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The Sunday Best (5/12/2019)

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


Happy Mothers Day to Mothers everywhere, including mine! I may not get a chance to say it today, as we are somewhere in the Honduran hills, so I’ll let Dr. Cory S. Fawcett share a Mother’s Day story. A Lesson from Mom: Family Comes First.


Passive Income MD knows passive income. He’s not the only one. How Did These [Six] Physicians Create Passive Income? 


What topic is hotter than passive income? Minimalism might be, or maybe it’s just my current state of mind. Either way, She Picks Up Pennies but parts with more valuable objects. What I Decluttered & How I Know I’m Not Done: April 2019. [I’m not sure one can ever be done.]


Penny has been busy. Justin has not. From the Root of All Evil Good, Doing Nothing is OK. No Apology Required.


Rick Ferri did “nothing” for a while — nothing related to the finance world, anyway, although he did travel the country in an RV. Now the Boglehead extraordinaire is back, as reported by ThinkAdvisor. Rick Ferri, Back in Business, Drops Bomb on AUM Fee Model.


Rick’s absence was due to a non-compete. EJ’s break from blogging at Dads Dollars and Debts was due to a move across the country to get back into academic cardiology (after losing his home in the Tubbs fire). We haven’t heard from him in some time, but remember, doing nothing is OK. It’s Been a While — Deliberate Steps.


EJ’s also a father, and that keeps him busy, too. J. Money from Budgets are Sexy is a father of three, and he took all of December off from blogging to focus on family. Kids can sure cost you a lot of money, but can they decrease your budget somehow? 7 Ways My Kids Actually Save Me Money.


Assuming that kids are expensive is a type of cognitive bias (but also kind of a fact). Miked Up Blog reminds us that our biases can work against us. How to not Let Cognitive Biases Delay Your Financial Freedom.

It’s not always your portfolio that’s out of balance; at times, it’s your life. The Wealthy Doc has tilted his work-life balance in favor of life, and that’s how he’s remained in love with his medical career. How? Love Being a Doctor: 35 Practical Changes That Made My Life Better.


He’s not the only one making career-altering changes. Sometimes it’s the doctor’s husband that switches things up in a big way. From Reflections of a  Millennial Doctor, Are You Sure You Still Want to do This?


One thing I am sure of is that I want to keep earning those sweet credit card rewards. It can be as complicated as you want it to be, but cash back makes it pretty straightforward. Rewards Made Easy: The Best Cash Back Credit Cards.


Can I Retire Yet?” is a common question, and I asked the semi-retired man behind the site 11 questions of my own. Christopher Guest Post: Can I Retire Yet?


This week’s Saturday Selection from Passive Income MD is a good reminder about risk and returns. Don’t Forget To Do a Risk-Benefit Analysis When Investing.


Market Uncertainty

We got a great deal on an Airbnb rental condo this last week. We had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths in a secure condo community that feels like a resort. The pool was large, plenty warm, and we had it too ourselves half of the time. The beach was two blocks away.

The place cost us about $500 bucks for the week, a deal made even better with a 15% cash back offer from Chase’s mobile app for Airbnb specifically that saved us over $75 on the week’s stay, or over $10 a day.


Chase Offers


If you’ve got a Chase card of any kind, be sure to download their app and check the Offers from time to time. I didn’t even know about it until recently, and I’m sure I missed out on some good discounts for things I would have bought, anyway.

While we were enjoying some low-key family time in Costa Rica without breaking the bank, we lost something close to $100,000 from our investment portfolio. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the news, but I know some tariffs on Chinese goods were increased and that news (and the threat of it happening) was enough to drive markets down a few percentage points.

The money we “lost,” of course, was house money, as the market was up nearly 20% on the year when the week began. And it’s not lost unless we panic and sell, which is simply not going to happen. Last year’s 20% drop didn’t phase me; a few percentage points one way or the other is just another week on Wall Street.


The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top pick for your first rewards card. It offers a welcome bonus worth at least $750 when used to book travel (after a $3,000 spend in 3 mo) and other great perks you can learn about here.

Off the Grid (or pretty darned close)


For the next six days, I am working with One World Surgery delivering free care to the people of Honduras who have nowhere else to turn at the NPH Honduras ranch. It’s a great program, families are encouraged to participate, and this is a return trip for us. You can read all about our first week volunteering with them here.

It will be a rewarding and eye-opening week, particularly for my kids who are a year older and perhaps a bit wiser. I’m hoping they’ll be able to stay up with my wife and me for the after-dinner presentations in which we learn more about the good done both for the children who grow up on the ranch and the people who visit from afar for surgical care.

It will be a great week of education and service for our boys, and it may be the last good opportunity for me to do volunteer work of this nature before hanging up the stethoscope.

It will not be a good week for keeping up with the rest of the world online, and that includes checking in on this blog, my Physicians on FIRE and fatFIRE Facebook groups, e-mail, Twitter, etc…

Last year, when I would get online in Honduras, the page load speed reminded me of the 14.4 kbps modem I used to dial in to the campus internet as a freshman in 1994. Well, not quite that good, actually. The modem didn’t drop the connection nearly as often.

So don’t expect to hear much from me for the next week or so. I do have blog posts lined up, so the site will continue to have new posts in my relative absence.


Friends in the FI Community


We’ve got a few days between the surgical mission and our return trip home, and we’ll be spending those in Costa Rica.

Specifically, we’ll be spending them hanging out with another FI family who happens to be spending a much longer stretch of time here in Costa Rica — Michael and Ellen who blog at Uncommon Dream.

The best part of this online FIRE community is that it often spills over into the offline world. I look forward to enjoying a few offline cervezas with our new friends as we unwind from a busy week of service.



Have an inspiring week!

-Physician on FIRE

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7 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (5/12/2019)”

  1. I was surprised to see a vape ad on your site. Perhaps it was embedded in a credit card ad.
    Content useful, as always

      • Hmmm. I don’t recall searching for vape information, but have clicked on credit card ads on your website. That’s why I wondered if the vape and credit card company are in cahoots. From what I’ve read on your website, what you promote is important. Just wondered if you are aware vape ads are showing up. If you’re cool with that, that’s your business, of course. I would prefer not to see vape ads myself, as I promote tobacco and vaping cessation.

        • I wouldn’t want to see them, either. I meant to say more, but accidentally hit send. “Typing” from a phone in Honduras.

          I can promise it has nothing to do with credit cards. I do have a couple of banners that usually serve financial ads (often animated) which is the only place that could come from. I will look into it and appreciate the heads up!


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Thanks for including my Mother’s day article.
    Dr. Cory S. Fawcett
    Prescription for Financial Success

  4. POF,
    Thanks for the mention. The blogging world is great fun and especially when it allows you to meet others in person. Keep up the good work on and off the internet!


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