The Sunday Best (9/10/2017)

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.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top pick for your first rewards card. It offers a welcome bonus worth at least $750 when used to book travel (after a $4,000 spend in 3 mo) and other great perks you can learn about here.


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 Personal Capital 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.



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!


Track your investments for free with Personal Capital. That's how I track the PoF portfolio.  


Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE



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