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The Sunday Best (10/31/2021)


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!





If you think this outfit is scary, you should see these money stats! From the cents of money, Scary Financial Statistics You Should Know (And Learn From.


All sorts of scary things can happen that impact your retirement plans. That’s why, as the FI Physician points out, you ought to have some Wiggle Room in Retirement.


When it comes to retiring early, most advice crosses borders and oceans quite well. UK’s Top Retirement Bloggers – 10+ Tips to Retire Early (with an American blogger or two) from joslin rhodes.


Jim retired and moved his family to out of the country. Then COVID hit, and his family was homesick. It’s a good thing he had some wiggle room in that retirement plan! Post FI Notes 005: Expat Living in Panama.


Crispy Doc moves on from clinical medicine. It’s not quite retirement, but it feels one step closer. Reflecting on his relationship with emergency medicine, he asks, Will I Miss My Ex?


The word “frothy” gets tossed around a lot, as does “overheated.” Mr. Tako Escapes asks if this sentiment is telling us it’s time to act. Is The Economy Telling Me To Sell My Stocks?


You may be familiar with Thinking, Fast and Slow from Daniel Kahneman. Risk comes in both flavors, too, says Nick Maggiulli with Of Dollars and Data. Risking, Fast and Slow.


When 7 streams converge, you’ve got yourself a river of wealth. 7 Streams of Income: The Secret To Becoming a Millionaire, according to the Debt Free Dr.


This interviewee will have several income streams when he retires, including some from two rental properties. FIRE Crossroads 005: Newly FI Physician Figuring Out the Next Step.


I used to own two rental properties myself, but I’ve switched to 100% passive investments. Passive Income MD shares 5 Reasons Doctors Prefer Passive Real Estate Investing.


Numerically speaking, eliminating low-interest, tax-advantaged debt is usually a mistake. No matter, says Rob with Mustard Seed Money. Paying Off the Mortgage Early is a Mistake I’ll Never Regret.


While participation in the stock market has increased impressively since the advent of the 401(k), most of the shares are owned by the few, like me and you. Ben Carlson with A Wealth of Common Sense says that’s not a good thing. Ownership Inequality in the Stock Market.


He’s just getting started, but he’s like to own more than his share of shares. FIRE Starter 005: A Bachelor With a Passion for FI.


Five millionaires share how they got their shares with ESI Money.


Micheal from Financially Alert was alerted to the fact that he had inadvertently left nothing in his will to his son. How could this happen? How I Accidentally Wrote My Son Out of His Inheritance.


Writing Myself Out of the Will


My parents had a will written up around the time that I was born, and it hasn’t been updated in the last 45 years. A few things have changed since 1975. Pet rocks have fallen out of favor, for example.

On a recent week where I was planning to visit them, they booked an appointment with a local attorney to draft a new will. The focus was on their home; they wanted to be able to pass it on to my brother and me while avoiding probate, and we’d both read up a bit on revocable trusts.

The good news is, in Minnesota, all you need is a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed and probate is avoided. Simple enough.

When it comes to their investments, the bulk of it is in one IRA. After reading James Lange’s Beating the New Death Tax, I’m pretty well up to speed on ways to deal with the potential tax hit that could come with having to empty an inherited IRA within 10 years of receiving it. I’m also in a position where I don’t need the money.

With my parents in their mid-70s and longevity in the family history on both sides, I’m guessing one or both of my parents will be with us for the next 15 to 25 years. If half of what remains in the IRA is a six-figure sum, which is also my best guess after time, compounding, and RMDs do their thing, that money won’t make or break my own retirement.

Moreover, looking at that timeframe, my kids would be somewhere from their mid-20s to late-30s, an age where some sort of inheritance could make a real difference in their lives. They may be early in their careers if not still receiving an education.

For now, we’ve decided to remove me as a beneficiary of half of my parents’ IRA, leaving my brother half, and each of my kids a quarter of it. That way, any tax hit will be spread out among more tax returns, and the money, if any remains, will go to people that will have a greater need for it.

In the coming years, my parents will also consider annual Roth conversions within the 22% income tax bracket, staying below the IRMAA cutoff where Medicare starts to cost more. Of course, all of this planning is based on the current tax code, which is subject to change. Speaking of which…



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The Backdoor Roth Scare is Over


While nothing is certain until a bill is passed by Congress and signed into law, it appears that the backdoor Roth and megabackdoor Roth will live to see another year. The stipulations that would put an end to them have been stripped from the reconcilation bill.

Additionally, investments that I’ve made in my Rocket Dollar self-directed Roth IRA ($50 off yours with promo code Physician) that require me to be an accredited investor can stay. The original proposal was going to give me two years to liquidate them.

For more information on these developments, see Retirement, Mega Roth Provisions Dropped from Reconciliation Bill.


Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween to all you boys and ghouls out there. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ve had a chance to dress up, eat your favorite candy, and join in on some sort of revelry. Our boys will likely be trick-or-treating for the second night in a row as Dash and Frozone from The Incredibles. Props to cousin Bean for coordinating a larger Incredibles costume effort to take our kids to the good neighborhood where they hand out full-sized candy bars.

Me? I chose disguise myself as a Michigan State Spartans fan. When in Rome, as they say.



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There was a Top-10 showdown of two undefeated teams in Michigan yesterday, and I wasn’t going to pass up an invitation to tailgate at the center of the college football universe this weekend. My costume worked well, as the Spartans came back from a two-score deficit to defeat the Ann Arbor Harbaughs yet again. My Gophers also dominated in Evanston, winning in palindromic fashion 41 – 14 over the Not-so-Wildcats.

My Halloween treat for you is the promo code BOO, which gives you 5% off already discounted gift certificates of $50 or more at Raise.com through the end of the day. I saw cruise line gift certificates on there for 10% off, and they have discounted gift cards for over 4,000 places. Happy hunting!



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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4 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (10/31/2021)”

  1. Thank you so much for featuring my post this week PoF! It feels fantastic to be included (again) among the many amazing writers you feature in the weekly Sunday Best!

    Thank you for another amazing Sunday Best too! I still read every post (if I haven’t read it already) religiously every week. 😉

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. PoF,

    Kind of you to highlight my last dance with clinical medicine.

    It was with arms fully extended, under the awkward gaze of my friend’s mom who was chaperoning the dance, possibly to Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” which was all the rage in the 7th grade.

    Sometimes you just grow apart.

    Excited for this new adventure, and curious how it will compare to your own post-clinical path of slow family travel, rock hard abs, football and nonstop duolingo. If my abs get doughy, I’m switching to your plan.



  4. That’s for the update on the backdoor Roth elimination being dropped.

    I always thought it was not a bright idea to have income restrictions for direct Roth contributions. I would think the government would want to encourage high income earners to put money in a Roth account because it collects more taxes upfront with these individuals (who will pay 37-39.6% taxes on the contribution compared to the lower tax bracket individuals under the restriction).

    Makes no sense to force these currently excluded individuals to jump through additional hoops to achieve the same net effect.

    • Ur comparing the wrong thing…Either way, higher income people are paying the upfront taxes. The question is whether they can avoid taxes each year in a Roth vs paying the bits of tax in a taxable account.


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