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The Sunday Best 12/18/2016

The Sunday Best is a collection of a handful of posts I share with you each week. With so many informative and inspirational writers out there, I have no trouble coming up with a number of worthwhile reads each week.

Every featured post should be of interest to any physician seeking financial independence. Some will be written by your physician colleagues; others will be written by our friends and patients who share common goals and interests.

Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:


An urban homesteader @ Unconventional Sustainability talks golden handcuffs, minimalism, and bicycle commuting in Managing Our Life Anchors Through Financial Independence.


Have you contemplated setting up a revocable trust? Allow your friendly cardiologist from Dads Dollars & Debts walk you through Setting up a Revocable Living Trust with LegalZoom.


LeverageRxAre you taking full advantage of your 401(k)? The Biglaw Investor is, as he explains in The Government’s Free 401(k) Match.


Let’s hear from another of our lawyer friends. Your Money or Your Life, asks I, Vigilante. He also asks, “What’s the difference?”.


In an oldie but goodie, Maggie Banks of Northern Expenditure shares her experience with minimalism in Alaska: Lessons from Decluttering Everything.


Blogs sure can be fascinating. Dr. John Jurica, the Vital Physician Executive, introduces us to some that are familiar and some others I have yet to read in My Fascination with Physician-Authored Blogs.


While an Emergency Fund is regarded as essential by many, alternatives do exist. The Doctor in Debt explores one in that he has used in How a Personal Line of Credit Saved Me From a Cash Crunch.


Understanding a safe withdrawal rate is paramount if you’re planning to retire early. What does a Ph.D. economist evaluate the SWR? With numbers! Early Retirement Now gives us The Ultimate Guide to Safe Withdrawal Rates Part I and Part II.


When you start reading about money, you can start to obsess with money. Sometimes it’s best to look away for awhile, as the Canadian physician @ Table for One did last month. Find out why she decided to start Ignoring Money.


Free Beer!


Did somebody say free? Did somebody say beer? Did somebody combine two of my favorite words into one perfect phrase — free beer?

Yes, somebody did. My favorite local brewery participates in a rewards program that involves an app, some points, and rewards that can be earned. Occasionally though, like an aunt that hasn’t seen you in way too long, they send you a little gift for no reason at all.

Last week, my phone lit up with a notification. It said “something free beer something.” They had me at free beer.

With a day off on Friday, I made plans to take my wife on a lunch date at a new restaurant followed by a stop at the brewery for… you guessed it… a free beer.


beer sample platter curved


Meanwhile, our friends Nate and J$ at Rockstar Finance launched the Rockstar Community Fund, an initiative to invite personal finance bloggers to do some good in their respective communities. They were offering $20 gift cards to be used to brighten someone’s holiday. For free! Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity.

I just had to decide how to use that $20. I could buy meals for the hungry, but I’ve already done that. I could give money to the animal shelter to feed some pets waiting for a home. We’ve done that, too, though. In fact, I’ve donated generously to support every bona fide charitable organization that we wanted to support this year.

I decided not to give this money to charity. At my marginal tax rate, I can give nearly $40 to charity at a cost of $20 to me. This is $20 cash, so I might as well brighten someone’s day in a non-501(c)(3) charity sort of way.


So I bought beer.


My $20 from the Rockstar Community Fund made a handful of patrons a little bit happier on a Friday afternoon in the form of free beer.

When I went in to collect my hoppy gift of a freebie with the rewards app, I dropped $5 in the tip jar, gave the bartender a $20 bill, and asked him to give one free $5 beer to the next four customers. He thought that was pretty awesome, as did the next person that approached the register.

I was hoping to see a few more surprised and happy faces, but apparently, I was among a very small minority of people that thought it cool to visit the brewery on a zero-degree day at 1:30 p.m.

So that’s my free beer story. The bartender thanked me again on the way out, and a few more thirsty souls got to enjoy some free beer to start their weekend right. I’ve since subscribed to give to the Rockstar Community Fund monthly so that others can experience the joy of blowing someone else’s money on whatever they might consider to be a good deed.

What would you have done with the $20, assuming you had already done all your usual charitable giving and gift buying for the year?



Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE

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26 thoughts on “The Sunday Best 12/18/2016”

  1. Haha….”apparently I was among a very small minority of people that thought it cool to visit the brewery on a zero degree day at 1:30 p.m”

    I’m sure they started rolling in a couple hours later, though! What a cool way to use the $20—starting some stragners’ weekends with a smile.

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Really appreciate you participating man. AND sharing the word! Would have never guessed someone would be using their $20 towards beer, haha… Can never say us $$$ bloggers are boring! 😉

    • I’ve always thought it would be rewarding to buy the next customer’s orders. But I don’t drink coffee, and McDonalds is McDonalds, so… the brewery seemed like the perfect place!

      Thank you for the $20!

      Have a Happy, Non-Boring Holiday,

  4. Thanks for the inclusion. These posts always feel like a party ?. Thanks for putting us on the guest list! Happy Sunday and upcoming holidays!

  5. Thanks for the shout out and introducing me to some other bloggers and interesting posts!

    Free beer sounds amazing. I went to the Russian River Brewing Company and after waiting half an hour for a table my son needed to get home. So we picked up some Pliny the Elder and a few growlers and made our way home for some delivery pizza instead. Not a bad Saturday.

    • A nice little Saturday, indeed. Must be nice to have that option in your backyard.

      3rd Street Aleworks has some nice beers just down the street, and a great happy hour food menu, too.


  6. I didn’t know about the Rockstar Community Fund; that’s freaking awesome! Good on you for brightening someone’s day, even if it’s just a little bit. If I were to have $20 to donate, I’d donate it to my local no-kill animal shelter. We adopted a kitten from there 3 weeks ago and he was so thrilled to have a home of his own. 🙂 I’d love to help an organization find homes for animals, even if it means buying the equivalent of a bag of food for them.

  7. Love it! I’ve got my RCF money on the way and I’m already making plans for it.

    As for free beers, did you know several breweries here in Fort Collins send out free beer coupons in the coupon mailers?

    My husband also has a side gig leading bar trivia every Saturday night at a local pizzeria/biergarten. He gives out three free beers per night to audience members for correctly answering questions, and he gets a free $25 tab that he gets to share with me. It’s the greatest job ever. 🙂

    • Free beer! The advantages of being a local.

      Your husband’s job sounds like a great side gig. A couple of my friends in our homebrew club have white collar jobs by day, and work a night or two slinging beers at a local brewery for fun.

      Might be a cool retirement job for me, someday.


  8. Thanks for including us here again, PoF! Awesome lineup: I found a bunch of new sites/postsI might have missed otherwise!
    Have a great weekend, everybody!

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  10. Wow, thank yo so much for the mention! As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been largely absent from the personal finance world for almost two weeks because of my wedding and some pressing work matters, so I was shocked when I saw a sudden spike in traffic today out of nowhere!

    • Are you calling this site “nowhere”?

      I hope you don’t treat your soon-to-be wife with such indignation!

      Have a great rest of your weekend, and enjoy the festivities!

  11. Great suggestions as always. I was surprised by ERN’s post, and I guess 3.5% is the new 4% withdrawal rate. Bummer, but better to know now than when we run out of money at age 80.

    • Thank you, Julie. Better safe than sorry.

      Fortunately, with a physician’s salary, getting from 25x to 28.6x might only take a extra year or two.


  12. Interesting story. Only once at a restaurant have we run into someone paying it forward at a restaurant. Our reaction was to pay it forward again to someone it would have a more profound impact on.
    In terms of of the 20 dollars, I’d gift it to my neighbors next door. They are about the nicest people I’ve ever met and have gone out of their way to help us out. They are also on the lower end of the income scale but heavily charitable. I’d have to give more thought to how.

    • Thanks, FTF I read and hear about “pay-it-forward” happening, but haven’t witnessed it personally, until I was on the giving end.

      Giving to your neighbors could be tricky, especially with $. They might be better served if you can return a favor – mow the lawn / shovel the walk for them, something like that.


  13. “Free beer free beer that’s my favorite brand!”
    A family practice doc I spent a summer with back in med school introduced me to this classic song by Da Yoopers. I’m not sure if that was part of the hands-on education they were hoping I would obtain, but it remains memorable to this day.



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