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The Sunday Best (3/3/2019)

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure.

Expect most of the writing to be from recent weeks and consistent with the themes presented on this website: investing & taxes, financial independence, early retirement, and physician issues.



Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:


For my friend Jim Wang over at Wallet Hacks, I explained how and why someone should consider a Backdoor Roth if they find themselves ineligible for a direct contribution. The Backdoor Roth: Investing in a Roth IRA for High Earners.


You’ll never have to pay tax on that Roth money again, but that’s just one strategy for a tax-free retirement, says the White Coat Investor. Spending $200K in Retirement and Paying $0 in Income Tax.


Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, interviewed a number of people who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in income tax annually. They make a bunch of money and are, as a lot, a whole bunch of unhappy people. From the New York Times Magazine, Wealthy, Successful, and Miserable.


Want to be happier? Travel more! Stephanie Lee of I Will Teach You to Be Rich lived vicariously through Ramit Sethi as he embarked on a lengthy honeymoon. My boss went on a dream six-week vacation, and these are 5 things I now consider for my future travels.


So you don’t have 6 weeks to travel? Just a long weekend and no one to watch the kids? Take ’em to Europe! That’s what Dr. Corriel did. Scotland with Children: 3 Nights in Edinburgh (& Tips!) and a bunch of great pics.


Love to travel? Do what you love. Want to become a stronger person? The anesthesiologist behind You Be Three says you need to do the opposite. Do What You Hate.


You’ll also hear you should chase your passions. If medicine is your calling and you’re passionate about it, pour your heart and soul into it. If your passions lie elsewhere, you can still be a good doctor while pursuing a side gig. Passive Income MD shares the story of Dr. Amy Shah. How I Turned a Passion Into a Brand.


My biggest financial mistake was buying (building, actually) too much house when I took my first “permanent” doctor job. My mistake is small potatoes compared to the guest poster at Dr. Cory S. Fawcett. We Lost It All With Our McMansion. Drop the “Mc,” Cory. That place was a straight-up mansion.


Don’t be like that doctor and take on a million dollars in debt. Be more like those featured by The Frugal Physician.


ESI Money has gleaned more information from his growing interview series.


A high income is your key to many possibilities. Some good, some not so good. When Your Income Becomes Your Enemy.


I published a powerful guest post from an anesthesiologist whose priorities and life were forever altered by a diagnosis of cancer in her forties. FOMO, Cancer, and the Practice of Medicine.


Yesterday’s Saturday Selection from The White Coat Investor shared a number of rules to follow when diversifying your portfolio. 7 Guidelines for Adding New Asset Classes to Your Portfolio.


In two short days, the inaugural online #FISUMMIT begins. It’s two hours each evening, and I’ll be speaking on FI with children on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Central Time. You can learn all about the FI Summit here and take 10% off the $29 or $49 price of admission with discount code POF.


Have CME Fund, Will Travel


I’ve been traveling for two weeks now for a 4-day anesthesia meeting. I’m attending every lecture, laptop in lap, of course, but with fewer than 40 shifts remaining before I leave my job, I don’t know how much new knowledge I’ll be applying when I get home.

Now, I don’t abuse the CME Fund, but it’s a use-it-or-lose it fund with a finite amount of money. On this trip, I’m using it to pay for my flight, part of the rental car fee, and the hotel room for 5 nights around the meeting (save $40 on your first Airbnb stay).

Our out of pocket expenses were the flight for my wife and sons, part of the car rental, and the Airbnb rentals in Phoenix and Flagstaff. I might expense a meal or two (my food only) but in general, food and drink is on me, as are all non-meeting activities, obviously.

Still, it’s a good way to make family travel more affordable. I’ve often piggybacked a personal vacation before or after a conference. We did so in Hawaii last year, for example.

I won’t have a CME fund in the future, but I’ll still have conferences to attend. Last year, we planned our Disney World trip and Cruise to Cuba around the FinCon meeting in Orlando.



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


This trip has been a good mix of family togetherness, keeping up with the blog, a little anesthesia education, and meetups with like-minded folks. Thanks to all who came out to the meetups in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson. I had a great time with some of the University of Arizona residents and members of the ChooseFI Tucson group the other evening.


ChooseFI Tucson
table for 16, please!


I expect there will be more meetups like this as we venture out and travel more in the coming years and I look forward to seeing you at one of them.

I’ll try to mention any meetups here, but a great way to connect with me is via the two Facebook groups I’m running, Physicians on FIRE (for MD, DO docs only) and fatFIRE (everyone is welcome). Join us there!



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

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

  1. Although I have been doing back door Roth conversions, I will remain nervous that President AOC will look at all that money that rich people have in Roth accounts and demand that they “pay their fair share.” Never mind that tax was already paid, The endless promises of free college, Medicare for all, universal basic income, and every other pie in the sky will require severe wealth redistribution.
    In terms of buying too much house, it is an asset protection strategy if you live in a state with an unlimited Homestead exemption

    • I must have missed her electoral college victory, but the good news is that we have checks and balances in this crazy government of ours.

      I’m not saying there’s zero chance Roth money will ever be taxed, but it seems very unlikely and would be about as popular as doing away with Social Security entirely.

      Good point on the asset protection aspect of a primary home. If you’re only in it for a couple years and don’t have much in the way of assets to protect, it doesn’t do you a lot of good, but it is one consideration.


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Wow. Great list, PoF.
    I have my Sunday reading set for me now. I had missed a lot of these.

    I found Edinburgh to be a magical city. I presented there at an international medical conference. My hotel room had a beautiful view of Edinburgh Castle. I have fond memories of the parks, bookstores, cafe, charm, and history. I didn’t take enough pictures, but I’m glad Dr. Corriel did. That brought back great memories.

    • I’ve never been, but it’s on the list! Will have to make plans to visit the Mad Fientist there one of these days when we’re enjoying our early retirement.



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