Bad Financial Decision?

In this listener-requested episode, Ben and Zach have a spontaneous conversation to openly discuss when it might be "right" to make what feels like the wrong financial decision. They draw on their experience as planners to talk through when these decisions show up and how we can develop a framework to weigh them in a healthy way.

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Episode 27: How To Budget On Variable Income (2 Ways)

Budgeting and cash flow are some of the most foundational areas of personal finance but they are a consistent challenge. They are made even more difficult if your income varies from paycheck to paycheck or month to month. In this episode, Ben and Zach offer two different approaches for those on a variable income to budget successfully and some thoughts for how we can all engage with our money more personally.

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Episode 26: How Much House Can I Afford?

Buying a house is likely the largest purchase you will ever make and it can be a very emotional one as well. You aren't just making a purchase, you are creating a home for yourself and your family. In this episode, we discuss why asking "how much can I afford?" may not be the best starting point to get the best result. We mention the financials that lenders are looking for and compare and some additional considerations buyers need to make.

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Episode 25: Can We Afford To Stay Home With Kids?

Whether or not to be a stay-at-home parent may be one of the most emotional decisions a young couple faces as well as one of the most financially complex. In this episode, Ben and Zach draw on their experiences as parents and as financial professionals to offer a new perspective on how to address this difficult question in the broader context of life and financial decision making.

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Episode 24: Should I Buy Or Rent?

In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through how to decide if you should buy or rent and why asking what you can afford may not be the best place to start. They offer a few simple points from their personal and professional experience to help clarify how to think through this issue and make a confident decision.

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Episode 23: How Much Should I Be Giving Away?

Are you feeling the tension between your personal goals and your desire to help others? If so, you aren't alone. This is a question that challenges finances, values, and spiritual beliefs. In this episode, Ben and Zach talk through a new perspective on giving and growing in generosity.

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Episode 21: What Should I Do With My Next Dollar? (How To Save For Retirement, Part 5)

This episode finishes the series on saving for retirement by offering a retirement checklist to answer the question, "What should I do with my next dollar?" You have a lot of options for your money and developing a strategy will likely make a big difference in your outcome. It only takes a few steps to make progress toward retirement readiness and this episode lays out a path to follow along the way.

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Episode 20: How To Save For Retirement, Part 4

Monthly Social Security payments make up a large portion of many Americans' retirement income, but how does Social Security work and what does it mean for you? In this episode, Ben and Zach explore how the system functions as well as steps you can take to make sure you are planning correctly to maximize your benefits.

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Episode 19: How To Save For Retirement, Part 3

In part 3 of the retirement series, Ben and Zach explore the accounts available for you to open as an individual. IRAs and HSAs are a vital piece of the retirement puzzle and may plan a significant role in your retirement savings strategy, especially if you don't have access to a workplace retirement plan.

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Episode 17: How To Save For Retirement, Part 1

An explanation of the different types of accounts that can be used for retirement savings (savings accounts, workplace retirement accounts, IRAs and HSAs) and how they relate to tax advantages and investment returns.

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Episode 16: Should I Lease Or Buy A Car?

A look at different factors that should play into the decision of whether to buy or lease a car with some practical steps you can take to come to a decision based on your own unique goals and situation.

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Episode 15: Should I Start A (Side) Business?

We've spent a lot of time talking with clients who are unhappy with their jobs, excited about a side-hustle, or on the verge of leaving their company to strike out on their own. In this episode, we talk through what we've learned about starting a business (or side business) from our experiences as financial planners and as business owners ourselves. Ultimately, this week we offer a better question that hopes to expand your perspective as you make a decision that may change your life.

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Episode 14: How Should I Navigate A Job Change?

Your job represents a concentration of risk to your financial plan and many people have felt some insecurity in their employment during the recent crisis. In this episode, Ben and Zach discuss improving your train of thought around job changes and offer practical tips as you weigh possible opportunities.

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