The Sunday Best (1/14/2017)

The Sunday Best
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:


The OB Doctor Mom, who shared this guest post on the finances of retiring from medicine at 37 with us, asks a related question. Is it Ethical to Retire Early From a Career in Medicine? 


Dr. Mo retired from his Urgent Care Career at about the same age, and has moved on to do other things, including meaningful work. (Yes, you can retire from something and still do work).


The Financial Samurai would describe Dr. Mo’s position as one of “Budget Financial Independence.” What are his criteria and how does one level up? The Three Levels of Financial Independence: Because Money is Only Part of the Equation.


Dr. Luis Alcosta reached financial independence in a most non-traditional way. From working as a physician for $4 a month to retiring 15 years after an American residency. He shared his story on The White Coat Investor. My Journey: A Wealth of Opportunity.


Let’s keep rockin’ that FI theme. Channeling Pink Floyd, CHGO FIRE, one of ChooseFI‘s new writers introduces himself in Comfortably Numb (And How I Woke Up To Financial Independence).


The Happy Philosopher threw out all his old Floyd tapes. And Van Halen’s 1984 if memory serves me right. This year he’s embarking on another minimalism challenge or two.


Minimalism is catching on like wildfire! Oh, sorry Dads, Dollars, and Debts. I didn’t see you there. Awkward… So, what’s the plan now that all your stuff burned up in the Tubbs fire? Buying nothing?!? Buying nothing for 1 year – That’s the plan.


If what the cardiologist and radiologist above are doing appeals to you in any way, be sure to check out our blogging friend Cait Flanders‘ new book, The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store.


A surgical resident is in a car wreck. He’s mostly OK, but his hand is not. The physical and mental recovery from the perspective of his wife Catherine Alford. When Your Husband Gets Into a Major Car Accident.


Start earning the free vacation you deserve with a rewards credit card today. Top Cards by Category


Nearly a year ago, The Motley Fool gave us 5 Top Stocks to Buy in 2017: Under Armour, T-Mobile, Dave & Busters, Diamondback Energy, and Core Labs. The Biglaw Investor sees just how well those recommendations worked out. Don’t Be an Investing Clown.


A $20,000 Gift from the Government


“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Oh, really…

Yes, really! I figured I’d come out at least $10,000 ahead based on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act next year, but according to the Tax Policy Center’s Calculator, which is the best I’ve seen so far, I can expect to pay $20,000 less in federal income tax in 2018 than I would have under the old system.


TCJA physicians


The variables I entered are:

  • Married, filing jointly
  • Both under 65
  • Not in College
  • 2 dependents under 12
  • Wage and Salary: $250,000
  • Taxable interest: $1,000
  • Dividends: $25,000
  • Employer-Paid Health Insurance: $15,000
  • Business Income (from this site): $60,000
  • State Income Tax: $18,000
  • Property Taxes: $8,000


The detailed breakdown looks like this:



Under the previous tax code, I paid the AMT every year. In 2018, that would have cost me nearly $7,000.

Under the previous tax code, I never saw a child tax credit. In 2018, my two boys are worth $4,000 (on the 1040, that is).

Under the previous tax code, taxable income of about $300,000 would have put us in the 33% marginal tax bracket as a couple. Now, we’re in the 24% bracket.

All of that adds up to about $20,000 in savings.


Track your investments for free with Personal Capital. That's how I track the PoF portfolio


Curious as to how you’ll fare in 2018? Visit the Tax Policy Center’s Comparison Calculator, and report your results in the comments below!


Have a prosperous week!

-Physician on FIRE


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