Advertiser disclosure

Terms and Restrictions Apply
Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider’s terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

The Sunday Best (9/10/2017)

The Sunday Best

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:


Dr. Jim Dahle and I teamed up to address Dealing With the Guilt of Early Retirement, answering some provocative questions. The article and ~150 comments are worth a read @ The White Coat Investor.


Why would a doc want to retire early? Matthew Hahn, MD shares one reason via KevinMD. Administrators Who Don’t See Patients Often Make the Most Important Decisions.


I recently booked a three-week Spanish immersion vacation with my family of four. Our boys will be 7 & 9. Dr. Curious of My Curiosity Lab has younger kids, making travel more challenging. Read his highly amusing Traveling with Children: Fantasy and Reality.


In addition to teaching our boys some Spanish, we’d also like to teach them about money. Working Optional has some ideas on the subject. Teach Your Kids How to Manage Money.


In this thread at the White Coat Investor Forum, VagabondMD is fretting over spending money when he can clearly afford it (see his guest post on holding $500,000 in cash). Bill @ Wealth Well Done has a framework for this dilemma. The Regret Test: How to Know When to Save and Spend Your Money.


We don’t want to spend money mindlessly; money should serve a purpose. And what better purpose than happiness? From A Good Life MD,

  • How Spending Money Can Create Happiness — Part 1
  • How Spending Money Can Create Happiness — Part 2


A couple of my favorite personal finance bloggers got together recently for a fun interview. Coach Carson chats with Mr. 1500 in How a 43-Year Old Retired with a $1.89 Million Portfolio of Real Estate & Stocks.

A guest post from Longmont, Colorado dives deep into the cost of owning a home. Spoiler alert: owning is almost never as good as you would think it is. Homeownership — A Case Study from Dads, Dollars & Debts.


Plug in your numbers and watch this post adjust to your situation before your eyes! I’ve never seen a post quite like this one from Adam of MinafiAn Interactive Guide to Early Retirement and Financial Independence. Nicely done, Adam.


I’ve got a new podcast for you FIRE aficionados. Gwen from Fiery Millennials and J from Millennial Boss have launched the FIRE Drill Podcast with some intriguing guests.


Stay safe, Floridians!


It seems like just 10 days ago that we were talking about the devastating effects of a hurricane. That’s probably because it was.

I’ve got quite a few friends in Florida, and I hope they all make it through Hurricane Irma with their homes and their sanity intact. It’s got to be tough to live with that constant threat every fall. I suppose the sunshine, beaches, and amazing theme parks help take the edge off.

I promised to donate 100% of my revenue from Empower signups to hurricane relief efforts. The response was underwhelming, but I will be donating another $100 to the efforts based on that pledge.


A Week of Firsts


I’ve been alive for over 15,000 days. In all that time, there are many things that I’ve literally done thousands of times. Like ride a bike, eat ice cream, or holler at misbehaving children.

But there are still a ton of things I’ve never done. But every week, that list becomes just a little bit shorter. This week, I checked a few more boxes than usual.


I worked my tail off. I’m not saying I’ve never done that before, but I am fairly certain that Labor Day weekend was the first time I’ve taken a long weekend of “home call” and spent more than half of it in-house with patients in the O.R. I worked 52 of the first 82 hours, then had a well-deserved reprieve in the final afternoon and evening.


I was a pallbearer. I had the honor of being asked by a friend to assist him with the duty at his father’s funeral. It’s not something I care to do often, but I was grateful to be of service to the family at a difficult time.


I adjusted my bike’s disc brakes. Speaking of difficult times, I noticed some slight rubbing when the wheels on my new commuter bike were spinning. I watched a Youtube video, becoming an instant expert on fine tuning disc brakes.


The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top pick for your first rewards card. Welcome bonus of 80,000 points worth at least $1,000 when used to book travel (after a $4,000 spend in 3 mo) and other great perks you can learn abouthere.


I went to the ER as a patient. This is something I managed to avoid in my first fifteen thousand odd days. But when I went to tighten the brake module in place with my right hand, my left hand instinctively tried to hold on to steady the bike. My finger got in the way of a spinning rotor.


I broke a finger. It was just a tuft fracture of the tip of my left middle finger. I also lost a fingernail and got about a half dozen stitches. I was happy there was no tendon damage and the trauma was  easily taken care of in the emergency room. I got great care at the hospital where I normally am on the providing care side of things.



I learned to type with 9 fingers. I wasn’t sure how this would go, but my ring finger has learned to spring into action when it’s supposed to be the middle finger’s turn. It’s amazing to me how quickly and smoothly that transition has gone.


Here’s hoping next week’s firsts are more of the feel-good variety!



Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE


Share this post:

32 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (9/10/2017)”

  1. Great Sunday Best as always PoF.

    Sorry about your finger. Take care of those tentacles!

    Question: Does a doctor have to wait as long in the ER as normal folk? I once went in for a similar injury and had to wait four hours before I was stitched up.

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. The “regret test”, I believe, is flawed. Anything I can think of buying or doing is worth it if I know I am going to die tomorrow (except for a trip that starts the day after tomorrow… 😉 ). Dinner at a Michelin 3 star restaurant? Of course. Hot air balloon ride? No brainer. A Ferrari? Sure, why not ride around in style on the last day! A 10-carat diamond ring for my wife? If that will make her happy for the next 24 hours, I’m down for it.

    The problem is that we generally are not going to die tomorrow (though do not know for sure) and are obligated to behave in a matter that will prepare us to live reasonably well the day after tomorrow (and some days after that, too).

    In the blog, the examples of one-off $100 expenses that one will enjoy are total no-brainer, especially the excursion in Iceland. Why spend all the time, effort, and money to go to Iceland if you are not going to partake in the activities there. It is no fun sitting in a hotel room and checking your Schwab account.

    I do believe that when one transitions from earning an MD salary to earning less (with the end game of potentially earning nothing) there will be a reshuffling of one’s comfort zone for spending, and I am starting to wrap my mind around it.

    Sorry to hear about the finger. When I was doing IR, that would have been a potentially “disabling” $1M injury. 😉

  4. Thank you for the shout out! It is always fun chatting with Mr. 1500, whether it is online or over a good craft brew.

    I am intrigued with the Spanish immersion vacation? Where to? How does that work?


    • With my new part-time schedule, I’ll have time off in chunks of 2 to 4 weeks at a time, and our boys’ principal is on board with our adventures — we plan to take a trip of a similar length each trimester.

      I’m planning to wait until we’ve safely returned to report on our exact whereabouts. Call me paranoid, but it seems prudent.


      • I love it. 2-4 week breaks with the family. And the principal is on-board. Should be an awesome set of experiences.

        I’ll look forward to hearing more about it after. Maybe I should also be that prudent:) . Oh well.

    • I’ll let you know how this one goes once we’re back home. Based on the reviews we’ve read, it should come highly recommended.


  5. I definitely feel you on laboring hard over labor day weekend. Although I was not directly seeing clients, I was finally catching up on all the paperwork that I had neglected while seeing all those clients. So many reports!

    As for the finger injury, its amazing how something like that makes you realize how much you use your hands and fingers. Good luck figuring out all the modifications to accomplish what need while your finger gets some R&R.

    • Good for you. Lots of us laboring on Labor Day, I’m sure.

      I should give my finger more R&R, but I went mountain biking yesterday instead. It was a little tricky, but doable.


  6. Get list of reading again, PoF.

    Sorry about the finger. For the record I’ve only used two fingers writing millions of words. The other fingers feel left out, but have come to accept their position life—off to the side and out of the way so they don’t touch keys they shouldn’t.

  7. Oh no I’m so sorry your broke your finger. I hope you’re feeling better.

    I didn’t know that early retirees felt guilty. I guess it’s a feeling we have when we have achieved something that others are still striving for. I still work full-time and don’t feel guilty about it. But I do have an internal conflict about focusing on my work and spending time with family. >_<

  8. Sorry about the finger, POF. I’ve been on the patient side of things in the ER as well… not too fun.

    At least it’s your middle finger. It’s not like you use that for anything anyways.

  9. 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
  10. Ouch, hearing about losing a finger nail makes my skin crawl more than the break. Either way that’s good it wasn’t worse.

    Thanks for the nice words on my interactive guide! I’m in Orlando bracing for the storm, and got a Wordpress alert in the middle of the night “your site is experiencing a lot of traffic” and was confused (but happy) to wake up to the mention. 🙂

    • Hi Adam:

      Good luck with the storm.

      I used your calculator. It is very nice, but I think there is one error.

      The “Retirement Age Calculator” graph does not show the net worth that I entered for my current age. Instead, it shows what should be my net worth in one year as the net worth today. That is, it shaves one year off my retirement age (by assuming I already have the net gain in wealth that I can only acquire by working another year).

      • Thanks for the feedback CM! This should be fixed now. There was a sentence that was completely wrong (as you noted). It should have the right language now.

    • Sorry for the wake-up call! Better to wake up to that than a weather alert, although I’m sure you’ll be getting plenty of those in the coming hours, too.

      Stay safe and Hunker Down!

  11. Sorry about your finger. No fun being a patient is it? I am quite sure that you will not miss the lack of sleep from a long holiday call. I literally counted the hours down and figured percentages in my head.

    • Thanks, Hatton1.

      It was a loooong weekend, but fortunately, nothing happened between 0100 and 0600 four nights in a row, which is highly unusual. OB was particularly good to me.


  12. Hi POF,

    Ouch- I’m sorry to hear about your finger and hope you have a full recovery soon.

    I’m going to be reading some links from this post right now.


    • Thanks, Mike.

      It will heal up, just like they always do. It’s my first broken finger, but far from my first broken bone.



Leave a Comment


Doctor Loan up to 100% Financing

Related Articles

Subscribe to Physician on FIRE

If you do not see a subscription box above, please navigate here to subscribe.

Join Thousands of Doctors on the Path to FIRE

Get exclusive tips on how to reclaim control of your time and finances.