The Sunday Best (10/20/2019)

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!



Sunday Best


The Sunday Best


How do super savers know when they can quit their jobs? Ali Malito shares the inflection points of three early retired couples in this recent Marketwatch article.


Ali and Alison of All Options Considered were interviewed by Ali Malito for the post just above. Alrighty, then! Ali shared a more detailed account on her own blog, describing how she moved on from her career to live this new and exciting life. It Has Been 1 Year Since I Retired!


James & Emily Lowery were also interviewed for that Marketwatch article (as was I). The couple is Rethinking the Rat Race and taking some time away from work. The best part about leaving a job? You Can STILL Be Anything You Want to Be.


The Lowerys are doing the digital nomad thing. The Nomad Numbers couple has mastered it, traveling full time and staying in Airbnbs all over the world. Based on their extensive experience, they shared the Pros & Cons of a Nomadic Lifestyle.



It’s tough to travel the world if you’re not at least making progress towards financial independence. Are you up to the task? The Banker on FIRE has his doubts. Eight Reasons You Will Never Reach Financial Independence.


Mindless spending can be a major barrier to financial freedom. The Physician Philosopher can help you with that. Avoiding Buyers Remorse with Intentional Spending. Do you spend with intention?


Last year, my wife and I set the beers down for a Sober October. We’ve decided to repeat the feat, and we’re nearly three weeks in. Deanna of Recovering Women Wealth has realized that a sober life suits her best. She shares her inspiring story on Budgets are Sexy in How Getting Sober Changed My Life and My Money.


Figures lie and liars figure. Early Retirement Now takes certain members of the personal finance and FIRE communities to task in How To “Lie” With Personal Finance.


Is renting throwing money away? Is buying a home as lousy of an investment as some make it out to be? Big ERN‘s followup looks at real returns of various asset classes across many cultures over a long period of time. How To “Lie” With Personal Finance – Part 2 (Homeownership Edition).


If your own home isn’t such a great investment, what about other properties? Passive Income MD explores the pros and cons of real estate investment types in Active vs Passive Real Estate Investing.



My Ecuador Chautauqua experience is just four weeks away! Mrs. Chaos of Cutting Through Chaos talks about her experience with JL Collins’ FI Chatauqua in Europe. The Reluctant Chautauquan : 10 Weird Things I Learnt About a Chautauqua


Does having 25x your anticipated expenses guarantee a safe and sound retirement? Not necessarily. The Top 5 Reasons to Exceed 25 Years of Expenses Before Retiring.


Accumulating a large sum of money is not the only way to become financially independent. Craig Curelop reached that goal in his mid-twenties with some clever living arrangements. He shares how he made it happen in Your Complete Guide to House Hacking.


Accumulating a large sum of money is a bit more challenging when you’re regularly giving it away. The Physician Philosopher asks Should You Tithe or Build Your Own Wealth?



Safe and Sound… We’re Safe and Sound… Safe and Sound… We’re Safe and Sound!


A week ago, Quito, Ecuador saw the worst day of nearly two weeks of protesting and rioting. I joined several expat Facebook groups to get a feel for what things were really like, and it was truly ugly.

Fortunately, we were able to make a last-minute change, booking four flights to Mexico (using miles from credit card bonuses, of course). I feared we might face some questionings regarding the one-way flights booked within 24 hours of departure, but the customs and immigration officials didn’t bat an eye.

Fortunately, we were able to get our money back on flights to Ecuador (thank you, Orbitz) and on our two months’ of apartment rental (thank you, Airbnb). I learned that the AmEx card I used to book this travel did not carry travel cancellation / interruption insurance. Whoops!
From now on, I’ll be booking our travel with a Chase card. If you missed my recent post on travel insurance and other travel perks provided by various issuers, I suggest you read it and doublecheck what’s in your wallet.

Now that calm has returned to Ecuador, I will be continuing on to attend the Ecuadoran Chautauqua at Hacienda Chorlavi. I hear from past attendees that there’s a brewery onsite (and sober October will be over by then)!


Back to Guanajuato


In the meantime, my family and I will be enjoying some familiar stomping grounds. Having spent a few weeks here just two years ago, I feel very comfortable roaming about the city.

With many hills and at mile-high elevation, my body is still adjusting, so my intended jogs end up looking a lot like walks. That’s because I’m walking, but I am putting on 5 to 10 miles a day checking out new neighborhoods and vistas. It’s good to wander.

Guanajuato is not only beautiful, but it is very affordable. Our Airbnb with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an outdoor patio is costing us $24 a night, all expenses included. That’s the monthly rate, which is often significantly discounted from the nightly and weekly rates.

The other night, we set out to revisit a gastropub we really enjoyed in 2017, but we were drawn to the street food  along the way. We never made it to the restaurant.

Instead, we bought the following:

5 small carne asada tacos 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮
1 “gigante” carne asada quesadilla
4 hot dogs
1 crepe with sugar
1 crepe with Nutella
2 popsicles

Total: $9

I shared this in our Physicians on FIRE Facebook group in the weekly Frugal Friday thread (as opposed to the weekly non-frugal Friday thread in the fatFIRE group), and it got a lot of attention. This pic didn’t hurt.


guanajuato street Food
are you hungry yet?

Viva Mexico!


A Featured Financial Advisor


For those of you who would rather not DIY, I maintain a list of recommended financial advisors. Among the good guys and gals who work frequently with physicians, only the lowest cost, fee-only fiduciary advisors were invited to be on this short list. Among them is CMG.

CMG Financial Consulting

CMG Financial Consulting Vetting Application

Clint Gossage CFA, CFP®, CPA, has been married to a Surgical Oncologist for the past 15 years and has experienced first-hand the ups and downs over the journey from undergrad to attending.

After helping friends in medical school, residency and fellowship with their finances, he left a high-paying job, managing the investments at a multi-billion dollar family office, to start CMG Financial Consulting.

He helps physicians and medical professionals to get out of student loan debt, save money, invest in tax efficient strategies, manage and protect their assets and give them back their most scarce resource…time. Schedule an appointment today.


One-Time Services:
Student Loan Review – $500
Financial Review– $4,500

Ongoing Student Loan Support  – $100/month
Financial Planning  – $225/month

Financial Planning, Investment Management & Tax:
Early Investors: (Up to $500,000 of Assets Under Management): $450/month
Foundation Builders: ( Up to $1,000,000 of Assets Under Management ): $850/month
Financially Independent> (Over $1,000,000 of Assets Under Management): $1,250/month

Contact Info:
22816 N 79th Pl
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 695-8004
[email protected]

Visit CMG



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

3 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (10/20/2019)”

  1. Nice Sunday Best as always PoF! I particularly enjoyed the “How to Lie” series from ERN. He’s a good one that guy.

    Sounds like your having fun in Mexico! Enjoy! 🙂

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
    • You bet! Looks like you’re living the life!

      We’re also staying primarly (almost exclusively) in Airbnbs. The monthly discounts are amazing. The difference for us is having two kids along, so we look for at least 2 bedrooms and 3 beds for long-term stays.



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