The Live on Half Challenge

Castle Rock UP

Live on Half.   It’s not a suggestion or a recommendation. It’s a challenge. If you can find a way to meet this challenge, you will be rewarded handsomely. How so? Living on half of your take-home pay, or to put it another way, saving and investing as much as you spend, should lead to financial independence (FI) in roughly 15 to 20 years. Work becomes optional. You can live the rest of your life on your own terms. That’s a reward that I feel makes certain sacrifices well worth it. What kind of a sacrifice are we talking about? I’m so glad I asked! […]

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A Fifth Physician: Dr. F & The Half Time Option

Today, I’d like to introduce a fifth physician, Dr. Findley. This physician shares a few qualities with our other 4 physicians. Like Dr. A, his family budget is about $80,000 per year, and he shares her interest in part-time work. Like Dr. C, he found a job in an area and specialty with excellent pay, and is now earning about $400,000 per year. We’ll pick up the fictional Dr. Findley’s story at the point where he becomes financially independent. Despite some early mistakes, he managed to realize his goal of having 25x annual expenses by age 40. A full-fledged multimillionaire, the […]

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The Sunday Best (3/24/2019)

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated from the furthest reaches of the internet for your reading pleasure. Every week, I scan hundreds of headlines, read dozens of posts, and bring you the best of the best to save you time and mental energy. Financial Independence (FI) is a primary focus, but it’s an awfully broad topic. I tend to approach FI and early retirement from a fatFIRE perspective and through the lens of a physician, so expect to see those biases in the selected articles. Related topics that have become recurrent themes include early retirement, selective […]

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Financial Independence Should Be Part of the Medical Trainee’s Curriculum

Physician Ledger

What were you taught about money in school? How about after school? How did you learn about money? If you answered “next to nothing,” “next to nothing,” and “I learned from my own mistakes,” you’re in excellent company. That’s the route many of us have taken, and I think our financial education is in need of an overhaul. The Physician Philosopher agrees with me, and he goes a step further to state that not only financial literacy, but also financial independence should be part of the curriculum. I’ve expressed my opinion that FI can be useful in fighting burnout, but […]

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Would You Quit Your Job as a Lottery Winner? How Financial Independence is Like Winning the Lottery

lottery winner

She watches with anticipation as the numbers pop up on the screen. 3. Her daughter’s age 12, 16. She was born on December 16th! 26. Her age when she graduated medical school and got married. 33. Her current age and the fifth of her lucky numbers. This is really happening. Just one number to go… 11! This one goes to eleven! She figured if she didn’t win the lottery, she could live on half her takehome pay and be financially independent in about 11 more years. But that won’t be necessary. She won the lottery! She really won!* A lottery […]

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Christopher Guest Post: Mad Fientist


It is my distinct pleasure to bring you a guest who has been a part of this online financial independence movement for a good long while, more than twice as long as I have, in fact. Physician on FIRE is in its fourth year, while Brandon has been writing and podcasting at Mad Fientist since 2012, and is now in year number eight. That pretty much makes him an O.G. in this space along with people like Mr. Money Mustache, who was his first podcast guest, and prior Christopher Guest Post interviewee, Joe from Retire by 40. I first met […]

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Ether to FI: “I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!” Learning from Those You Disagree With & a Net Worth Update


We last heard from Ether to FI in December when he talked about having a frugal spouse makes early FI all the more likely. Today, he returns with his ninth installment more than a year and a half after he finished his anesthesia residency and introduced himself to the world. The initial plan was to reach FI with $3.3 Million within 10 years but continue working indefinitely. A few posts back, he and his wife were thinking more seriously about the RE aspects of FIRE. The goal posts have been moved once again, as you will see below. I think […]

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FOMO, Cancer, and the Practice of Medicine


Today, I’m honored to publish a guest post from an anesthesiologist who has an amazing story to share. She reached out to me in the fall of 2018 to say a few kind words as a reader. We had some things in common. She had lived frugally relative to many of her colleagues. She was now working in a part-time capacity. Her path to this point, however, is very different from mine. I simply realized I no longer needed to work for money and started working less. She, on the other hand, had a very serious medical diagnosis that had […]

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When Your Income Becomes Your Enemy

Sedona Mansion

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the question “How do you get rich?” You might envision someone winning the lottery or receiving a large inheritance, but the most common and likely response is something along the lines of “make a lot of money.” If you want to be wealthy, and don’t have a rich uncle or 1 in 100 million luck, you’re best off working hard and earning a boatload of money. Of course, earning money is only half of the equation, but it’s the sexier half, so you probably didn’t immediately come up with […]

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The Sunday Best (2/24/2019)

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure. Expect most of the writing to be from recent weeks and consistent with the themes presented on this website: investing & taxes, financial independence, early retirement, and physician issues.     Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:   A couple of my Recommended Financial Advisors were part of this roundtable discussion with Doc G and Paul Thompson on the What’s Up Next podcast. The Role of Financial Advice in pursuit of FI.   Staying with Doc G of DiverseFI, he considers how staring at his portfolio balance […]

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Walt Disney World for the FIRE Crowd

Drunkin Grownups

It takes a high savings rate to achieve financial independence and retire early. A visit to Disney World requires a significant output of money. Nevertheless, if Disney World is a high priority for you or your children, there are strategies that can help you fit a Disney trip into nearly any budget. We’ll approach it from the barista FIRE, leanFIRE, FIRE, and fatFIRE perspectives. If none of those acronyms made sense to you, fear not. All will be explained below. I’ll also share some general Disney tips based on my recent experience visiting both waterparks and all four major parks with […]

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Rebalancing Your Portfolio: Why, When, and How

You’ve decided on the perfect asset allocation for you. It matches your risk tolerance, preference for domestic versus international equities, and the numbers, as expressed in percentages, are perfect multiples of ten. You’ve got a spreadsheet to automatically track and calculate those percentages. 60, 20, 10, 10. It all adds up. Then the market does what the market does and it’s all fouled up. 58, 21, 13, 8. No!!!! All is not lost. You can rebalance. Dr. Jim Dahle explains why you might want to do that (besides making the numbers look proper again), when you might want to do […]

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Christopher Guest Post: Financial Panther

“Mr. Simpson, You’re a dollar overdrawn.” “Get him, Sheba!”  Those were the humble beginnings of the Financial Panther. That Simpsons sketch would later inspire my lawyer friend Kevin to become the less ferocious, but equally effective online embodiment of the Financial Panther. Kevin was one of the very first bloggers I met in person. He commented on a blog post of mine back in the summer of 2016, and we met up a short while later at Surly Brewing where I lent gave him my copy of The White Coat Investor (which is under $10 now on Amazon, btw). We […]

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Financial Freedom for Generation X

A week ago, I delved into a couple of great books penned by millennials, and largely for millennials, detailing the path the financial freedom. Today, I’d like to review a couple more financial freedom books. Today’s selections were written by a couple of my cohorts in Generation X, a generation loosely defined as being born between the early 1960s and early 1980s. I’m a Generation Xer. Many of your favorite FIRE bloggers are, too, like Mr. Money Mustache, Justin @ Root of Good, Vicki from Make Smarter Decisions, Joe from Retire by 40, Miss Mazuma, the Early Retirement Dude, Carl […]

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The Sunday Best (2/10/2019)

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure. Expect most of the writing to be from recent weeks and consistent with the themes presented on this website: investing & taxes, financial independence, early retirement, and physician issues.   Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:     Six or seven years ago, I spent most of my 17 weeks off from my primary job working locums three states away. That’s where I met Dr. Eric Larson, the President of the group at the time. We reconnected on his podcast, The Paradocs in Episode 033: Walking Away From […]

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The Reality of Real Estate Investing: It’s Not as Easy as It Seems


Real Estate is often touted as an optimal path to wealth. Many people have done very, very well by investing in real estate. Of course, there are countless ways to invest in real estate. Today’s guest post comes from the spouse of a physician, Rachel Hernandez of Adventures in Mobile Homes. As you might guess, her trailer park adventures come not from living in mobile homes, but as an experienced real estate investor. The focus today is on single-family homes or small multi-family homes. Certainly, that’s one way to earn good income from real estate, but the endeavor requires hands-on […]

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Working Worldwide with the WoWs — Financial Independence and Volunteering

Today’s blog post comes from Mrs. Waffles on Wednesday, an occupational therapist with a penchant for travel and volunteering. In just a few years, she has found ways to venture into far-off places to offer help where it’s needed most. We heard about some of the adventures she and Mr. WoW have had when we cruised to Cuba together in the fall of 2018. I asked if she would be willing to write up a guest post that spoke to their future plans with medical missions and how they’re intertwined with the financial independence that they are rapidly approaching. Not […]

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The FIRE Movement is Here to Stay

“I think we are at or near peak FIRE” – J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly He then postulated that when the next market crash comes, and we know it will (and we did see a drop of about 20% in the US stock market since then), a lot of people who thought they had achieved financial independence would realize they are not actually FI. J.D. was the moderator of FIRE panel at FinCon18 that included Pete of Mr. Money Mustache, Jillian from Montana Money Adventures, Carl a.k.a. Mr. 1500, and me. He asked us what we thought about “peak FIRE” […]

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