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The Sunday Best (1/21/2018)

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:


Nisha Mehta, MD has been a prolific writer for other sites on the topics of wellness, burnout, and even personal finance. Finally, she’s writing for her own site. Nisha Mehta, MD: My WHY.


Podcaster Joshua Sheats of Radical Personal Finance shares his thoughts (in written form) on The Stages of Financial Independence. Which of the seven stages are you in?


We’ve been discussing the concept of “Enough” lately, but we really need a better word. The Swedes have one. From Minafi, Lagom: Swedish Minimalism for Enough.


Joel of FI180 stepped away from a high-stress computer gig a couple months ago. We got to hang out a bit in Florida a couple weeks ago, where he gave a great talk at Camp FI SE. Elements of that speech made it into his recent post in which he shares Lessons in Early Retirement.


Early Retirement often relies on the 4% rule that dictates you should save 25x your annual expenses. Four Pillar Freedom backtested a 100% stock portfolio and got astounding results. Here’s How the “25 Times Expenses” Portfolio Has Performed Over the Past 89 Years.


Big ERN has been busy implementing safe withdrawal rates over at Early Retirement Now. His case studies are always thorough and can offer a few nuggets that may apply to your own situation. Ten Lessons From Ten Safe Withdrawal Rate Case Studies. The studies:

  • “John Smith”: Seven-figure net worth, but not quite ready for FIRE yet. Big ERN would recommend a few more years in the workforce!
  • “Captain Ron”: Early retirement on a sailboat. How much can they withdraw from their $3m portfolio to stay afloat (pun intended) in retirement?
  • “Rene”: No need to worry about the recent layoff: You are more than ready for early retirement!
  • “Mrs. Greece”: More than ready to retire due to large portfolio size and moderate living expenses, especially if the husband keeps working!
  • “Mrs. Wish I Could Surf”: Alternative investments (real estate hard money loans). Keep the mortgage or pay it off? Either way, more than ready to retire!
  • “Mr. Corporate”: Geographic Arbitrage by moving to a low-cost European country. Roth Conversions and zero tax liability!
  • “Ms. Almost FI”: Your name is a misnomer. You are ready to retire now even when self-funding substantial long-term care expenses in the future!
  • “Mr. Corporate Refugee”: How to deal with a large portion of the net worth tied up in a house in a high-cost-of-living area?
  • “Mrs. Wanderlust”: Substantial supplemental cash flows due to buying an RV and then selling it later.
  • “Mr. and Mrs. Shirts”: Ready to retire this year, but should Mr. Shirts work for another nine months for some additional big payday?


Let’s hop over to another of my favorite series, the millionaire interviews from ESI Money. I got mine in early (see Millionaire Interview #5). We’re now up to 35 “millionaires next door“:



The last entry in both of the above series comes from Mr. Shirts, or as I like to call him, “SIS” of Stop Ironing Shirts. He expands on the “golden handcuffs” he’s wearing in Early Retirement Decisions: One More Year.


Our military heroes have a new investment option that may be particularly attractive if one more year is too many and a 20-year commitment seems daunting. From The Military Guide, Should I Opt in to the Military’s Blended Retirement System?


Let’s close with a couple more looks at a hot topic: Tax Reform for Physicians.


Setting Goals in 2018


I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. I mean, I usually make one — two years ago I decided I would finally start a website — but in general, I don’t think they last. Intentions are good, but follow-through usually isn’t. How many of you have broken yours already?

Other years, I’ve said the usual. Eat better, work out more, drink a little less. But I generally don’t set SMART goals or hold myself accountable.

I’m trying to do things a little differently this year. I didn’t resolve to do anything differently at the beginning of the year, but after reading J.D. Roth’s goals for the year and seeing Mr. 1500’s progress, and sitting down with both of them a week into 2018, I was inspired to start tracking some goals of my own.

My wife has been tracking her miles run since 2008. She stays in great shape. I’ve been tracking my miles run for 12 days. I’m not yet in great shape, but I’m working on it, slowly but surely. After not really exercising at all since mid-fall, I’ve got some catching up to do!

I won’t share my best guesstimates from the first eight days of the year (suffice to say it would make Rod Farva look good by comparison), and I won’t promise to share my numbers again, but here’s what I’ve got since then:



My goals are somewhat poorly defined, but I’d like to do most of the following:

  • Run at least one mile per alcoholic drink consumed (defined as 12 oz. of 5% ABV or equivalent).
  • Do 25 or more pullups a day, substituting a higher number of pushups or something else when I don’t have easy access to a pullup structure.
  • Eat at least a couple fruits and / or vegetables a day.
  • Get down to 162 pounds. Last April, I said I wanted to lose ten pounds, and I was 172 pounds then. I’ve got until the end of April to make it happen within a year of setting that goal. I’ve been close, and I think technically under briefly after a long run last summer, but I use my nighttime weight as the official weigh-in. 6.4 pounds to go. Wish me luck!


What are you working on in 2018? How will you hold yourself accountable?

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

Have a wonderful wintery week!

-Physician on FIRE

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18 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (1/21/2018)”

  1. Thanks for sharing my article. I enjoyed reading Big ERN’s takeaways from his case studies.

    Good luck on your New Year’s Resolution. I was able to drop from 170lbs to <160lbs in 2017 — now the goal is to maintain it!


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Good luck on the weight loss. Very good progress. I tried to lose weight in 2018, and but I’m not that committed to put it into my blog yet. It is hard. My plan is to eat less (especially for supper),
    and exercise more. I started jogging a bit, plus the routine 30-minute walking. I got to do it.

  4. 25 pull ups a day is pretty good! I like that. And of course I love the goal of increasing plant servings 😉

    If you have time, check out my site and my FI new year’s resolutions. Tell me what you think.

    Cheers! 🙂

  5. Gonna have to work on this post all week! Really love Dr. Mehta’s work. Here’s to all those fighting the good fight for the good doctor to prevent burnout and encourage wellness!

    The millionaire series is also pretty fun to read just for inspiration that we can all do it if we stick to our plan!

    Great finds, POF!

  6. Love the SWR scenarios. Total confirmation bias that I can do it “and maybe should soon”
    Are you giving yourself a weight and alcohol pass in Kauai? We can meet up for a run if you like : )

  7. Thanks for the mention, PoF! It was a pleasure getting to meet you, and reminiscing about our shared alma mater. Hoping our paths will cross again soon.

  8. It may take me until next Sunday to get through all these great articles.

    Good luck with the goals. Running a mile/day is one of my goals. Green check marks on the calendar keep me going.

  9. I’ve never been a fan of New Year resolutions either. I believe if you have a goal you are not going to wait till the New Year to set it.

    With that said my wife is all for them so…. I set a few. My biggest one is passing part 1 of dental boards this December. I set a goal to study 10 flash cards (dental decks) a day. Not sure how I can hold myself accountable. But I’ve been doing well to keep my goal thus far.

    Anther goal like you’re is to be able to do at least 30 consecutive pull ups by the end of the Year. I was able to do this before dental school… but now have lost it. (We should have s pull up competition at the end of the Year)

    Anyways those are my two New Years resolutions.

    Best of luck with yours!

    • If there’s a pullup competition, I don’t want you in it! 30 consecutive? I’m not doing 30 a day most days, and mine are in sets of 5 throughout the day.

      Good luck with the Boards and the absurd feats of strength!

  10. You have outdone yourself with these links to what appear to be great posts. I am leaving a comment prior to reading them. Now that you have joined the Partime Club along with Vagabond and Wealthy Doc you should have time to hit your fitness goals. I personally recently had to lower my steps from 10000 (3-4 mi) to 6000 (2 mi) due to knee arthritis. I see you are setting a beer goal. Are you going to run 1.5 miles per Torpedo? A friend of mine continues to work because he fears he would become an alcoholic if he was not taking OB call. If you are used to overindulging because you are not on call this can be a problem. I decided not to keep alcohol in my house.

    • “Are you going to run 1.5 miles per Torpedo?”

      Yes, indeed. It would be too easy to cheat by calling “one beer” one serving. I’ve got 22 oz. “bombers” of beers with > 10% ABV. That’s about 4 miles right there.


      p.s. bummer about the arthritis. I’m sure that’s in my future, too.

  11. Thanks for the callout on lagom. 🙂

    Those look like great diet and exercise goals. I actually really like the idea of a mile run for every alcoholic beverage consumed. I might steal that one and adapt it for my own goals sheet.

  12. I like your Subday bests but it is always a reminder that the work week begins a new….oh well. It is part of the beauty of life.

    Great posts. Glad to see Dr. Mehta has started her own site!

  13. Mention “Rod Farva” and you’re an instant hero to me. Best movie of all time. Makes me thirsty for maple syrup, that one. 🙂


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