The Sunday Best (5/28/2017)

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:


Our friend Mr. Money Mustache recently released his 2016 annual spending which jumped by 20% from the year before. Why? The answer in Exposed! The MMM Family’s 2016 Spending!


Your taxable account might just be your best emergency fund. Anesthesiologist Tom from High Income Parents gives his best answer to Should I Pay Down Debt or Save for an Emergency Fund? Maybe Neither.


I’m trying to find balance. I really am. Clearly, I am not alone — the radiologist blogging at The First Habit suggests Finding the Right Work-Life Balance: Are You Working to Live or Living to Work?


These early retirees may be on the move, searching for the ideal spot for a multimillionaire family to raise their kids. Will Mr. Tako and company find the ideal spot? Finding the Good Life.


Dr. Mo would like you to get your $h!] together. Visit Urgent Care Career for a 20-Day Financial Makeover. Or if you’re super serious, a 20-Day Radical Financial Makeover.


I don’t normally bother looking at funds without ultra-low fees. And so I found the Wall Street Physician’s post to be quite intriguing. Worst of the Worst: A Look at Five of the Most Expensive Mutual Funds on Wall Street.


Our family had a wonderful spring break in Paris (and Iceland). SightSee MD followed in our footsteps shortly thereafter. I love the title, which plays off the Woody Allen film: 4 Midnights in Paris.


The future of PSLF may be in peril. Bloggers have noticed.


I have 8 out of 9 millionaire habits listed by J. Money of Budgets are Sexy (no, they’re not, actually). How Many of These Millionaire Spending Habits Do You Have?


Avacado Toast, anyone?


Avocado Toast? Seriously?



“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each” — Tim Gurner

A man described as an Australian real estate mogul recently made headlines around the world with that line. I need to come up with a polarizing line like that. Two weeks ago, I didn’t know Tim Gurner from Tim Allen. Or a gurney.

Mr. Stretcher Gurney Gurner said something to the effect that the reason millennials cannot afford to buy a home is that they’re spending too much on avocado toast, restaurants in general, European vacations, etc…

My mind immediately went to the $7 candy bar and the $1,000 I spent on beer while on a European vacation of sorts as a broke medical student. Somehow, despite all that, I was able to afford a home. Too many homes in fact (I once had five!).

It’s easy to jump on the parade of bandwagons riding roughshod over Mr. Gurner’s every word. I recently argued that the occasional splurge is not going to make or break you. But maybe he’s not talking about a rare event.

He may be addressing the person making $9 an hour and routinely spending $18 on breakfast. Or is avocado toast lunch? Dinner? Honestly, I have no idea. If I wanted avocado toast, I’d buy a $3 loaf of bread, a handful of avocados, and serve avocado toast to the whole neighborhood for less than $18.

As a one-time treat, an $18 item ain’t no thing but a chicken wing. Just as long as you make it a treat. Make it a regular occurrence and will not only become less of a treat, but it just might prevent you from reaching your financial goals. Goals which may or may not include buying a home.


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

Memorial Day


I want to recognize every veteran who devoted at least a portion of their lives to fighting for the freedom we all enjoy today. It’s a list that includes my father and both of my grandfathers. I am eternally grateful for their service and the fact that they all survived, allowing my brother and I to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.


thank you for your service, dad



Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE


You’re still not using Empower? Track all accounts in one place like I do.

17 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (5/28/2017)”

  1. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  2. The reference to Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris brought a huge smile to my face. It was one of the inspirations for our family vacation to Paris a few years ago.

    Not only did we make a concerted effort to visit as many places in Paris as possible that were visited in the movie (including museums, hotels, store, sites, and even a ridiculously expensive meal at Le Grand Vefour), I even arranged for an antique car to pick us up at the steps Église Saint-Étienne du Mont at night, just as Owen Daniels had been swept away at midnight in the movie. (Unfortunately, I could not orchestrate the time travel excursion.)

    This is an example to me of how splurging on a great experience buys a lifetime of happy memories. ?

    • You did all that?!? Quite impressive. We did wander the Latin quarter and saw where some of the characters actually lived, including Hemingway, but we didn’t take it to the level you did.

      We did do something like that along the north shore of Oahu, visiting a number of the sites from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Went to the cliff where they jumped, dined where they dined at Turtle Bay, and took a surfing lesson there, too. I didn’t get Paul Rudd as an instructor, though, which is unfortunate.


  3. POF, wanted to thank you for the Sunday Best. It is great reading and I look forward to it every week. I wasnt aware of the avocado toast turmoil this week. I think overspending depriciating asset like a car is a far worse crime.

  4. Ohhhh, that avocado toast. Who on earth thought it would get so out of hand?! I’m just happy we found another thing to blame for peoples pitiful lack of savings besides the $4 latte. 😉

    Thank you for including me but also for the shout out to our military. Often we forget what these 3 day mattress sale weekends are in honor of. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the mention PoF! Nice lineup as usual.

    I enjoy avocados but prefer corn tortilla chips and a nice margarita alongside rather than toast.

    Nice perspective on $18 bucks being able to feed a block with the forbidden food.

    Thank you and thanks to all our veterans, especially my father-in-law who was stationed in Iceland and the Aleutian Islands leaving his family back home for years at a time.

    Tom @ HIP

  6. Lots to comment on today. 🙂

    1. Colorado. Perfect place to retire. Case closed.

    2. Am I the only person on earth who doesn’t like avocados? Toast isn’t that great either. I’m thinking two wrongs certainly do not make a food right.

    3. Appreciate your recognizing those who have served. I tip my hat to them as well.

    • I enjoy both toast and avocadoes, but I’ve never eaten them together.

      Yesterday, I shared some excellent Sriracha guacamole from Aldi with tortilla chips ($5 and at least 5 servings). This morning, I had 2 slices of English Muffin Toasting Bread at 11 cents per slice plus a few pennies for butter on one and peanut butter on the other.


  7. Thanks for paying tribute to our veterans. It’s become too easy to forget why everyone is at the beach this weekend. I’m grateful for your father’s and grandfathers’ service, as well as my own dad’s in WWII.

    I’m looking forward to checking out the articles on the PSLF so that we’re armed with information for our niece and her husband, who were accepted to the program. Their combined debt is over $300K.

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  9. I saw the avocado toast topic exploding on the internet. It’s interesting how some people are so defensive about it. I think it’s simply just an example of expensive purchases people make in their lives. Great list over all!

  10. PoF, just wanted to say thank you for the Sunday’s Best columns. I appreciate the diverse views and collegiality. Happy Memorial Day weekend!


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