The Sunday Best (8/11/2019)
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.
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
With twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go in this anesthesia career, I’ve been doing some reflecting lately. This career has been good to me and has taught me more than simply how to guide humans safely through surgery. Dr. Dawn Baker of Practice Balance shares the Interesting Skills I’ve Acquired as a Practicing Anesthesiologist.
If I’m truly done, I’ll lose some of those valuable skills, but the lessons will not escape me. We hate to lose things, and The Physician Philosopher explains how that loss aversion can be detrimental. 4 Ways Your Fear of Loss Impacts Your Finances.
Student loan debt is one thing everyone would love to lose. The Locum Guy puts together an aggressive plan to help you demolish them in a year or two. Read his Step by Step Guide to Crushing Your Medical School Debt Fast.
With the painful diagnosis of neurofibromatosis, Amanda of Why We Money understands the importance of financial independence better than most. Wealth and Health: Reaching for FI is Useful No Matter What Your Plans.
Do your plans include real estate investing? Passive Income MD answers one of the most common questions asked among direct owners of rental properties (and he owns six of them across three states). How Much Time Does It Take To Manage My Own Properties?
The ubiquitous FI Physician (see guest posts on PoF here and here) visits Early Retirement Now to discuss the benefits of a decreasing bond allocation as you age in retirement. Can a Rising Equity Glidepath Save the 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate Over a 60 Year Retirement?
Some people live for today because they don’t know what tomorrow will bring. However, saving for a rainy day can turn that rain into sunshine. A Purple Life (think red pill + blue pill) muses on money-making and mortality. Why Retire Early? Because Death Is Coming.
If you’re going to retire early, I recommend becoming a millionaire (preferably a multimillionaire) first. ESI Money shows us how another five people did so:
- Millionaire Interview #136
- Millionaire Interview #137
- Millionaire Interview #138
- Millionaire Interview #139
- Millionaire Interview #140
After ticking the boxes in the Money Checklist, I turned my attention to some other early retirement issues, including health insurance. Early Retirement Checklist Part Two: Insurance, Family, and Social Considerations Prior to FIRE.
I’m happy to be debt-free, but I would have a larger net worth if I had made a different choice. Matthew White laments his choices as he does the math. Why Paying Down Debt Aggressively Was the Worst Financial Decision I’ve Ever Made.
The White Coat Investor shares the worst financial decisions dozens of doctors have made. Stupid Doctor Tricks: Physicians’ Biggest Financial Mistakes.
It’s Harvest Time. Tax Loss Harvesting Time.
A drop in your portfolio value is nothing to celebrate, but you may be able to make lemonade when lemons are thrown your way.
In the midst of a busy week in which the stock market was as volatile as liquid hydrogen, I almost neglected to check for tax loss harvesting opportunities. I credit Dr. Elloso for the reminder in the Physicians on FIRE Facebook group. His one post probably saved members tens of thousands of dollars in taxes, collectively.
It’s foolish to sell low and lock in losses when your funds are down, but savvy investors know that you’re not locking in a loss when you exchange one fund for a similar (but not substantially identical) fund. That’s the key to tax loss harvesting.
A simple transaction can save you $1,000 to $1,400 per year on your taxes via a $3,000 tax deduction, and excess losses can be carried over for years to come.
On Friday, I took about $17,000 in paper losses by swapping some Vanguard international funds for another. Those “losses” can offset future capital gains or be used to take $3,000 off my ordinary income for the next 5+ years.
For further details and to take advantage of the current market conditions, see the thorough guides I’ve written on the topic:
- Tax Loss Harvesting with Vanguard: A Step by Step Guide
- Tax Loss Harvesting with Fidelity: A Step by Step Guide
This Could Be the Last Time
“This could be the last time.
This could be the last time.
May be the last time.
I don’t know.” – The Rolling Stones
Tomorrow morning, I’ll turn in my pager, drop my scrubs in the hamper, and walk out of the hospital in the post-call morning fog for what may very well be the last time.
Just thinking about that fact gets me a little choked up, and I’m not even sure why. It’s not pure sadness or unadulterated joy. I suppose it’s just recognition of one era ending and another beginning. It’s an emotional time.
I quote The Stones above because I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever do this work again or not. I’m still capable and not thoroughly burned out. There are simply other places I would rather be.
My mind is in the game, but I don’t know that my heart is. As much as I’d like to be able to say medicine is my passion and calling, I’ve never really felt it. It’s been a rewarding career and one of the best jobs I can imagine having up to this point, but I am ready to do something different.
Will I feel the same in six months or year? If I do experience a change of heart, my mind will be fresh and ready, as will the requisite red tape. I do plan to hang onto an active license, earn some continuing medical education, and keep my board certification for at least a year or two to be prepared just in case.
That being said, I would not be surprised if tomorrow morning’s stroll out the back door truly represents the last time.
A Featured Financial Advisor
For those of you who would rather not DIY, I maintain a list of 10 recommended financial advisors. Among the good guys and gals who work frequently with physicians, only the lowest cost, fee-only fiduciary advisors were invited to be on this short list. Among them is Aptus Financial.
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Have an outstanding week!
-Physician on FIRE