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The Sunday Best (1/24/2021)

The Sunday Best

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated from the furthest reaches of the internet for your reading pleasure.

Every week, I scan hundreds of headlines, read dozens of posts, and bring you the best of the best to save you time and mental energy.

Financial Independence (FI) is a primary focus, but it’s an awfully broad topic. I tend to approach FI and early retirement from a fatFIRE perspective and through the lens of a physician, so expect to see those biases in the selected articles.

Related topics that have become recurrent themes include early retirement, selective frugality, tax issues, travel, physician issues, and of course, investing.

For more great articles, take a peek at The Sunday Best Archives. Now let’s get to the best… The Sunday Best!



The Sunday Best


If you’re reading this, you survived 2020. Hopefully, your investment portfolio emerged from 2020 tested but stronger than ever. Nick Maggiuli speaks Of Dollars and Data as he reminds us what last year’s tumultuous times taught us. 10 Investing Lessons from 2020.


Leaving your career just as a pandemic is about to hit is less than ideal. Ask me how I know. It’s also unfortunate to have to cancel major travel plans. Ask A Purple Life how she knows. Canceling My International Retirement Travel: Credits, Points and Money Lost.


While this has been a terrible time for travel reward redemptions, it’s actually been a great time for point and miles accumulation, as Dr. McFrugal points out. Why Earning Credit Card Points During A Pandemic Is Still Valuable.


Why not use 2021 to bank up more points and miles for a time when we’re able to travel far and wide without restriction? Find the cash back, travel rewards, or business credit card that’s perfect for you.


Travel was a big part of their post-FIRE lifestyle. So what did 2020 look like for Kristy & Bryce of Millennial Revolution? See what they spent in Our 2020 Finances and what they earned in the follow-up Our 2020 Finances: How Much Did We Make?


Why do so many bloggers, podcasters, and investors single out one ticker symbol as the answer to so many investing questions? Does it have something that the others don’t? And why does the ticker symbol appear on tee shirts, for crying out loud? Why VTSAX?!?


Carl from 1500 Days just bought $350,000 worth of VTSAX after selling a trailer park. However, the index fund investor also has a basket of stocks that he’s been tracking against the S&P 500. Is he winning that bet? Stock Picking Experiment: Year 3 Update.


When Carl had more than enough money to retire, he quit his day job. XRAYVSN has enough to quit, and that’s what makes it so much harder to stay. Ask me how I know. The Flames Of Burnout Have Risen Again. FI Makes It Worse.


The Physician Philosopher implores you to consider alternatives to full FIRE, even if you can afford to walk away and never go back to work. Why he wants us to Choose FI Over FIRE.


Like me, Chris Mamula of Can I Retire Yet has kept one toe in the water by maintaining a license in case he would ever choose to return to his career in healthcare, in his case as a physical therapist. After three years and no PT work, he’s leaving the lap pool and letting his license lapse. His reasoning for Not Going Back to Work.


The law firm partner who calls himself Landshark has millions of dollars and a stressful job. He can afford to retire but wants to work one more year a few more times. What gives?

In a followup from the original 2019 case study, Stop Ironing Shirts takes another deep dive into the family’s finances. Landshark Revisited: When is Enough Enough?


You know who else mas millions? These folks, as they tell all to ESI Money.


You know how they all got rich. Homebrewing, obviously. OK, maybe not, but fellow homebrewer Joel at Budgets are Sexy has done the math and found that you can save money that way. Is Brewing Your Own Beer Cheaper Than Buying? Yes, After 261 Beers! [or as I like to call it, a rough week 😉 ]


Looking for other (better) ways to save money? Look to your cable, internet, cell phone, and other subscription services. From Josh writing for Your Money Geek, a Truebill Review: Monitor and Slash Your Monthly Bills.


Vaccine Woes


Me: **posts COVID vaccine picture**

Dumbass on Facebook: Over my dead body!

Me: Well, then it will be too late.





I’ve had too many interactions like that in recent weeks, but the fact is that there’s not enough vaccine to go around for all who really want it and would benefit the most.

At the end of 2020, at my wife’s wise request, I called our local health department and offered myself up as a volunteer whenever they were ready to begin vaccinating the community. That finally started last Thursday, and so far, between the two of us, my wife and I have helped staff each of the 6 mass vaccination clinics held so far in the four-county area covered by the district health department.

You may have seen the news last week. Vaccine production and distribution has been less than stellar and terribly unpredictable.  Scheduling systems didn’t seem to be in place, either. I hope by the time that all adults have been given the OK to get their shot(s) that individuals will at least have the option to schedule the appointment online without the need to make or receive a phone call. We’re not there yet, at least where I’m living.

Making matters worse, after scheduling many hundreds of patients to receive their first shot this week, our health department found out that their order would not be filled as placed — 500 doses rather than the 4,000 they expected, I’m told. There’s not enough vaccine being disbursed to meet the demand or capabilities of the health department, and three clinics that my wife planned to work this week have all been canceled. The one I signed up for is still on, but at only half the capacity.

It’s frustrating enough to us, but I can’t imagine the letdown felt by thousands of people whose appointments were postponed or canceled. The same is true of the millions nationwide who don’t yet know when it will be their turn, and I would hate to be in a leadership position as someone who will take the brunt of the people’s frustration in a situation in which they have very little control.

I pray that the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, along with others in various stages of clinical trials, prove to be effective and safe and can be administered soon. I also hope that children become eligible before school starts in the fall. One can hope!


Alpha Coaching Experience is Back! $500 Off if…


The Physician Philosopher is ready to offer another round of life-changing coaching for those who could use help with their career, burnout issues, money management, or any other aspect of a physician’s life. He, along with a couple of other male physician coaches, will help guide you to the place where you want to be.

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Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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4 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (1/24/2021)”

  1. Thank you so much for your vaccination assistance efforts PoF! It’s really great to hear that you’re doing that.

    If we’re ever going to finally end this pandemic, it’ll be because of vaccinations and the efforts of countless volunteers like yourself. Thank you.

    And thanks for a great Sunday Best as always!

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Ooo some fun ones here! Looking forward to the beer review by Joel. We’ve messed with brewing our own hard cider a few times somewhat successfully. Now if I can come up with a way to DIY brew gluten-free beer for Jenni 😉

    As always, thanks for sharing and collecting.

  4. Thanks POF for including me in another great collection of articles.

    I was fortunate in receiving the Moderna vaccine and finished the 2nd shot this past week. I do hope a one and done vaccine truly is as effective (have to say that this was quite a painful vaccine that lasted for days at injection site so any way to reduce the number is a win). Also had hoped it would last multiple years but so far it looks like Moderna has said immunity lasts around the 1 year mark.

    As always it really makes my Sunday the best when I find out I made the cut. Have a great rest of the weekend!


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