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The Sunday Best (8/30/2020)

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


Under lockdown life, the number of experiences you can buy and enjoy are few and far between. Time to seesaw to stuff? Let’s ask A Lawyer and Her Money. Why You Should Buy Stuff, Not Experiences.


Michelle from Making Sense of Cents has purchased some seriously big stuff, including a Class A motorhome and a catamaran on which to live. Which do she, her husband, and their dogs prefer? Living In A Boat Or RV? What Is Better?


Maybe happiness can be more easily found by buying less and not more. Annie Raser-Rowland, author of The Art of Frugal Hedonism, explains the term in a guest post on Becoming Minimalist. An Introduction to Frugal Hedonism.


I view frugality as a generally good thing, but too much focus on spending or thrift can be a sign that you need to work on your attitudes around money. The 9 Symptoms of an Unhealthy Relationship with Money.


Are you investing in companies doing unhealthy things for our planet or population? Should you try to avoid doing so? An environmentally conscious Mr. Money Mustache weighs in. Socially Responsible Investing: Is It Also More Profitable?


In 2020, we’ve learned a lot about risk and the fact that the biggest risks in life are unknown and unpredictable. What might be the biggest risks to your financial situation? The White Coat Investor shows us that depends on who you are, where you’re at in life, and what you’re investing in. What is Your Biggest Financial Risk?


If you retire early, you risk a smaller Social Security check later on in life. Should you care? Chris Mamula with Can I Retire Yet digs into the details. How Does Retiring Early Impact Social Security Benefits?


Retiring into a recession and bear market is certainly a risk. 2020 retirees (willing or forced) know this all too well. Karsten at Early Retirement Now puts on his economist’s hat to examine the current state of affairs. The Shortest Recession Ever? My Thoughts on the State of the Economy.


Those who bought the dip in March are looking pretty good in 2020. But then again, why were they sitting on dry powder? The Actuary on FIRE ponders the wisdom of the “buy the dip” advocates. Are You Buying the Dips?


If you panic and sell the dips, we know how your story ends. You don’t want to routinely put yourself on the losing end of such trades. You want to be on the winning side. The Physician Philosopher will be your guide. 5 Steps To Winning at Personal Finance.


Jim from Route to Retire declared victory and moved his family to Panama for a healthy dose of geographic arbitrage in his early retirement. Then COVID took a big ol’ dump on that plan. How will their long-term presence back in the States affect their FIRE future? The Financial Impact of Moving Back to the U.S.


If you haven’t fully grasped how FIRE could be a part of your future, I’ve got a quick read for someone just like you. This would also be a great tool to help get a spouse on board, as well. Start Your FIRE: A Modern Guide to Early Retirement.

  • Bonus: Congrats to Marven Cabling, the winner of the book giveaway in that post!


Step One of most FIRE plans would be to get a solid education. We recently featured ways to get your college paid for with scholarships, but college isn’t necessarily the only answer. Todd with Invested Wallet describes some excellent Alternatives To College: How to Save Money On Education.


Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are college dropouts, but most millionaires (and billionaires) are college graduates. What about these five? Read ESI Money‘s interviews to find out!



How I Spent My Summer Vacation


Well, crap. Summer’s pretty much over. I suppose it’s my fault for living in a place that gets a two-month summer to enjoy, but I can still be bummed that it disappeared once again in the blink of an eye.

The really crappy part isn’t so much that summer’s ending, but that there’s not nearly as much to look forward to this fall. Right now, I’m supposed to be figuring out which B1G Ten football games I can attend before heading out on a lengthy overseas adventure.

Instead, there are no games to attend, no trip to take, and the Black Panther is dead. Rest in Peace, Chadwick Boseman. 2020 can go fly a kite with a hole in it.

In a normal year, kids would all be going back to school and writing up their annual “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essays. Or maybe it would be a show and tell. This year, it might be a Zoom call.

How did I spend my summer vacation? We laid low for most of it, occasionally getting together with family or friends at small gatherings without the customary hugs and handshakes. I did get out on a couple of week-long trips to southwest Colorado in July and northern Minnesota in August.

For the most part, I spent my time on personal development and maintaining this blog. I’ve been prioritizing the former, running routinely, doing my daily pushups, situps, dips, and Spanish language lessons on the computer and phone.


2020 Half Marathon Cheboygan
8/29/2020: Half Marathon #3 of 2020


It’s easy to let the day get away from you when the morning consists of all of the above, and then I spend a good chunk of the afternoon on the computer. This last week, I made sure to take the kayaks out a few times and went on a 10-mile bike ride with our boys. We also trekked through the woods on a nearby hike around a gorge that I had heard about years ago, but never took the time to check out.

Notably, there are some things I have not done with this increased amount of free time. I haven’t developed an online course. I think I could make a great one, but I have not made it a priority. I haven’t done other things some of my entrepreneurial friends are doing, like set up membership programs or a YouTube channel. I haven’t even gone live on Facebook.

These things can not only be very helpful for one’s audience, but also quite lucrative. Eventually, I will probably tackle at least one or two such projects, but in this first year out from my medical career, I have focused more on myself, my health, and my family.

Not that I don’t spend a lot of time on the blog. I do, and it’s going really well, actually. Despite not doing those lucrative things, we will be donating a six-figure sum again this year and our living expenses are covered by what’s leftover. All without charging my readers a penny. I’m pretty thrilled about that, and I thank you for your role in making it happen. 🍻


A Featured Financial Advisor


For those of you who would rather not DIY, I maintain a short list of 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 Physician Family Financial Advisors.


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Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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3 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (8/30/2020)”

  1. What did I do on my summer vacation? I spend a lot of time outdoors! The kids and I did a lot of hiking, and biking outside this summer. We also did a few small road trips to break up the monotony of “stay at home” life.

    Honestly, it was a fun summer! I got to spend a lot of time with my boys, and I haven’t spent this much time outside since I was a kid!

    It just goes to show — even under difficult circumstances there’s a silver-lining to be found!

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!

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