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The Sunday Best (3/5/2017)

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:


We’ll kick this off with another Q&A I participated in recently, this time with The Green Swan. A FIRE-Side Chat With Physician On FIRE.


The Happy Philosopher doesn’t hate reading films, but it’s not his calling, either. I love this post. You Don’t Have to Hate Your Job to Want Financial Independence.


Charlie, the senior anesthesia resident @ Life of a Med Student had a lucrative moonlighting gig. Not any more. Telemedicine Took MY Job!


Masterful writer drops Mark Manson drops a few f-bombs while eloquently discussing success, happiness, and the hedonic treadmill in The Disease of More.


In an oldie but goodie, early retirees Jeremy & Winnie of Go Curry Cracker explain How We Saved Multi-Millions.


529 plans were a recent topic of discussion on the WCI forum, and the topic of a guest post from early retiree ESI Money on the lawyer know as IVigilante’s site. Become a 529 Wizard.


Speaking of WCI, my new business partner The White Coat Investor flexes his funny muscles because… well, what else has he got? Why You’re Broke and I Don’t Have Big Pecs.


Down with Dividends! Who wants that tax drag? Neither me nor Go Curry Cracker. Fewer Dividends, Please.


I’ve discussed minimizing the likelihood regret when it comes to early retirement. The Finance Buff gives the topic a more nuanced, mathematical treatment in Delayed Gratification & Enough.


It’s Time for a Little Self Deprivation


You can tell by the Filet-O-Fish ads that Lent has arrived. That’s right — it’s time for Catholics across the land to deprive themselves of wonderful things, like filet mignon on Fridays, or pretty much any cut that comes from a land mammal.

I’d like to suggest that you don’t have to be Catholic to stop doing something negative, or start doing something positive, for at least this roughly seven week stretch. Much like you don’t have to be Irish to drink green beer a week from Friday.


green hopslam
i greened the hopslam


We practice the self deprivation aspects of Lent in our household – she’s giving up red meat for the duration, and I’m giving up brussel sprouts  snake charming eating sweet treats until Easter Sunday. My first couple ideas were vetoed; I’ll be popping half-price Cadbury Eggs like Tic-Tacs on Easter Monday.

As I was saying, you don’t have to be Catholic to do something to improve your life at this time of year.

It’s like a second chance at a New Year’s resolution. You know, the thing you said you’d do, but stopped doing sometime in early February. You also don’t have to stop doing something you know to be bad; rather, you can start doing something you know to be good.

Not ready to give up chocolate? Start tracking your spending! Hesitant to give up alcohol (I’ve done this one)? Start training for a 5k! Would you like to keep eating steak, ham, bacon, or brussel sprouts? Be my guest, but start doing something positive, like eliminating some of the excess in your life.


Learn how to better manage your student loan debt, and explore refinancing to a lower rate with cash back offers up to $1,000! Student Loan Resource Page

What am I starting?


The other evening, our family of four volunteered at the local “soup kitchen” for the first time. We’ve given money the last few years, but have never donated our time or had the chance to see the people we’re helping.

Despite the name, there was no soup and lots of spaghetti, and the joint was more of a converted basketball court with a kitchen and a piano. Our boys entertained a few dozen guests playing some Linus & Lucy and other songs, placed bread on their dinner plates, handed out Oreos after dinner, and helped me clean tables after dinner was over. They loved it!

My wife and I helped cook, serve, and clean up after the meal, and were impressed by the dedicated regular volunteers who made it all happen like clockwork.

nate mason layup
best shot i got

My time is at a premium right now, but I’m glad we took 90 minutes to do something like this. The day before, I took the better part of 11 hours to take my Dad to dinner and a basketball game. It was great fun, but it only impacted the two of us.


Anything else?


Fat Tuesday happened to be the last day that this blog was a solo project. As of March 1st, I have shareholders. So I’m starting to work with The White Coat Investor, which is pretty great.

I’ve made a few enhancements to the site in recent days to up my game. You may have noticed the new logo, which I wanted to have in place before the transition. I got the logo done via Fiverr, and by the time I played around with it enough, I figured I could design something myself. The WCI network logo is the result of my newfound mad Photoshop Elements skills.

I’ve also added a Jobs page, which I wasn’t sure would be useful until I tried it, and realized Ziprecruiter pulls info from a wide physician specialty sites, like Gaswork, individual hospitals, and locum companies. Have a look!

I wish I could tell you I’m doing something that was more self-improvement based rather than site-improvement focused, but there’s only so much time in the day.

If only I could buy more time.


I've got my 2 acres of non-leveraged, crop-producing, cashflowing farmland via AcreTrader. Get yours.


Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE

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26 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (3/5/2017)”

  1. Your vision on your professional life is too inspiring, retiring sooner to work for longer life. As you said, for anything in our life self deprivation is the must thing. Which will not require any external compulsion on us for going with good or bad(positive or negative thoughts).

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  3. Great posts this week – thanks for linking to them!

    I especially found The Happy Philosopher’s post interesting. One of the key objections I get when I tell people about my early retirement journey is “but I like my job, and besides, I wouldn’t want to do nothing all day long”… and of course, I wouldn’t want to do nothing all day long, but I want to have a choice of doing exactly what I want to do. I really like the arguments THP puts forward in the post to explain that point clearly 🙂

  4. I totally agree about lent as a time to live a little more meagerly, or as you say… depravation. I’m not religious, but Jesus is definitely one of my favorite historical figures. This is also a good opportunity to just be a little more mindful. We’re cutting out sugar from both sweets and alcohol. On Fridays, instead of the traditional give up meat for fish, I will eat vegan. On Sundays, I will fast during daylight hours, similar to Ramadan.

    I’m looking forward to reading the article from the Happy Philosopher. Have you heard of Lissa Rankin, MD? I’m not sure what her medical peers think of her, but I do like how she makes the connection between health and happiness in our careers and finding our ‘calling’.

  5. Congratulations on the partnership, PoF and WCI! I look forward to the great things you both will bring to your sites!

  6. My wife and I volunteered at a local soup kitchen just before last Christmas. It was the first time I had done that and it was a great experience. Something I recommend everyone do to see just how lucky most of us are to be born into a good situation. There were several families there volunteering together. I thought it was a great way to teach kids compassion and to be grateful for what they have.

  7. Congrats on volunteering. We brought food to our church for their “room st The Inn” night where they house homeless people over night. We got our kids involved too.

  8. So many gems today. You and WCI make quite a team, and I’m looking forward to your synergy.
    You also reminded me that while it seems like New Year’s is our big chance to rethink, reassess, and reset ourselves, we have multiple opportunities throughout the year. Yes, there’s Lent, but there’s also every 1st of the month, every Monday, the start of every season, the start of summer vacation, etc. It’s never too early or too late to start.

  9. I took my wife to the same game for her birthday! Also, I’m jealous of the hip slam picture. I didn’t stock up like I should have and I can’t find it in stock anywhere!!

    • No kidding?!? Did you get your tickets at half-price on Black Friday like I did?

      Bummer about the Hopslam. I only picked up a sixer this year, and I’ve got a few left. I’ve got a couple of decent homebrewed IPAs on tap, so fridge beers tend to stick around a bit longer.

      Cheers, and happy birthday to the Mrs!

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  11. Go Gophers! Spending time with your dad is always time well spent. I take at least one day out of the year to take my dad golfing because we both love it. While not impacting the whole family, it’s never time wasted.

  12. Huh, I’ve always been interested in the implications of telemedicine; checking it out!

    Oh sweet lawd, half-price Cadbury Eggs are to die for! I’ve never participated in Lent, but I do like the idea of trying beneficial things that you normally wouldn’t do (like volunteering).

    • I always enjoy the bunny’s eggs, but I really, really enjoy them when they’re half off and I haven’t had a sweet treat for seven weeks!


      p.s. We don’t “cheat” on Sundays as some do, but we do take a respite from our sacrifices when on vacation. We’ll have to come up with different rules when I’m retired and life is a perpetual vacation. 🙂

  13. Interesting idea combining efforts with other physician blogs, I’ll be interested to see how it works out and what it means over time. As for giving things up for Lent, not a bad idea if your new year’s resolutions are already off the rails, though I favor continuous rather then short term adjustments. Ie tic tac Cadbury the day after probably neglects your waste line improvements. ;). Then again you have to start somewhere.

    • Good point, FTF. I started working out in January, and it’s been a couple weeks since I got a good workout in. No big pecs for me, either.


  14. Thanks for including my Telemedicine post, PoF!!

    Telemedicine expansion will be an interesting topic in the coming years, as it becomes more sophisticated and it’s costs come way down… but there will be a growing tempatation where patient safety is decreased purely for cost-cutting… and my example certainly approaches that line!

    • I agree, LoaMS. I don’t know if it was the right or wrong move, but they certainly lost the immediate availability of potentially life saving services.


  15. You took on a very difficult topic today, PoF, and you should be proud. You’re a shining beacon of hope for all of us who are embarrassed everyday to admit that we are in that small group that enjoys the forever-controversial treat that everyone either loves or hates with the fire of 1,000 suns: Cadbury Cream Eggs.

    • I don’t understand how anyone can hate the Cadbury Cream Egg.

      I also fail to understand how Peeps came to be so popular. To me, they’re just meh.

      • Utter mystery, both. I can at least begin to wrap my brain around the finance, economics, psychology, and philosophy behind FIRE, but this is too much.

  16. Great roundup, PoF. I found the article from GoCurryCracker especially interesting. A bit of a contrarian view compared to what we usually see written these days, and an article I hadn’t read already as well. Thanks for that! 🙂

    • You bet. I’ve had an anti-dividend post in my drafts / idea folder for months. I think it’s time I give the topic my own treatment.


  17. Congratulations PoF and WCI on the new partnership!

    Lent is a great time for self-improvement. I’m trying to read the Bible more often during Lent; hopefully on a daily basis! It’s so easy now with apps, no more excuses!


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