The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure.
Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:
The FIRE is spreading to the backtable. Time to grab the extinguisher and pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep? Nah. It’s just me and Dr. Chris Beck talking financial independence on the podcast for interventional radiologists. Episode 38: Financial Independence for Physicians.
Passive Income MD understandably approaches it differently. How To Figure Out Your Financial Freedom Number (and What To Do Next).
However you like to do the math, pursuing FI / FF is truly worthwhile. From Costa Rica FIRE, FIRE Is A Useful Career Planning Tool Whether It Is A Fad, Paradox, Or Here To Stay.
I booked a stay in Costa Rica just the other day. I’ve heard Jacó is a fun place to visit, but the description of my Airbnb gave me pause.
How many times does a host have to deal with a particular issue before posting a rule in ALL CAPS? I hesitated to book the place, but when I saw the weekly price on the three-bedroom condo, I was hooked!
Better still, I discovered the Chase Offers feature available only on their mobile app, and I saved an additional 15% (or over $75) off this Airbnb stay by activating that particular offer for my Chase card (YMMV). If you’ve never booked on Airbnb, you can get $40 off your first stay via this PoF referral link. Just be sure to follow the house rules!
Saver and Spender, When Traveling the World is Hard.
- Bonus: International Travel with 2 Boys: Hard Lessons from B.C. Krygowski
Travel is especially hard when you have no money, especially if you’re going to Disney World. Yes, many of us will have a mix of assets and debts. Debt Free Happens ponders what to do in such a situation. Should You Go to Disney or Pay off Debt?
Travel is especially hard when you have no time. Before taking my family to Disney, I cut back. Crispy Doc has a series on docs like him and me who are now more free.
- Docs Who Cut Back #9: GXA
- Docs Who Cut Back #10: Cory Fawcett, MD
- Docs Who Cut Back #11: BT
- Docs Who Cut Back #12: Dr. McFrugal
The Sunday Best has taken on a serious and somber tone, but those posts are well worth your time. So are these two in the latest update to Big ERN’s famed SWR series. Like him, I’m not a fan of dividend-focused investing, and another good reason not to be is demonstrated in detail at Early Retirement Now.
- The Yield Illusion: How Can a High-Dividend Portfolio Exacerbate Sequence Risk? (SWR Series Part 29)
- The Yield Illusion Follow-Up (SWR Series Part 30)
Ether to FI: “I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!” Learning from Those You Disagree With & a Net Worth Update
The Mad Fientist’s deep voice was one of the first that introduced me to these financial independence concepts. It has an honor to have him on the blog the other day for a written interview. Christopher Guest Post: Mad Fientist.
How bad is your FOMO? Passive Income MD shared the cure in the latest Saturday Selection. How to Avoid FOMO When Investing.
Avoiding Capital Gains Taxes
It used to be that the best way to avoid capital gains taxes on assets with substantial gains was to donate, die, or have low, low taxable income. I once wrote a post on the Top 5 Ways to Pay No Tax on Capital Gains & Dividends, but now there’s a sixth option.
Opportunity Zone investing offers a path that may be more palatable than some of those others. When you sell an asset with gains and reinvest that money into an “opportunity zone” project or fund, the capital gains are deferred. Remain invested for 7 years and the deferred tax is reduced 15%, and after 10 years, the tax due is forgiven.
It’s a bit like PSLF for real estate investors. Invest in a developing area (versus work for a non-profit) and the government rewards such behavior that presumably benefits our society.
EquityMultiple will be offering their first Opportunity Zone Fund in the coming days, and they created a video explaining more. They have an article explaining the tax benefits of opportunity zone investing, as well.
Again, these make the most sense if you have taxable investments outside of retirement accounts with significant unrealized gains. Since I’ve been flushing out my best-performing lots to our donor advised fund over the last five years, I don’t have all that much in the way of unrealized gains, so I won’t be investing in these anytime soon.
If you were lucky enough to have picked up a FAANG stock or other hot performer some time ago, this could be a good way for you to lock in those gains and potentially eliminate the taxes on them.
Join us in Honduras? A Call for Nurses
Our upcoming Costa Rica trip is paired with a medical mission trip to Honduras in a wonderful, safe setting. We made it a family trip last year (you can read all about it) and we’ll be back from May 11th to May 18th of this year.
We’ve got a full complement of surgeons on board and all the anesthesia spots are filled, but we’re looking for preop, PACU, and OR circulating nurses to help us out. There’s also a need for someone with sterile processing experience.
If you have any interest, or you know someone who might, please follow up with One World Surgery. I hope to see you there!
An Updated Credit Card Tracking Spreadsheet
As I do every couple of months or so, I’ve updated the master spreadsheet I’ve created that helps you track the cards you have and has up-to-date info on welcome bonuses, minimum spending requirements, card perks, and more.
Download yours with your email below. If you’re already a subscriber, you won’t be double-subscribed. And if you don’t want to subscribe, just download it and unsubscribe right away.
You’ll get a sheet that looks like the one below, plus a separate tab with business credit cards, and a third tab that’s a blank slate so you can copy and paste info from the first two as you add to your collection of rewarding cards.
Download your sheet and start tracking your cards and their benefits, and start planning your next subsidized vacation today!
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