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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 1.38: 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 1.37: 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 1.36: 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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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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