The Sunday Best (5/03/2020)

The 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!



The Sunday Best


I had a pleasant chat with Corey and Rachelle of the Finity Group on their Financial Clarity for Doctors podcast. We talked about our semi-retired lifestyle, the travel we were doing until recently, charitable giving and more in On FIRE with Physician on FIRE.

  • Bonus: WCI member The Physician Philosopher’s episode: Avoiding Burnout with The Physician Philosopher


A belated Happy Birthday to my friend J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly. To commemorate the day, he shares many tips on living a richer life and being a better human. My Life Philosophy: 51 Lessons from 51 Years.


The Loonie Doctor has been working double-time in a hospital north of the border, but he took the time to detail the lessons he’s learned about his finances during this pandemic. Building Financial Immunity.


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You can make yourself financially immune from an illness or injury taking away your ability to earn an income. Why You Should Insure Your Income Before Finishing Residency If you’re already beyond residency (or fellowship), it’s not too late, though.


Graduating residents and fellows may be house hunting, which is not easy to do these days. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, look to our recommended mortgage lenders. If you’d like to learn the specifics of physician mortgages, Wealthkeel has you covered. The Physician Mortgage.


The Physician Philosopher has read a book that can also help you build financial immunity, and it was written by Ryan Inman of Financial Residency, his co-host on the Money Meets Medicine podcast. Ryan’s co-author? His wife Taylor, a pulmonologist. The Financial Residency Book – A Review.


Has the pandemic burned the FIRE movement? Nah, says Scott Trench of Bigger Pockets. I couldn’t agree more. Sorry, Naysayers. Coronavirus Is NOT the End of the FIRE Movement—It’s Exactly What We Planned For!


The Frugal Engineers concur and it’s full steam ahead for them. FIRE as a Family: Our Plan to Retire at 35. Admittedly, it was written pre-COVID, but the plan has been enacted.


Every asset class has been impacted by the pandemic. and real estate is no exception. A Real Estate Transaction Gone Wrong – Lessons Learned During A COVID Rental Transaction.


What kind of returns can you expect from rental properties? According to Joe from Play Louder, somewhere in the range of 6% to 36% depending on the property. Is Turnkey Real Estate Investing Worth Your Money? A “No-Gimmes” Accounting of 8 Properties in 3 US Markets.



Where does one find turnkey rental properties? Roofstock has many listings, some of which come very close to meeting the 1% Rule. What is that, you ask? Passive Income MD is here to tell us. The 1% Rule for Evaluating Rental Properties.


April was better than expected for those collecting rent from individuals, but retail rent payment was downright abysmal. What does that mean for the future? Representatives from Crowdstreet and The Wall Street Journal got together to discuss. Finding Real Estate Investment Opportunities in a Post-COVID-19 Economy.


Is your school district distributing daily food rations for kids? Ours is, but I thought we should be the last people to take advantage. Leave it for the families who truly need help right now. It turns out I was wrong, and I haven’t seen so many 8-oz. paper milk cartons since I was in grade school myself. The Twin Cities Frugal Mom changed set me straight. 5 Reasons to Pick Up the Free Food from Your Child’s School District. Note: All 5 reasons may not apply in your district — if you’re unsure, ask!


Biking Again


I brushed the dust off the eBike this week. About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post describing my first year as an e-biker. One Year of Commuting With a Modified Electrified Fortified Bike.

I don’t miss commuting to work at 0545 in the dark of the early morn’, but I have been missing the almost effortless ease of getting around on my black beauty. It feels like you’re coasting downhill when you’re actually climbing a slope and pulling a trailer.

Last week, I picked up to-go beers from our local craft brewery via e-bike. I fit 28 cans of hopped-up goodness in the pannier bags. The other day, after a quick ride around the block, I went to grab our family Walmart Grocery pickup order (get $10 off your first pickup) with the bike and a Schwinn bike trailer.

I shared a shot of this odd look on my Instagram feed.


people of walmart


The two-mile ride there was a breeze. Then I headed for home.

Rounding the corner coming out of the parking lot onto an empty sidewalk, the bike cleared just fine, but the trailer wheel caught the edge of the curb. I was moving at a pretty good clip, and you can guess what happened.

I sort of propped up the bike so I could gather the scattered groceries from the sidewalk and boulevard. By the time I had everything back in the trailer, fortunately without casualties, the bike decided it was its turn to make a crash landing.

It survived, too, but not unscathed. The jarring landing apparently affected the battery connection because the power kept dropping out every few seconds until it quit completely. After a sloooooow quad workout / ride home, I was able to diagnose and remedy the issue by bending the contacts on the battery itself and stripping off some plastic that had adhered to the contacts on the battery connector.

Later that day, I took the rig out on a slightly longer round-trip to pick up the school-supplied food for the weekend. Like I said above, I didn’t think we’d be doing so, but apparently, the food is tossed if not picked up, and using the program helps the school maintain its funding for next year. So now we’re drowning in applesauce cups and baby carrots, but I can think of worse problems to have.



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Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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11 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (5/03/2020)”

  1. Can a home buyer get a physician mortgage after they’ve retired?

    And . . . do dental specialists (I’m a periodontist) qualify for physician mortgages?


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Had a great time chatting with you as well on the pod! Hopefully the conversation can help those who want to achieve FIRE learn more about what it takes to get there!

  4. Mrs. Max OOP’s school is doing a drive-in dinner for faculty on Thursday nights. We have been participating. This past Thursday was lobster roll week, only $10 each! Enjoy the apple sauce.

    Glad there were no casualties in your little mishap.


  5. Our local (midsize/Midwest town) district has run out of food multiple times the past three weeks. We have turned to personal and business donations and asked all who would be donating food our hospital to donate with the school district instead. I would strongly encourage everyone who is not solely reliant on this food to follow PoF’s disclaimer to check with your school district to ensure the criteria listed in the article apply. They do not in ours. Please stay safe.

  6. THANK YOU for bringing up the information about school meals ! Recent conversations with friends has shown me that there are several misconceptions in regard to how this program works. Please, folks, don’t hesitate to participate, even if you think your family is not eligible.
    PS sorry to hear about your bike mishap ?

    • It was a minor mishap, and no damage was done. Fortunately, I didn’t take a fall, but a couple of gallons of milk went for an unexpected slide. One opened at the seal, but didn’t spill. And I realized I needed a tune-up. Better for that to happen relatively close to home.

      The school food something wasn’t something I had considered, but our neighbor encouraged us to use it for many of the reasons outlined in that blog post. But as I mentioned, the same may not be true everywhere. When in doubt, please ask.


  7. Thanks for shout-out POF. Glad to hear you survived your e-bike crash. I built an electric recumbent e-trike a couple of years ago to commute in the winter. One of the “arms” on the frame rattled off due to bumpy ice ruts and I skidded about 20 feet on my butt. Worse, I had to push it to the nearest road and get my wife to come haul my broken bike and bruised pride/butt home (not for the first time). A good side effect of self-quarantine is that I finally finished rebuilding it as a fat-trike. My kids stopped laughing at me once they took it for a spin. Totally fun and a nice soft ride. An e-bike really is magical. An e-bike hauling beer even more so!


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