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.
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
How do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Have you broken any yet? Ryan Derousseau of Forbes says Here’s How Extreme Early Retirees Set Financial New Year’s Resolutions.
If you haven’t made any yet, it’s not too late! These can be made and worked on all year long. Top 11 Financial New Year’s Resolutions to Make (and Keep) in 2020.
The New Year is a good time to commit to new habits, and it’s also a good time to reflect on past goals and whether or not they were achieved. Passive Income MD looks back at My Best Financial Decisions of 2019 (which are his, not mine).
One of the best decisions you can make in 2020 is to commit to filling out a legacy binder to both organize your financial life and leave thorough instructions to your loved ones. The Importance of a Legacy Binder: The ICE Emergency Binder.
Did you know that Jonathan Clements’ excellent money guides have transitioned from an annual printing to a continually updated and free site online? Check out the thorough, no-cost-to-you modern approach to the Money Guide at the Humble Dollar. Start Here. Go Anywhere. The section on Buying Happiness rings true.
Zach from 4 Pillar Freedom doesn’t agree with the traditional FIRE take of saving up 25x to 33x your annual spending and then being done. He takes A Modern Approach to Financial Independence that can lead to increased freedom even earlier in life.
Eric of Bonus Nachos has already retired and is now traveling the world with his bride. He wants his freedom to last which is why he takes four different approaches early on to help ensure his money will outlast him. Front-Loading My Retirement To Fight Sequence Of Returns Risk.
Low-cost travel is part of that plan, and that’s something that Dr. B.C. Krygowski knows a little something about. The Tired Superheroine, a mother and interventional radiologist, reviews Dr. K’s latest book (available for pre-order for $5 or $10): Spending Habits for Professionals Who Want FIRE.
The Physician Philosopher would be pleased if you automatically put away 30% of your gross salary, a number that lines up well with my live on half challenge for high-income professionals. Saving Money. How Much is Enough? The 30% Rule.
Six weeks ago, I spent a week in Ecuador with a group of FI-minded individuals. My new friend “Max” from Max Out of Pocket detailed our experience and shared some gorgeous pictures. Chautauqua 2019 – Ecuador.
You don’t want the max taken out of your pocket when you invest in real estate. That’s why it’s important to engage in Risk Management in Private Real Estate: 3 Types of Uncertainty, as described by Michael Episcope from Origin Investments.
The ever-popular Millionaire Interview series from ESI Money keeps on keepin’ on. Here’s another batch of five:
- Millionaire Interview #156
- Millionaire Interview #157
- Millionaire Interview #158
- Millionaire Interview #159
- Millionaire Interview #160
Vanguard Offering Free Trades
I didn’t get all excited when every other brokerage under the sun started offering free trades a few months ago, and this news doesn’t do much for me, but at least the stalwart has finally joined the free-trade party.
Just three days ago, they announced that online purchases of stocks in Vanguard brokerage accounts would not incur fees. This has been true for their ETFs and mutual funds as long as I’ve known them, and I’ve had 25 free stock trades a month for years as a Flagship member.
I’m not a trader; I buy and hold, and I’m usually buying a mutual fund anyway with a rare exception.
Now, if they could just eliminate the 7-day hold on funds transferred into an IRA brokerage account, I’d be a happy camper.
As of January 3, my wife’s 2020 backdoor Roth conversion was complete, whereas
I’ll be waiting until January 9, 2020 before I can proceed with the next step. It’s not the end of the world, but it does delay the annual update of this post, and it also means I’ll be completing Step 2 from Spain when I should be enjoying the architecture and tapas!
**Post-publication update: Thanks to a couple of readers’ suggestions, I was able to complete Step 2 this morning, which I was unable to do on Friday, even after calling Vanguard and speaking with two people who told me all I could do was wait until 1/9 when the “unavailable shares” would be available.
A partner of ours, RoofStock, has released a program that has the best money-back guarantee I’ve seen anywhere. Like Costco, if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase, you can request and receive your money back years down the road.
Roofstock Academy is a course, library, forum, and coaching service. In addition to didactic learning, you’ll have access to 1-on-1 coaching, group coaching, and a Slack forum exclusive to Academy members.
The goal is to help you get started in real estate investing while avoiding costly mistakes. I know this isn’t the first time I’ve presented a real estate investing course, but they all become available for a short window, and this one’s available now (and I’m guessing it will remain open indefinitely).
The $1,750 price of admission is offset by $1,750 in Roofstock marketplace credits towards the purchase of turnkey properties on the Rooftstock Marketplace ($1,000 towards your first, and $250 each towards up to three more). And there’s also that anytime money-back guarantee.
If you’re looking to get started in hands-on real estate investing in 2020, Roofstock Academy may be what you’re looking for. As is the case with 100% of our referral partners, if you make a purchase via my link, you’ll be supporting our charitable mission.
On Tuesday, my family and I head out on another two-month FIRE adventure, this time in Spain. We’ll arrive Wednesday afternoon after an 8-hour layover in Amsterdam that includes a tour of the Anne Franke house.
We’ll spend time in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid. They all look like lovely cities, and were excited to be traveling again after a brief hiatus here in the northland.
The Barcelona half-marathon is six short weeks away. Amazingly, we’ve been able to run outdoors regularly over the last few weeks. If you told me I’d be training in northern Minnesota and northern Michigan in December and January, I would have asked for a team of sled dogs.
This mild winter weather has cooperated surprisingly well, so I didn’t get that chance to name any Huskies or tell them to mush. Mush! Mush, I say.
I would have named of them Blitzen, for sure. Instead, I’m just cranking out the miles and it’s actually going really well.
Speaking of Blitzen, my Golden Gophers took no sacks and no 5H!t from Auburn in the Outback Bowl, securing a 31-24 victory in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Minnesota more than doubled Auburn’s yardage total and took a knee deep in their opponent’s territory to end the game rather than running up the score. That game was a lot of fun more me — a fitting end to a rare special season.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent first (or only) rewards card. $50 annual hotel credit for bookings via the Chase UR tavel portal & 5x points for all travel via the portal. 3x points on dining, 2x on other travel. Flexible rewards good for cash, travel, or transfer to travel partners, great travel protection & new Peloton, Lyft & DoorDash perks! $95 Annual Fee
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers great travel perks including Priority Pass lounge access, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ and a $300 annual travel credit. When using Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, get 10x points on hotels and car rental & 5x points on air travel. 3x points on other travel & dining. Elevated Peloton, Lyft and DoorDash benefits. $550 Annual Fee
Have an outstanding week!
-Physician on FIRE