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The Sunday Best (8/6/2017)

Sunday Best Dino

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:


The 23-Year old Zach of Four Pillar Freedom asked 29 top bloggers plus me to share 140 characters of wisdom in a virtual time machine. I gave dating and drinking advice; see what the others said in 30 Financial Bloggers Share Tweet-Sized Advice They Would Give to Their 23-Year Old Selves.


Once in a blue moon, a doctor and lawyer can get along. The Biglaw Investor guest posted on The White Coat Investor and talked about — what else — money. How to Save a Million Bucks Before You Become a Law Firm Partner.


For ESI Money, it’s been an entire year! He just shared a Retirement One Year Anniversary Update, dishing on life, family, health, entertainment, and finances.


Not to be outdone, the Mad Fientist celebrated his first year of funemployment by sharing many Valuable Lessons from My First Year of Freedom.


Great news!!! You don’t have to wait another day to retire early according to The Finance Buff. The Homeless Retired Early. Astute observation, Harry.


Mr. Sit kinda doused the flames with that last one, sorta like Mr. & Mrs. SSC are doing at Slowly Sipping Coffee. Find out why they’re shifting gears in Throwing Water on Our FIRE!


Many “retirements” are more of a career transition. A couple physicians told us their next steps on KevinMD. Nicole Rochester, MD shared I Left Medicine to Become an Entrepreneur. Meanwhile, Divya Singh, MD says Goodbye to All That Paperwork: An Orthopedic Surgeon Leaves Practice.


Other retirements are a temporary reprieve from the life more ordinary. Chris @ Keep Thrifty has begun A One Year Mini-Retirement: Our Biggest Experiment Yet.


A few weeks ago, I shared the links that had formed in the chain that began with my Retirement Drawdown Strategy post. Fritz of Retirement Manifesto has added numerous links in the interim. Here’s how other real folks plan to fund their lengthy retirements:

Start receiving paid survey opportunities in your area of expertise to your email inbox by joining the All Global Circle community of Physicians and Healthcare Professionals.

Use our link to Join and receive a bonus of up to $50 .

Dr. Stealth Wealth Update


After the two-part saga on the physician who saves over 95% of his gross income (Part I / Part II), the good doctor left us the following update in the comments. Since that post will probably not be revisited by most of you, I thought I’d share his thoughts here.


“Thank you all for your time and efforts. The information that was offered is truly valuable and I hope it proves useful for others. Invaluable for me.
Based on all the recommendations, I’ve started the process of implementing the following:

** PLEASE ** If you feel obliged to comment and tell me what you would do different. Please do. Greatly appreciated.

Allocation- I believe the correct allocation for me is 65% Vanguard Total Stock Market/ 15% Vanguard Total International/ 20% Vanguard Intermediate Tax exempt bonds. I will hold the Tax exempt bonds in the taxable account. Currently I have invested $1.8M in VTSAX. I am investing chunks over time. If the market corrects then I would dump whatever is left in equities. I don’t think an investor needs international but for the time being I think 15% will be appropriate. I have sold all my stocks except 6 of them (4 of the 6 have limits orders in and hope to sell this coming week). I will also be selling the other two after everything pans out. I have also placed a limit order to sell VDE. Trying to simplify everything. Not going to do the backdoor Roth IRA.

529 plans. I am going to setup three separate plans for my children this year. I plan to contribute $100k in each account and invest in VTSAX. I am going to continue contributing to my children’s Roth until they reach $20k and then re-eval. My concern is their education- not their retirement.

I plan to continue the defined benefit cash balance program. I hate the administrative fees but I need the write off and it helps me squirrel away as much as possible.

Insurance. I don’t think I need disability insurance. I will be purchasing an umbrella policy. I had an informal meeting with an attorney and the only asset protection advice he suggested was the umbrella policy. Keep the term life insurance.

Salary- I always knew I should be taking a monthly or at least a quarterly salary (instead of once a year because it to make it simple and clean- which also helped with making donations to the church). I will invest salary distributions according to my 65/15/20 allocation.

Setup a DAF through vanguard and make all church donations through this fund. Sell VTSAX to fund the DAF every year.

Commercial property- probably not going to pay off note for a few years considering low interest rate.

Lifestyle- work hard and try to retire in 11-16 years. I have taken some time off of work after reading some suggestions and will work on doing a better job balancing. Will limit my day to 9 hours a day.

I would still like to find some type of investment that creates an additional source of revenue. As many pointed out, I am my own returns. If I don’t work, no returns. Another source of income would be great.

Thank you again for taking time to read the posts and share your knowledge.


I’d say we — that would be you, the Bogleheads, and I — have done good work helping a doc get his investmenting and life priorities in order. Thanks for all your help in the comments section!


I Missed Our Anniversary. Once Again.


My wife and I celebrated ten years of wedded bliss on Friday. Or at least we commemorated ten years. We exchanged texts in the morning; I used an emoji with a high-five. I was working at 0600 and back in the evening until midnight, but we did speak on the phone a couple times that day.

Physician WeddingSo when I say I missed it, it’s not that I forgot it, it’s just that we were apart like we’re pretty sure we have been for six or eight of the ten anniversaries that have come and gone since we exchanged vows.

It’s not intentional. It’s just that I’ve been on call every third weekend for most of my career (every fifth weekend the last few years) and our anniversary comes at a time where a lot of her family is back in her hometown for a summer visit or reunion. For some reason, more often than not, our anniversary weekend has conflicted with my call schedule. The same for Halloween. I’ve worked so many of those. Just the (bad) luck of the draw.

While I could have requested this particular anniversary weekend off, it’s generally just easier to let the chips fall where they may. There are also birthday weekends, piano recitals, out of town visitors, home football games (I do request some of those off — I have tickets!), concerts, holidays, and so on… I’ve been in charge of making the schedule before and I know from experience that the fewer the requests, the easier the schedule falls into place.


I Should Be Able to Make the Next Fifty. Or Sixty.


With early retirement on the horizon, I don’t expect to find my name on more than one or maybe two more August schedules. The odds of me missing another anniversary are pretty small, but given my track record, perhaps I will request those weekends off in 2018 and 2019 if I’m still around.

After that, I can look forward decades of call-free living and face-to-face, hand-in-hand anniversary celebrations with the love of my life.



Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE


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13 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (8/6/2017)”

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  3. Wait – how do you get away with requesting home football games off and not your anniversary weekend?? 😉

    Thanks as always for your thoughtful post!

  4. Great Sunday best. I especially like the Kevin MD guest posts about physician attrition. So true.
    Also appreciate all the drawdowns you’ve been publishing. I feel much more comfortable knowing my strategy has been vetted!

    • I’d rather see medicine become (or go back to being) a job most docs don’t want to move on from. Since that does not seem to be happening, it is inspiring to read about what others are doing with the freedom they’re creating for themselves.


    • And the one after that. And the one after that.

      Does throwing coffee on FIRE have the same effect as water?

      Just curious,

  5. Ah early retirement. I look forward to reading the post about not retiring early. It is something I often debate too. Part time work seems like it may be the right balance going forward.

    Happy anniversary!

    • Thanks, Triple D!

      The good news is my hard work over the last two weeks gives us nearly two weeks away from work to celebrate.


  6. Congrats on your anniversary! Nice to know you (probably) won’t be missing anymore 😉

    Love all these ‘what’s retirement like posts’ and the drawdowns. Thanks for sharing.


    P.S. I enjoyed a Tiramisu Stout for dinner last night, amazing.

    • Was that from Hideout by any chance? New Holland’s S’mores Reserve Dragon’s Milk was a sweet dessert.


      • No, actually it was from a newish brewery in a small town near Brighton, MI called Draughthorse Brewery. This wasn’t too sweet just nice and flavorful.


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