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The Sunday Best (12/25/2022)


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!





Merry Christmas! Whether you celebrate Hanukka, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or Festivus, I hope joy finds you this holiday season. Many thanks to those of you who are working the holiday this year. I’ve been there, and I know how it is to miss out on the holiday festivities. Know that you’re appreciated!


Our friend John from ESI Money has been on a mission to live his best post-FI life. Our Search for Happy Retirement Spending. He follows up with the conclusion to his quest in IGE: An Alternative to ISE.


You can still lower your 2022 taxes with a timely donation. I’ve recently discovered A Fee-Free Way to Anonymously Donate Appreciated Assets via Charityvest Basic, and I also describe how to give the gift of giving with a charitable gift card where the person receiving it chooses the charitable recipient.


How do you make sound decisions in life and investing? Jesse with Best Interest explains how it’s best to leave Room for Error in all things.


Note there’s a big difference between making room for error and making errors. Dr. Anthony Ellis is no stranger of the latter, as he details at The White Coat Investor. All the Money Mistakes I’ve Made (and How It Cost Me an Even Earlier Retirement).


Dr. Ellis retired in his 50s. James and Emily were [semi]-retired by 30. Coach Carson interviews the Rethink the Rat Race couple in How a Couple Lives Off Real Estate & Travels the World in their 30s.


Agriculture can provide food for our pantries and diversification for our investment portfolios. While stocks dipped 20% this year, farmland gained 20%. U.S. Farmland Escapes Real Estate Slump as Prices Soar to Record, as reported by Wealth Management.


They’re not making any more land, and David Denniston, host of the Freedom Formula for Physicians podcast, has been taking advantage. How This Financial Advisor Makes Big Money with Raw Land.


Once again, legislation has been passed that will impact numerous aspects of retirement saving and spending. Sean Mullaney, the FI Tax Guy, reviews notable changes in the latest act. SECURE 2.0 Resources.


You’d think the Bogleheads would have a decent understanding of the FIRE movement, but no. Chris Mamula with Can I Retire Yet traveled to their annual meeting with the goal of Disspelling FIRE Myths. You can see his talk and all of the 2022 Bogleheads Conference talks for free here.


The Leisure Freak joined the FIRE movement before it was a thing. He shares what has made his FIRE successful in I’m Celebrating 13 Years Of Early Retirement and tells us why the 13th year has been one of the best.


Why does FIRE appeal to some physicians? While we love some of what we do, we despise other parts of the job, explains The Prudent Plastic Surgeon. Do You Have a Love Hate Relationship with Medicine?


A primary care physician and oral surgeon enjoy most, but not all, aspects of their jobs. They also enjoy an incredible savings rate and expect to be FI in 5 to 6 years. FIRE Crossroads 035: Saving $50,000 a Month to Reach FI.


When you earn enough to save more than $50,000 a month, you know all about paying taxes. But when you think about it, explains Tony Isola, invoking wisdom from Nick Saban, Everything’s Taxed.


The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top pick for your first rewards card. Welcome bonus of 80,000 points worth at least $1,000 when used to book travel (after a $4,000 spend in 3 mo) and other great perks you can learn abouthere.



2022 Dahleen Christmas Front



The Hidden Travel Tax


Taking that theme of everything being taxed in some way, I once again paid an unexpected travel tax on our way to Minnesota for Christmas.

We moved our stuff in and out of three places — a hotel, an Airbnb, and a ski-in, ski-out townhome. Everything came in and out, including ski gear, Christmas gifts, groceries, clothing, and toiletries.

One of those Christmas gifts was a mixed 4-pack of triple IPA from Austin Brothers Beer Company, namely Slamnesia and Kitty Chow for my brother. I have a hunch I put it in the opaque bottom drawer of the fridge, alongside the five-pound bag of Honeycrisp apples that also didn’t make it from our second destination to the third.

It’s not a tax, per se, but if we hadn’t been traveling, moving our belongings in and out of different lodgings, I’d still have the craft beer and the delicious apples. Well, the apples would be mostly eaten by now, and the beer would soon be imbibed, but at least they’d be enjoyed by me and my family. Sorry, Per!

Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve paid a similar travel tax in the form of about $1,500 worth of camera equipment left under the seat in front of me, my boys’ mp3 players and headphones left in the airplane seat pocket, and my wife’s entire carry-on bag, which was most likely stolen in the transfer from a ferry to a bus in the Galapagos islands.

At least we got reimbursed by the travel company for that last one. The other “taxes” were ours to pay.


Tax Advantages From 37th Parallel


On the day that Santa comes down from the 90th Parallel North to give gifts to those of us on the Nice List, I’d like to share the gifts granted by 37th Parallel, a private real estate company with a focus on multifamily apartments, in the form of tax advantages.

How can you benefit from investing in commercial real estate via 37th Parallel, a category that includes multifamily apartments?

  • Cash distributions are made on a tax-deferred basis
  • Cash proceeds from refinancing come with no immediate tax obligation
  • 1031 exchanges can allow for indefinite deferral of capital gains
  • A step-up in cost-basis can eliminate capital gains taxes for heirs inheriting your portfolio

Dennis Bethel, MD, retired early from medicine from his real estate investments and joined 37th Parallel as Principal, Investor Education. He and his team offer investments in both individual properties and Fund II which targets a 9% preferred return with a 14% to 17%+ IRR.

Explore 37th Parallel Properties



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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