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The Sunday Best (6/07/2020)


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


If there’s one thing the FIRE Movement does well, it’s thinking outside the box. Ken Okoroafor of The Humble Penny shows us 5 Unusual Ways To Accelerate Your Financial Independence.


The FIRE movement is more than an idea; it’s a large group of people from many different walks of life, and yes, different colors. The Reluctant Frugalist features a collection of podcasters, Youtubers, and bloggers that look more like her in this three-part series:

  • Black FIRE Series (Part 1) — Are There Black People in the FIRE Movement?
  • Black FIRE Series (Part 2) — Choosing to Save When You Just Got That Shmoney
  • Black FIRE Series (Part 3) — People of Color and FIRE


This same community was featured by Doc Green back when the Earn & Invest podcast was known as What’s Up Next. Episode 24: The Black Financial Independence Community with Rich & Regular, Popcorn Finance, and Ericka Young.


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


Are you saving up for anything special right now? Nicole, a psychiatric physician assistant who lives the Frugal Chic Life, is thinking big. My Next Big Money Goal: Introducing Project $100K.


If your livelihood has been hit, as it has for so many in recent months, your only money goal may be getting the bills paid. Acquania Escarne of Wealth Noir has your back. Staying Afloat During a Financial Crisis.


If you have a dual-income household and a one-income spend, you’ll do more than stay afloat. How did Talaat & Tai McNeely of His & Her Money pull it off? How We Went from Living Off Two Incomes Down to One.



Living on less doesn’t have to mean lowering your standard of living. Michelle Jackson of Michelle is Money Hungry describes How to Live Rich for Less.


The simplest formula for FI is to earn a lot and save as much as you can. Jamila Souffrant of Journey to Launch has it down pat. How We Saved $169,000 in 2 Years With the Help of This Budgeting System.


Psychology plays a huge role in our relationship with money, and Jason Butler of My Money Chronicles understands this well. 18 Awesome Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money.



If you’re a millennial, tricks may be required to get yourself in decent financial shape. This generation has had it rough, according to The Millennials Next Door. 15 Surprising Facts About Millennials and Their Money.

Recent events led my friend Dr. Nii Darko to record a heartfelt solo episode. Docs Outside the Box episode 164: My Timeline for Knowing My Place in America.


Everything’s Gonna Be Alright?


When I was self-isolating back in March and Tom Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson was making headlines rapping “Hip Hop Hooray,” I contemplated which Naughty by Nature song I might try to rap if given the opportunity. Really, I did. Two weeks is a long time to be alone with your thoughts.

I settled on “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” The chorus, borrowed from Bob Marley, sent a message that I really wanted to believe as the pandemic was taking hold. I’m also partial to songs that tell a story.

In this one, Treach spins a heavy autobiographic tale of being tossed aside, contemplating suicide, and turning to drugs, guns, and crime to get by.

“How will I do it? How will I make it? I won’t. That’s how.”


It’s real and it’s raw, and it couldn’t be any more different than my own story.

Of course, I didn’t even take a stab at recording it. I’m no Rita Hanks on the microphone, and the song’s got a number of words that should never cross my lips, let alone be recorded as such.

Last weekend, as I put together The Sunday Best, I began writing about the murder of George Floyd and the aftermath that was erupting. I had a few short paragraphs down when the fear set in.

Will this be perceived the way I intended? What if I don’t say enough? Maybe I’m saying too much?

Is it my place — as a small-town white guy — to address this situation when I could hardly be further removed from it?

Those lyrics from two months prior started coursing through my head again.


“So don’t say jack. And please don’t say you understand. All that man to man talk can walk, damn.”


He’s right, you know. I can’t say I understand how it is to be Black in America right now. I haven’t experienced discrimination that so many deal with on a daily basis. My life has been easy, and I wasn’t quite sure what to say just then.

So I didn’t say jack.

Not publicly, at least. I deleted every word I had written.

It’s not quite true that I said nothing. I had spoken with my children about what was done to Mr. Floyd and some of the reasons for the reactions in the city streets. At home, we talk about judging people by their character and not the color of their skin.

We travel far and wide to give our boys a worldly perspective and exposure to different cultures, languages, and people. My kids are only two people, but I think raising them to believe in racial equality is more important than anything I might say or do with my brand on social media.

On the social media front, I did share my feelings in 280 characters on Twitter and participated in #BlackoutTuesday on Instagram and Facebook. Those were small, simple efforts that don’t really say all that much.




What I have done, rather than say a lot, is to listen. With an open mind and empathetic ear, I’m hearing what others have to say and how they feel — people who have had more difficult lives than me as people of color.

Just the other day, I got together virtually with a diverse group of content creators, two of whom are featured above, and we had a candid and cathartic discussion about race and the impact it’s had on life in both the recent and distant past.  It was enlightening, and I’m fortunate to be a part of this supportive group that I’ve gotten to meet with every other week for several years now.

Minneapolis was my home for eight years. I went to school just a couple of miles from where George Floyd was killed. That was horrible to see. His life mattered. Black lives matter.

As long as racist attitudes and actions persist, I can’t say that everything’s gonna be alright. I do believe that things can be better, though, and I would like to see society make strides in the direction of racial equality.

For me, that starts at home, educating the next generation, and by continuing to have constructive conversations with you, my peers.

I’m here, and I’m listening.



Have an meaningful week.

-Physician on FIRE


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14 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (6/07/2020)”

  1. Sorry I’m a a week late to this. I would have liked to hear your thoughts! So many white people feel like they are not allowed to speak at this time, but your input is just as valid. I have spoken to a number of my patients this week about race and I have enjoyed the dialogue. One of my patients had no idea, like zero idea racism was still an issue. She was shocked about the events of the past weeks. So we talked about assumptions and how black people are not given the benefit of the doubt that they are educated or have money or are law-abiding. Then she related her experience as a blond woman in engineering school. She always felt like she had to prove something or wasn’t taken seriously. Another patient talked about how she did not know or see a single black person until high school and the first ones she meant she didn’t like. Scary kids from the projects. But she didn’t let that define her opinion of black people and went on to have multiple friends of all different races. I perhaps did some educating but I also got educated. Anyway I appreciate that you are listening but I do hope you join the conversation.

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  3. Also, at home you might want to start talking with your kids about being antiracist. It’s more than “not judging ppl by the color of their skin”. It’s, hey kids, “in the USA, we are taught from a very young age to fear Black people”, it’s called unconscious or implicit bias. News alert, even very young Black kids have implicit bias. Read Malcolm Gladwell Blink. It doesn’t take long to get through it and you will start getting a handle on how “not judging people by the color of the skin” has to go by the wayside and the conversation has to start with acknowledging that we have implicit bias, so even though we don’t want to judge someone, we do. The screwed up narrative that about Black ppl didn’t stop when the Civil War ended. https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1028&context=rbjpa) Our country NEVER let go of that and for that reason, the conversation has to go deeper. I challenge you to watch the movie Just Mercy with your family. It’s not violent. Watch it. You have time, you’re retired. Also, it’s free for the month of June on all the movie watching platforms.

    • Thank you for the recommendation. I’ll add Just Mercy to our watch list.

      I actually had a line about implicit and explicit bias in the first draft of this post. I replaced it with a line about racist attitudes and actions, terms I figured would be more widely understood. I realize those are not synonymous terms.


      • Yes, good. But also you need to realize that what should be saying is: I wish we didn’t see race, but we do, and all the research on implicit/unconscious bias shows that we view Black people as threatening. This is Black people are murdered and accosted at alarming rates.

        We have to work to change the notion we have been fed our entire lives that Black people are threatening.

        We see race. Period. It’s a much different starting point. And it acknowledges that the system was built this way and the system has to rebuilt another way. And the first brick is never going to be “I don’t see race”.

        • so apparently after 3 cups of coffee my ability to put together sentences properly goes away, but you know what I mean and hopefully you can overlook the crappy writing.

    • Thank you for the providing links to Black people in the FIRE movement. I am a Black woman and Physician. Being able to relate to others with my income and cultural background helps keep me motivated. The importance of successful examples that share your experiences makes a difference. Therefore, I follow the Physician movements due our my high incomes,(my husband is a physician as well), those with families, and people of color. That is quite a bit of work to bridge these communities to find what fits me. I am glad we are having this conversation about institutionalized racism. As someone who never had a negative interaction with the police, I can’t say that about my career in medicine when it comes to racism and prejudice.

  4. To the last poster..
    Police shootings are just a small fraction of the issue:
    Yes, take a step back and listen.
    It’s so much bigger then the police…
    It’s walking into a store and being followed by security, It’s income, wealth, and healthcare disparity. It’s the legacy of being brought to this country in chains and being physically and emotionally tortured.
    It’s the lack of economic opportunity that leads to incarceration.
    I am white and wealthy. I do not begin to understand what it is like to be a person of color but I can and must listen.

  5. The above content and recent events should all prompt us as physicians to do what we are trained to do.
    Take a step back, remove ourself from the emotion of the situation and review the evidence.
    The evidence is the following:
    -41 unarmed people were killed by police officers last year, 9 were African Americans, 19 were Caucasian.
    -235 African Americans were shot by police, 371 caucasians.
    -the following happened in Dallas 3 years ago involving a Caucasian mentally ill patient and police; https://www.dallasnews.com/news/investigations/2019/07/31/you-re-gonna-kill-me-dallas-police-body-cam-footage-reveals-the-final-minutes-of-tony-timpa-s-life/. There was not the national response there is now, and the police involved continued to work.

    Thus, all of the lives ended at the hands of poorly trained or evil police officers should be recognized.
    This is a police restraint issue. Let’s recognize the facts and respond appropriately.

    • The statistics you shared demonstrate that Blacks are affected disproportionately. According to the U.S. Census, 76% of the nation’s population is white, and 13% is Black. That’s nearly a 6:1 ratio.

      If police restraint were the only issue, we wouldn’t be seeing this kind of a response. The problems run much deeper.


      • It does run deeper.

        2017 FBI statistics show 9,468 arrests for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. 4,188 caucasian, 5,025 black.

        Is culture and environment facilitating a higher percentage of rage to the point of murder? If so who is responsible? The individual? If not, the preceding 100+ years leading up to the point of the individual involved? Slippery slope it seems.


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