The Sunday Best (11/12/2017)

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:


Primary care doesn’t pay all that well. For most. For Foreign Born MD, it pays incredibly well. Read on to learn how she’s Earning $500K+ Salary as an Internist.


I suspect FBMD will do quite well with that salary, but Holly of Club Thrifty and The Simple Dollar reminds us that it takes more than offense to win this money game. Why a High Income Doesn’t Guarantee You’ll Retire Rich.


This Millionaire Doc has designs on retiring rich. $20 Million rich.  A two part introduction:


Early retirees Jeremy & Winnie of Go Curry Cracker don’t have such a lofty goal, but they don’t plan to live like paupers, either. In his words: I Don’t want to Live Like I’m Poor Forever.


Michael & Ellen of the Uncommon Dream have a dream that may be more common than they realize. They discuss living three months in Ecuador (I want to do that!) and much more with Ms. Montana in Mini-Retirement Mastered: Michael & Ellen!


The bottom’s about to drop out of this bull market, right? Perspectives from the Teacher Investor: Beware False Prophets of Stock-Market Doom. The Sky is Never Falling.


Dr. Starnes listens to podcasts. Lots and lots of podcasts. From Physician REI, What I Have Learned About Real Estate and Life from 1000+ Podcasts.


Thanksgiving is fast approaching, as is the end of the calendar year. That’s right — with apologies to The Zombies, it’s the time of the season for giving.


ESI Money is a generous man who has donated an impressive 26% of his salary over many years and hundreds of thousands in revenue from a previous blog. He asks, Where Does Giving Fit In With Financial Independence?


Another blogging couple incorporates giving via a donor advised fund into their FIRE plans. Tanja & Mark @ Our Next Life share Our Early Retirement Charitable Mission and Donor Advised Funds.


Physicians and pharmacists, Register with Incrowd for the opportunity to earn easy money with quick "microsurveys" tailored to your specialty.

Walking the FI Walk


I’ve been talking the FI talk for nearly two years, and I finally acted upon my FI status by transitioning to a much friendlier schedule with a salary that will drop us into lower tax brackets (regardless of what happens or does not in our nation’s capital).

“What will you do with all that extra time?” I’m often asked.

Today, I’ve got a good answer. My family and I depart on a three-week Spanish immersion adventure this afternoon. We won’t be back until December, and when we get back, I’ll have a full week to settle back in at home before going back to work for a busy stretch prior to the holidays.

The last time I took a full three weeks off was over ten years ago. Now, I’ve got a schedule that will allow me to take trips like this on a regular basis. Twenty-one days isn’t exactly slow travel — the kind of adventuring in which you might stay put for months at a time — but it’s enough time to feel like more than a brief vacation.

On a week’s vacation, I tend to try to squeeze in as much activity as possible. After a few days, I know it’s only a few days until we go back to “normal life.” Now, with my FI-enabled freedom, we can take in our surroundings at a less-frenzied pace, and the single-digit-day countdown to the trip’s end doesn’t start until the trip’s more than half over.

Where are we going? I’m not sure it’s best to broadcast our exact whereabouts, but I will be giving a full report of our trip upon our return. I can tell you that we will “hablamos Español” and experience much milder weather than we have thus far in a cold, white November up north.



Have a tremendous week!

-Physician on FIRE

38 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (11/12/2017)”

  1. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  2. Bon Voyage Daddyo!

    My kid spent 2 1/2 months in immersed in Italy last summer. She had a blast. I think she was in a different country every weekend.

  3. Congratulations and have fun!
    The real vacation starts pretty much after the first week when you have a new routine.
    A request- while you are there, try to get a deal for your readers for immersion school – we want to do it too.
    We do 2 weeks no-work vacations all the time, with extra weeks in summer (cheating) because I work remotely while still enjoying traveling. This year got all mixed up, we moved and there is so much to do locally that we haven’t gone away even when I have been off.

    • I probably could disconnect completely for a “no-work” vacation, but that would mean cutting you all off, so I like to have a little internet time each day.

      As far as a discount, the school doesn’t appear to be a place with a big profit margin, and it’s absolutely affordable already. If you stay and learn for eight weeks, there is a bulk discount. Sounds plausible if you can work remotely!


  4. Oh, exciting — a spanish adventure! Can wait to hear the details!

    We only recently got back from our month in Japan, and one month is *just about right* in my opinion.

    We weren’t rushing about trying to fill every-single-day with tourist activities. It was a good pace for a family, and I feel like we “soaked up” all the good stuff Japan had to offer….

    and no, that isn’t a Typhoon joke (we went through two Typhoons).

    • Are you sure that wasn’t a typhoon joke?

      I spent all of six days in Osaka visiting a friend back in 2014. It wasn’t nearly enough time, but I was in residency, so it’s all the time I had.

      Cheers to slow travel!

  5. Hi PoF, Have an enjoyable trip and thanks for the mention. I enjoyed all the other articles about frugal living and giving, which is high on our priority list. Now I can’t wait till I get to FI so I get to go on interesting trips as well 🙂

    • Your post was well received. I’m impressed by your work ethic, and your earnings are proof that hard work can pay off. As others cautioned, be wary of burnout — you’ve made hay while the sun has shined.

      Frugal living and generous giving can esily go hand-in-hand for the high-income professional.


  6. Hopefully you have a great immersion experience! We are just about to set out on #5 for our family and we love it. Our children do dual-immersion programs for school (Spanish and Chinese) so it is great to have a lot of experience in the target language. Each time we go on another month long trip, I keep saying I am going to practice more before the next trip……then life gets in the way. At least we have interpreters in our family (our kids).

    We have loved the slower experience and hope you guys do too!

    • Thanks for sharing, Brittany. I must say I’m jealous of the opportunites you’ve created for your kids and the availability of the programs at your school(s). Our school system is strong in many ways, but foreign language is not one of them. That responsibility falls entirely on us.

      It’s day two of our trip now, and I’m loving the fact that we’re not going anywhere anytime soon.


  7. Buen viaje! Mi esposo es de un país de habla española y viajamos allí dos semanas cada año. Espero el día en que podamos pasar dos meses allí. Disfruta!

    • Gracias, Ann! I had to use Google translate to fully comprendar:

      “Good trip! My husband is from a Spanish speaking country and we travel there for two weeks each year. I look forward to the day when we can spend two months there. Enjoy!”

      Sounds about right!

  8. I really liked the post about how having a high-income doesn’t guarantee you’ll retire rich, even though I think I’m already doing a pretty good job of following all the advice in it. I posted it to a physicians’ group where people are always complaining about not earning enough and never being in a position to retire! I suspect I may get some people whining at me about it.

  9. Thanks for the shout out PoF! That article on podcasts was one of my favorite to write…so much information and inspiration to be had by listening to other people’s experiences.

    Hope you enjoy your travels. Traveling is certainly another way to learn a lot about life and others, so enjoy!

  10. I thoroughly enjoy your Sunday posts and have been reading them for some time now! And want to say thank you for always posting these.

    Also, enjoy your trip! Speaking Spanish is incredible if you don’t know it already try and capitalize on every moment even if you sound like a fool…. which you will if you don’t already speak it! I lived in Argentina for two years and now speak Spanish fluently it has been one of the greatest things I have ever done!

  11. I love slow travel, but three weeks in one place is good too! I took three weeks off unintentionally a couple years ago when I came back to the States with Dengue Fever after a two week vacation. Three weeks off for fun sounds much more relaxing.

    • Three weeks is certainly better than one, particularly when you’ve essentially got a full travel day at the beginning and end of the trip.

      Anything sounds more relaxing than coming home with Dengue fever. Sorry to hear it; we’re really hoping to stay healthy!

  12. Hasta la vista, Doctor en Fuego! (I took Spanish in high school). I look forward to reading the full report, and possibly following in your footsteps at some point in the future.

    Are the kiddos getting immersed too?

    • Thank you, TGE!

      After an overnight low near zero the other night, we’re expecting highs in the 70s every day. It was a long travel day, but we are settled in our home away from home for the next three weeks.



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