The Sunday Best (6/9/2019)

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


I was honored to be included in an article by Janna Herron featured in the USA TODAY, covering a very important topic for every would-be early retiree. Do you plan to retire by 50? Great, but can you cover your health care?


Our plan is to pay for health care out of pocket; it helps to set aside plenty of money to cover it. Kristy & Bryce of Millennial Revolution saved a good amount of money before leaving their jobs and writing their book, Quit Like a Millionaire (preorder here). JL Collins wrote a powerful foreword, and he shared it on his site. Quit Like a Millionaire.


I’ve half-jokingly referred to FIRE as my mid-life crisis. I guess I’m not the only one who sees it this way. The two-physician couple who are spending the summer in Medellin, Colombia feel similarly. From B.C. Krygowski, FIRE: Our Mid-Life Crisis.


The best and worst part about financial independence is that you can more or less do whatever you want with the rest of your life. Your options are limitless! And that can be maddening! Full Time Finance details The Paradox of Choice.


You only live once. #YOLO. Some use the acronym as a reason not to pursue financial independence, an attitude I’ve found to be, well… paradoxical. The Chief Mom Officer sees things the way I do. Why FI? Because YOLO.


Another reason for FI? Beating burnout. The Physician Philosopher described 4 Ways Financial Independence Can Fight Burnout.


Eliminating the most burdensome aspects of your job can also stave off burnout. Dr. Networth shares some unsettling news. Hey Doc, Night Shifts are Slowly Killing You.


Being up at night is tough, and Morgan Housel of Collaborative Fund is about to be up at night a lot more; he and his wife had a baby girl! He offers some sage advice in Financial Advice for My New Daughter.


Note that he does not mention buying FAANG stocks. As Ben Carson of A Wealth of Common Sense points out, that may have been Only a Good Idea in Hindsight.



Those stocks did make a lot of people millionaires. ESI Money continues to interview millionaires, recently sharing The Top Eight Areas Where Millionaires Make Money Mistakes. Take a few minutes to check out another five millionaires got wealthy:


Early retirement isn’t just one long stretch of time. There are distinct periods of time, or epochs, where you’ll rely on different money streams to fund your remaining life. The Epochs of Early Retirement.


I see physicians make plenty of mistakes when it comes to disability insurance, and a few more missteps were added in the comments section. Pattern Life made a list of The Top 5 Mistakes Doctors Make With Disability Insurance.


The most important part of your financial plan once you reach a certain age? How soon you retire. The White Coat Investor shared Six Reasons Nothing Matters More Than Your Retirement Date After Age 50


Nominate Your Favorite Blogs and Podcasts!


The Oscars of financial blogging, The Plutus Awards, are now open for nominations. This is a great way to recognize the time and effort your favorite content creators have been putting in to bring you insightful info throughout the year(s).




Please don’t nominate this site for “Best Investing Blog” because a) there are better blogs focusing more on investing (The White Coat Investor would be an obvious choice), and b) I sponsored the category and have no place being a nominee there.

Don’t forget WCI Network partners Passive Income MD (Best Real Estate Blog) and The Physician Philosopher (still qualifies for Best New Personal Finance Blog).

The winners will be announced at an entertaining ceremony at FinCon in Washington D.C. in September. It seems far off, but summer is here and summer always goes by fast!


Make Your Nominations!

Summer is Here!


After a rather cool and really wet spring, it finally feels like summer. After wrapping another weekend of call Monday morning, I headed east to join my family at our lake cabin. In under a week, I’ve done the following summery things:

  • Gone for a run of the rails to trails path (three of them, actually) with my boys.
  • Biked to get ice cream.
  • Landscaping (laid down some sod to fill in a low spot after the lawn was dug up elsewhere).
  • Put my toes in the sand.
  • Put my toes in the water (COLD!).
  • Charged the boat’s battery. Considered launching boat, but it was too wavy.
  • Enjoyed a beer around a campfire (and at two breweries, and on the deck, and…).
  • Went shopping for a bigger lake home.
  • Figured maybe we could make this place work, after all.
  • Donated blood to the mosquito population (unintentionally).
  • Found the hydrocortisone cream. A summer must-have.
  • Grilled hot dogs. And chicken. Steaks next week!
  • Took the kayak out.
  • Played frisbee


And we’re just getting started. I’ve got two more weeks off, then two busy weeks of work that includes 120 hours of call over the long 4th of July Weekend. After that, I’m off for four weeks and I go back for an encore week of work as I wrap things up on the job after the second weekend in August.

I hope your summer is off to a splendid start!



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

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16 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (6/9/2019)”

  1. Well PoF, I’m certain your retirement will be awesome because it’s starting on my birthday.

    Of course in reality it’s going to be awesome because you’ve planned and worked hard for this.

    Your week of activities, except for the mosquito feeding, sounds like heaven. Enjoy!

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. For someone who “pretends” to dislike country music, nice Zac Brown reference. Did you follow the rest of the song, cold beer in my hand?

  4. Great Sunday Best as always PoF! I always enjoy your weekly collection of articles! In particular I liked “Only A Good Idea In Hindsight.” Humanity’s real ability to predict the future is far worse than they actually believe. Thus the Dunning Kruger effect.

    Sounds like your summer is off to a great start! Enjoy it! I know I will! 🙂

  5. Do you know the meat tenderizer trick for mosquito bites? A little accent meat tenderizer, drop of water, rub it over the bite, itch is gone. Makes living in the Northwoods in June tolerable.

    • That’s a new one to me!

      I can usually prevent a welt if I get 1% hydrocortisone on the bite site in the first 10 minutes or so. Once it’s taken hold, the cream isn’t as much good.

      Sarna lotion is pretty great, too. It was about the only thing that helped swimmer’s itch.

  6. Thanks for the mention PoF!

    Sounds like a great start to the summer for you and your family. Hope you have another amazing summer!

    Stay safe and healthy,


  7. I always love reading your Sunday best and hey, thanks for the mention! 🙂 Just made my first cup of Colombian coffee for the day and settling in for the best reading I do on Sundays: your Sunday best! Believe it or not, we use baby teething gel in Florida to help get mosquito bites to stop itching-hope that helps!

    • I’m also in Florida, and have become fond of keeping aloe vera gel with lidocaine in the refrigerator to apply ice-cold to bites and burns. Works wonders!

  8. I've got my 2 acres of non-leveraged, crop-producing, cashflowing farmland via AcreTrader. Get yours.
  9. I remember the 2 month period. It’s heady and exciting. I retired in mid August after getting 1 more full year of SS wages under my belt. I didn’t worry about what to do next. The Monday after I simply rolled over and got an extra hour. In about a month after departure day that Sunday night anxiety about what Monday might bring subsided.

    Best thing I ever did was create a budget tracking spreadsheet using the CSV file you can download from Mint. Done correctly you can track every transaction and wind up with an accurate monthly expenditure in retirement. Over time the months turn to years and the years reveal a predictable spending pattern which I find quite useful and since your monthly totals are accurate, your yearly totals are accurate and represent the reality of your money needs. Gone are the projections and guesses. My system costs me about 5 minutes per month acquiring data and another 3 minutes to cut and paste, massage and auto sum.

    Best of luck in your new life! Your articles on the mechanics of early retirement have been superb. Learning how to spend it down is very different from accumulation.


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