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The Sunday Best (11/3/2019)

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!


Sunday Best


The Sunday Best


About two months after I retired from medicine, The White Coat Investor invited me back on as a podcast guest. It was fun to catch up and talk about what we’re now up to. How to Retire Early as a Doctor with the Physician on Fire – Podcast #130.


Tragedy led him to retire early at 49. Over the next 33 years, he ran 82 marathons, climbed dozens of mountains, visited over 100 countries, and inspired countless people to live a more extraordinary life. He was an incredible man and good friend to Steveark, who laments, My Friend Died.


The Physician Philosopher isn’t considering an early retirement anytime soon. In addition to the fact that he only recently paid off his student loans, he details 5 Reasons I’m Not Joining the Dropout Club.


Do those who dropped out of the workforce just before a market downturn of about 50% regret their decision? How are the 2000 and 2008 retirees doing? Go Curry Cracker ran the numbers and has the answers.


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


Will we someday be asking the same question about 2019 or 2020 retirees? Time will tell, but a recession does not guarantee a corresponding bear market or vice versa. Telling data from A Wealth of Common Sense in Everything You Need to Know About Recessions.


If the stock market hasn’t peaked, what about the size of our homes. I should say your homes, actually. My mid-century home is decidedly diminutive. Accidental FIRE asks, Have We Reached Peak Home Bloat? 


How Does Home Ownership Fit Into An Investment Portfolio and Financial Plan? Whether yours is big or small, it’s an important question to consider, and Chris from Can I Retire Yet covers it from every angle.


If you’re not guilty of owning a McMansion, you may be guilty of student loan fraud, which is apparently more common than I had imagined. The Student Loan Planner details how you can Avoid These 3 Types of Student Loan Fraud.


We’re starting to see the effects of the recent fed rate decrease on student loan refinancing rates. If it’s been more than six months since you last refinanced (or you never have), you can likely lower your interest rate and get cash back by refinancing now. Check the latest and lowest rates here (unless you’re going for PSLF — then don’t change a thing).



Once your loans are paid off and you’re building true wealth, not everyone needs to know. Leif from the Five Year FIRE Escape shares his Stealth Wealth Guide – 5 simple steps to keep your wealth under the radar.


How rich does one need to be to retire? A few weeks ago, I gave 5 Reasons to Have More than 25x. But that might be overkill for many of you. The Top 5 Reasons to Retire With LESS Than 25 Years of Expenses.


Six years out of residency, this physician has a higher net worth than me, and his side gigs bring in as much or more money than my main gig ever did. The Lucrative Side Hustles of a 7-Figure Urologist.


Is there a better way to construct an index fund than having 30% of the S&P 500’s value in just 5 stocks? The White Coat Investor looks at Cap Weighted Versus Fundamental Index Funds.


Two Months to Go


What did you hope to accomplish in 2019? Have you met your goals?

If yes, congratulations!

If no, it’s not too late. You’ve still got a couple of months left to check a few boxes off the list.

These are busy times now as the holidays approach. It’s easy to be all-consumed with the festivities, but don’t let the excitement distract you from the things you were supposed to accomplish this year.

Were you hoping to give more generously or do your charitable giving in a more tax-efficient way? There’s still time to open a donor advised fund this year. I recommend Fidelity Charitable for its low barrier to entry ($5,000 to open an account), the low minimum grant from the account of $50, and the easy-to-use website.

Were you hoping to load up on credit card points or miles to pay for much of your upcoming winter vacation? Check out the top offers on rewards cards here, or look at the business card that will give you 12% cash back on the first $5,000 (that’s $600) and 6% on the first $50,000 spent within six months.

Did you hope to lose some weight or drink less this year? November is not an ideal time to start, but you don’t want to give up on those goals at this point or you’ll just have that much more work to do when you make your next New Years Resolutions two months from now.

Were you going to figure out how to diversify your portfolio with some hands-off real estate investments? This is actually a perfect time for that. Passive Income MD’s Passive Real Estate Academy course is open for enrollment for the next week, and the four weeks of courses will be rolled out a week at a time starting next week. You can take them at your leisure (including in 2020 if life gets busy at year’s end).



El Dia de Los Muertos


The multi-day celebration inexplicably known as “Day of the Dead” is coming to a close. We’ll see what San Miguel de Allende has to offer on the final day of its festival, but it’s been quite a spectacle here in Guanajuato.

The first couple of days, we didn’t notice much. The signs around town said that the fiesta started on Wednesday, but as we waited for the parade to start on Friday, we told our new friends from Colorado that we hadn’t seen much activity.

‘Look down,” they said.

I realized that most of the offical signs I had seen for the festivities were located next to staircases leading to the underground tunnels that pass through the city, keeping much of the through traffic beneath the pedestrian walkways above.

As it turns out, one of the main subterranean thoroughfares is closed off for the festival and lined with pop-up bars serving mixed drinks and cerveza artesenal, food trucks and stands, and all sorts of authentci arts and crafts.




On one end of the roughly one-kilometer-long fiesta is a stage for live music, and on the other is a makeshift movie theater. Some of the mummies from the famous local museum were brought underground as well.

My wife and I broke our month-long abstinence from alcohol on Friday night as we meandered through the winding tunnel of fun. It was a festive way to welcome November as the locals remembered and honored family and friends “on the other side.”

On Saturday, numerous streets were lined with these intricate and colorful mosaics made from dyed sawdust, flowers, plants, seeds, and more. We were amazed to see how dozens upon dozens of these images were created over the course of one morning.




I highly recommend a visit to Mexico during the festival. There are many cities that have more elaborate and highly celebrated festivals as compared to Guanajuato, but I was thoroughly impressed by what we saw and did here.



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

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6 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (11/3/2019)”

  1. Good stuff as always PoF! My favorite this week was Five Year Fire Escape’s post on extreme stealth wealth — which is pretty much what I practice.

    I keep things on the down-low from everybody… to the extreme.

    Looks like you’re continuing to have a lot of fun in Mexico! Enjoy your trip!

    • Muchas gracias!

      We’re spending a couple of days in San Miguel de Allende. It’s beautiful, but certainly caters more to the tourists and expats as compared to the more authentic Guanajuato.


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. High ceilings are great to look at but a total pain to paint. Plus you are paying to air condition that extra space. My house is 40+ years old, so it has the old standard 8′ ceilings. Thankfully I’m short so it seems fine to me, and I grew up in an early 60’s house so it seems normal.

    I enjoyed the article about cap weighted vs. fundamental. It answered the questions I’ve been having as to whether I am OK with what I’m doing.

    • I’m 6′ tall, so I can just about touch an 8′ ceiling flat-footed. Fortunately, our 1960s home we moved into has an angled roofline and ceiling to match in the living room. Probably starts at 9+ feet and slopes up to 11 or 12′ Feels more spacious and open, but the whole place is less than 1200 sq. ft.


  4. Thanks for the shoutout PoF!

    Your day of the dead write up is making me reconsider going to Mexico too for my next trip!

    I love some of these articles. The concept of peak home bloat is hilarious. I do think it will come but years from now. Loft and cathedral ceilings are in vogue which are both horrendous wastes of space 😛 I don’t think those tastes are going anywhere any time soon.


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