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The Sunday Best (9/13/2020)

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

If you left work for good, would you miss your colleagues and work friends? The paychecks? Sense of purpose and accomplishment? FIRE and Wide touch on all that’s been left behind in this post-FIRE update: Two Years After Early Retirement – Do I Miss Work?


It helps to understand what makes you happy, and that can be a complex equation. Zach from Four Pillar Freedom has done some calculations. My Favorite Lessons from The Algebra of Happiness.


How happy would you be as a doctor if you found out the engineers in your city were out-earning you? Smart Money MD sheds some light on a sobering fact for physicians. Doctors working in tech cities are losing the rat race.


This doctor in Tennessee is definitely not losing, going from a net worth of negative $850,000 at age 40 to a financially independent multimillionaire at age 49. His story in the latest CGP. Christopher Guest Post: XRAYVSN.


Are eight figures in his future? Are they in yours? Leif from the Five Year FIRE Escape has some words of advice for the decamillionaires out there. How to invest 10 Million Dollars: Make an impact and some wealth.


When you have that kind of money, there’s bound to be some lifestyle upgrades or “creep.” And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We Want Guac (who doesn’t?) explains The Difference Between Lifestyle Creep and Improving Your Life.


When you have that kind of money, you have a target on your back. Do your best to keep it! Physician Asset Protection Depends on Your Age (or career stage) according to the FI Physician.


You know what else you need to avoid losing your money? A plan for what you’ll do with it. Specifically, You Need an Investor Policy Statement.


That IPS of yours should tell you exactly what to do with the money in each account you own, like an old 401(k), for example. Got one of those? The White Coat Investor lays out 5 Things You Can Do With an Old 401(k) including one option that’s almost never a good idea.


A written investing plan might also keep you from blowing a good chunk of money on a neighbor’s “foolproof” business idea. Mr. Hobo Millionaire can attest to that. That Time… I Invested In A Three Piece Wheel Company.


You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to find a viable passive income opportunity, says Passive Income MD. He describes the pros and cons along with some tips for Buying a Turnkey Property Out of State.


Want to learn more about passive income? The Debt Free Doctor compiled an impressive list of what others have to say about the concept. The 25 Best Passive Income Quotes For High Earners.


She Picks up Pennies… but leaves thousands of dollars on the table. That Isn’t Very FI… Or Is It?


The Bad Fires


We talk about FIRE here a lot, and when we capitalize it, we’re talking about the acronym. Financial independence, retire early, and it’s all good.

Lately, I’ve been reading stories and seeing horrifying pictures of a different kind of fire out west, and these are bad. Quite terrible and terrifying, actually.

To the millions of Americans in harm’s way and the thousands of people battling these wildfires, please do all you can to be safe. Dozens have lost their lives already. 2020 has been an awful year; don’t let it be your last. My condolences to the families who have lost loved ones already.

If you do have to evacuate and have nowhere to go, I know northern Michigan is a loooong drive, but I do have a place to stay where we could easily put up a family until it’s safe to return home. Seriously, contact me if you’re in that situation and looking for a place to chill. We’re expecting highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s for the next couple of weeks.


The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top pick for your first rewards card. Welcome bonus of 80,000 points worth at least $1,000 when used to book travel (after a $4,000 spend in 3 mo) and other great perks you can learn abouthere.


Empower Hour


What are you up to a week from Tuesday?

Yeah, I don’t know, either, but you ought to mark your calendar for 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific to join Dr. James Turner a.k.a. The Physician Philosopher for a free Zoom call.

The roughly 45-minute-long talk will focus on student loan management and the importance of financial independence. If you’re a student, resident, or early-career attending, be sure to sign up for a little free information. You’ll like Dr. Turner’s style of educating, I promise.

Oh, and apparently the first 60 people to tune in will receive a “caffeine care package.” So be one of them.

You can register for the event here for the event, which is sponsored by Laurel Road. They currently offer some of the lowest refinancing rates out there for student loans.


Taking the RV for a Test Run


Earlier this summer, we picked up a travel trailer, and it’s spent time in our side yard and driveway as we’ve gotten to know it better. As fall begins to set in, we’re planning to take it out this coming Thursday for a long weekend at a state park not too far away.

We’ve been learning a lot from our friends Steve and Courtney from AStreaminLife — they were full-time RVers for several years — and I’m sure we’ll learn more when we actually take the rig on the road and hook up in an actual campground for the first time.

If you’ve got any tips you’d like to share from your time in any type of RV, please let me know in the comment section below.

If all goes well, we may take a lengthier trip of at least several weeks to find warmer weather towards the latter part of the fall. I hear the Southwest U.S. is beautiful in October and November. Let’s hope the fires are all extinguished by then!



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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14 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (9/13/2020)”

  1. RV traveling sounds great! We’ve had an RV for almost 15 years. Some quick “inside tips” I would add are:

    – get the Good Sam and KOA cards – they save you a chunk of $ when checking in
    – develop a check list (many online)
    – invest in a tire pressure gauge
    – the Dollar Store is your friend

    ………….. and the best advice I can give…….. don’t stick to a schedule (best part of RVing)
    Have lots of great adventures!

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. I’ve lives in lots of different RV configurations, and no matter how large your RV is, storage and organization are always issues. Make sure everything has aa place. It’s awkward at first, but you will get used to the systems you institute over time. Have a wonderful time!

  4. Yeah, the fires out here are terrible. Millions of acres burned, and the air is just thick with smoke right now. I don’t even let the kids play outside when the air is this bad.

    At my uncle’s place near Eugene, OR the ash is falling like snow. So many people have lost their homes, it’s a disaster on many levels.

    Forest fires aren’t unusual out west, but this is by far the worst I’ve ever seen it. And the government seems incapable of stopping or containing the fires. What a mess.

  5. Food prep takes center stage when I camp. Everything tastes better when cooked outdoors.

    Look up foil packet recipes. It’s easy, fun for the kids to assemble their own packet, and like opening a gift when its time to eat.

    • I’ve enjoyed a few “hobo dinners” in my day. Also steak directly on the coals. Not since I was a kid, though.

      Time to act like a kid again!

  6. Wow! You offered up your home to the Fire affected. You have a gigantic heart!

    There’s putting your money where your mouth is
    Then there’s actions speak louder than words

    Then wayyy past that is inviting strangers into your house! Inspiring!

    I will offer up my house too…but you can’t come if you snore…and there are no spare beds :O

    • Well, we’ve got two homes here and we can only be in one place at one time. No one has taken me up on the offer yet, but I realize we are very far from the affected areas.

      In the past, we’ve been slightly affected with hazy skies from Canadian wildfires, but that hasn’t been an issue this year. Thank you for keeping the smoke to yourselves.


  7. RV tips: 1: Make your first trip to the campground closest to your home and take a car (If in a trailer, you have a car). Then you can make a trip to the store or back home for anything you have forgotten so your RV will be stocked correctly when you do venture farther from home. 2: Place a mat/carpet outside your door to cut down on the dirt you track in. 3: Put some family games in the RV that are not played at home so they will be special when you are camping. 4: Kids love camp fires, so be prepared with your own wood, kindling, and paper. Also you need some good sticks for roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. 5: Get a small ceramic space heater to use at night so you are not using your main furnace which is noisy and will wake you up. It will also stabilize the temperature in the RV during the day when it is cold out.
    Have fun!
    Dr. Cory S. Fawcett
    Financial Success MD

    • All great ideas. We’ve got most of them covered, but I forgot to put the marshmallow roasting sticks in the storage compartment. Will do so today.


    • That’s the plan.

      Mid-shower backup moments sound awful. In general, I think we’ll be using the campground’s shower more often than not.


  8. The sweater photo you featured made me laugh ☺️ Very excited to hear of your pending maiden voyage in the RV! I don’t have any real innovative tips for you guys but for what it’s worth, we usually need : A.) Another extension cord, and B.) More wet wipes. Have fun!!


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