Actor Hill Harper.
Actor Hill Harper. - 
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Here's a decision for you, imagine you're a Hollywood star, and presumably rather well compensated. With your downtime, you could take a fancy vacation, maybe work on a film or a play. Hill Harper takes a different path. He's a star of the TV crime show "CSI New York." But in his off-hours, he's written four books, including one on personal finance called "The Wealth Cure."

Hill Harper's book goes through the ways he reexamined his life after he got a diagnosis for thyroid cancer. He takes a cross-country Amtrak trip (L.A. to Chicago) to clear his mind and re-access what is most important in his life. His book is structured using a medical analogy (Part 1: Diagnosis, 2: Treatment Options, 3: Sticking with a Treatment Plan, 4: Maintaining your health and wealth 5: Masterminding Thrive and Survive), comparing those different stages to dealing with money (the "Wealth Cure").

"Money occupies this huge space in many of our lives, most of our lives," Hill Harper said. "Yet many of us have an unhealthy relationship to money, and I really wanted to explore that -- and I include myself in that. t's not that I'm the expert. What I am is the explorer, hopefully with the reader, exploring this unhealthy relationship to money and wealth."

Hill Harper discusses what money really is, what saving really means and what smart and dumb dollars are. Take a listen to an extended interview with Hill Harper above.

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Follow Tess Vigeland at @tessvigeland