The Sunday Best (10/15/2017)
The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure.
Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:
FatFIRE, leanFIRE, and three steps to financial independence. The Mad Fientist and I were featured on Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich. From author Tony Tran, A Non-Crazy Person’s Guide to Financial Independence.
Geographic arbitrage is one tool that can turbocharge your drive to FI. But you can still reach your destination with a leisurely cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway. Another Second Opinion MD opines in Don’t Think I Can Achieve Financial Independence in California? Hold My IPA.
The world’s most interesting man 2.0 is a self-actualized victim of the hedonic treadmill. My Money Wizard shares his wisdom in Does Money Buy Happiness? Instagram’s Most Ridiculous Playboy Shares the Truth.
Wait! I thought happiness was the goal. I suppose they’re all interrelated. A young engineer from the Netherlands did an amazing job (seriously, check out the graphs) measuring the correlation between his spending and happiness. From Tracking Happiness, Can Money Buy Happiness? — Happiness Through Money: Part I.
As the late, great Tom Petty liked to say, Even the Losers Get Lucky Sometimes. That may be a bit harsh, but I don’t think Lily @ The Frugal Gene would mind the intro. How Dumb Luck Made My Husband a Rich Man.
Have you heard enough from the millennials? The white-haired Jonathan Clements of The Humble Dollar says Enough Already in a post having nothing to do with kids these days and everything to do with whether or not he intends to stop playing a game he’s already won, as Dr. Bill Bernstein has suggested one might want to do.
My recent post on the suboptimal nature of receiving dividends in a taxable account was well received by most, but not all. Larry Swedroe of ETF.com would certainly agree with me, though. In this article, he explains the Irrelevance of Dividends.
A pair of ophthalmologists have teamed up to share their insights on building a medical practice. Dr. Chen and Choi of Solo Building Blogs discuss Financing a Solo Medical Practice Part I and Part II.
This physician isn’t on FIRE, but his house was. Now it’s gone. Cardiologist EJ from Dads Dollars Debts describes the frantic escape in the wee hours of the night as the flames surrounded, and ultimately destroyed, their neighborhood. Tubbs Fire 10/9/17 — A Sudden Evacuation.
Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone
Cinderella sang those poignant lyrics, and I slow-danced to them. I haven’t heard the song in years, but it popped into my head when I read EJ’s most recent post and saw the pictures.
Just about everything he and his family had is gone. Overnight. They’ve got a car, their wallets, some camping gear. In terms of material possessions, that’s about it. Thankfully, they’ve got each other, some generous friends who are helping them out, and the opportunity to rebuild eventually.
No house, no furniture, no wardrobe. Computers, cameras, TVs, appliances? All turned to ash.
I’m not trying to rub it in. I haven’t met EJ, but I consider him a friend. We’ve been trading e-mails for the better part of a year and I’ve got a standing invitation to join him at Russian River Brewing if and when we return to Santa Rosa.
I’m just trying to wrap my head around what it would be like to start from scratch, as he and his family are now forced to do. I’ve actually pondered this before. With all this talk of minimalism, I evaluate what it means to me to have what I have. When I go through my closet and storage bins, I make these choices whether to keep, donate, or toss.
EJ didn’t get to make those choices. He had a couple minutes in the middle of the night to gather his family and throw a few objects in the car. The fire-proof safe with important documents didn’t even make it into their vehicle before they sped off. Let’s hope it worked as advertised.
I know from EJ’s writing that he’s considered downsizing and has lamented some of the purchases they have made in his early years as a young physician. He has stated that they were well insured, so in terms of dollars, this fire won’t be devestating. From a practical standpoint, it absolutely is a horrible way to start anew, but I expect they’ll be a family of phoenixes and rise up from the ash.
I reached out to EJ and learned they do indeed plan to rebuild on the site of their former home. He just finished reading a book on minimalism the other day, and will be incorporating some of those principles into his life as they begin to plan for what’s next.
I look forward to following along as they begin to rebuild their lives, and reading how their decisions are influenced by their desire for financial independence and knowledge of to best achieve it.
Have a safe week!
-Physician on FIRE
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