The Sunday Best (4/11/2021)


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!





I visited the WCI studio in Salt Lake City to record this episode in-person with the good Dr. Dahle. Have a listen or check out the show notes! First Year [and a half] of Retirement with Physician on Fire – Podcast #204


The Leisure Freak is 11 years into his retirement, but he enjoys the challenge and education that comes with the occasional post-retirement job. Yes, that’s a thing. Semi Retirement? What I Loved About My Scaled-Down Retirement Jobs.


The Accumulator at Monevator has been blogging about personal finance in the U.K. for 13 years. He’s been FIRE’d for fewer than 13 days. How does it feel? No more years: I FIRE’d work.


When you leave work, your taxes will drop dramatically. See the many ways in which Dr. Benson can maintain or increase his six-figure lifestyle without paying a penny in federal income tax. The Taxman Leaveth 2021: A No-Tax Early Retirement.


How does a $200,000 budget with no federal income tax due sound? The White Coat Investor digs into the tax code to show how this can be accomplished. Spend $200K in Retirement and Pay $0 Income Tax.


Isn’t it nice when you don’t have to pay? Jim from Route to Retire, who’s living in Panama with his family, shows us how he’s enjoying U.S. music, movies, and shows for free. You can do this here in the U.S., too. How We’re Streaming Movies, TV, and Music for Free.


If you’re tired of the standard argument against stock picking — that highly paid teams of professionals can’t beat the market consistently — Nick Maggiuli with Of Dollars and Data offers up a different reason than might resonate with physicians. Why You Shouldn’t Pick Individual Stocks.


I’d call this one a white lie, and it has to due with owing money to the federal government. XRAYVSN explains why tax refunds are the worst. I Lied About Being Debt Free And Why I Am Happy About It.


A number of student loan refinancing applicants are reportedly getting a 0% rate from Commonbond for the first 6 months on a 20-year fixed refi. Expect the rate to go up (probably in the ~3% range) after the intro offer, at which point you could consider refinancing again. Our PoF link is good for $550 cash back if you refinance more than $75k, which I imagine most of you would. See all refi rate ranges and cash back offers on the Student Loan Resource Page.

The pandemic treated some workers much worse than others. If you know someone who got the short end of the stick, Leif from Five Year FIRE Escape has some advice. Facts to Help Your Non-Financially Savvy Friends Turn a New Leaf.


It’s never too late to turn over that leaf, says the Banker on FIRE. If you’re getting a late start or a fresh start after some financial upheaval, here’s what you need to know. Never Too Late: How To Build Wealth In Your 50s.


It may not be too late to build wealth, but is it too late to buy a home at a reasonable price? Ben Carlson from A Wealth of Common Sense busts out a bunch of charts to explain Why This is Not Another Housing Bubble.


What can we expect in 2021? Real estate investor Passive Income MD teamed up with Crowdstreet to share some data on investor expectations. Real Estate Investors Share Their Insights on 2021.


Real Estate can cause headaches and heartburn, but Crispy Doc just invested a substantial sum into a property that met his criteria. Details are forthcoming, but he teases us with Real Estate Is A PPA (Proton Pump Aggravator).


Learn how to better manage your student loan debt, and explore refinancing to a lower rate with cash back offers up to $1,000! Student Loan Resource Page


Spring Cleaning (We Bought a House)


Some people’s idea of spring cleaning is tidying up the garage or going through the kitchen cabinets and making sure there’s a lid for each piece of storageware.

Our idea is to buy one house and sell two. It’s going to be a lot more work.

I’ll share more details on the new place soon, but the property comes with about an acre on a desirable lake nearby with a home on an acre and a half across the street.

On the day we closed, with a little help from my boys, we cleared enough brush to park our travel trailer on the slab foundation of a cottage that once overlooked the sky blue waters. My wife started taking down wallpaper — a most tedious task — and we tore up some carpet to reveal beautiful oak hardwood that will be restored to its former glory.




Our to-do list is long. As I mentioned, we’re also planning to sell our $90,000 house and our current lake home, and I plan to list them for sale by owner. I’ve done this twice before, and we had great experiences both times.

The good news is that I’ve got plenty of time and no deadlines. That’s the beauty of early retirement!

We returned home from Florida Tuesday evening. Wednesday, I donated 2 units of red blood cells, unpacked, and went through mail. Thursday, I gave dozens of first and second doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine. Friday, we closed on our new property.

How did I ever have time for a real job?


A Recommend Tax Strategist / Tax Prep Service


We talk a lot about reducing taxes here on Physician on FIRE, but I’m not able to dig into your own personal situation. Luckily, we’ve been compiling a list of people who do just that.

If you’re interested in tax preparation services or seeking advice on how to best structure your investments or businesses to reduce your future tax burden, look to our short list of Recommended Tax Strategists, which includes:


Olympia Tax Service

At Olympia Tax Service we specialize in advising the white coat taxpayer. Our focus is on tax planning for 1099 workers and micro-practices with one to three owners. This allows us to maximize your short and long-term tax savings.

Need a tax compliance package for your S-Corporation? We can do it all or give you the tools to do it yourself. Whether you’re looking for ways to pay less on your student loans, build passive income, or are already thinking about early retirement, Olympia Tax Service is here to guide your financial journey.

Contact Information:

Olympia WA,, (360) 356-7777

Olympia Tax Service



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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10 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (4/11/2021)”

  1. Those Ritholtz guys keep pumping out awesome content, between their blogs and podcasts (Animal Spirits is especially great). As a lifelong renter and aspiring home owner (at some point!) I can’t help but wonder when we’ll see another buying opportunity in the housing market.

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Great Sunday Best as always PoF!

    I always like to see posts from Ben Carlson. He’s got such a clear way of thinking that really appeals to me. The question of whether we’re in a housing bubble certainly has been on my mind lately too. I’m invested in such a way that a real estate bubble would be very bad for my portfolio, so I’m happy to see some data that suggests we’re not.

    Thanks for the post as always!

  4. PoF,

    Every time I feel I’ve finally reached that perfect oblivion of no readers unrelated by blood, you go and blow my cover and send hundreds of eyeballs my way.

    Your talk of wallpaper brings back memories of this gaudy pink hibiscus and gold mirrored pattern from my grandparents’ “fancy” guest bathroom – a 1970s childhood memory from someone just young enough not to have worn bellbottoms.

    Look forward to hearing more about the new place!


  5. Thanks Leif for featuring another article of mine on the Sunday Best.

    I remember scraping wallpaper in the house I bought as a resident. Was not fun. Using steam helped. It depends on the quality of the wallpaper too on how easy it was to peel off. Congrats on the new place. I’m a big fan of waterfront property and the lake looks gorgeous.

    • Thanks, X!

      We’ve got the kitchen, living room, and dining room done already. One bathroom only had a wallpaper trim, and we’ve got another bathroom with lots of wallpaper. But it will come down in due time.


  6. I had wondered if that photo of your camper I spotted while scrolling IG was at your new place. Looks awesome! ?Have fun? (Not sure how “Fun” it is to scrap wallpaper…I’ve managed to avoid that so far in life. Scrapping a painted tub wasn’t fun, so I can only imagine wallpaper….)

    • It’s quite the chore. And it’s not so much the wallpaper, but the glue that’s tough to deal with. TSP and metal putty knives are useful. Steamers can be useful, too.

      We’ll be having all kinds of “fun” over the next few weeks as we prepare the place to be move-in ready!


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