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The Sunday Best (9/2/2018)

The Sunday Best

The Sunday Best
The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure.

Expect most of the writing to be from recent weeks and consistent with the themes presented on this website: investing & taxes, financial independence, early retirement, and physician issues.


Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:


The Flawed Consumer, who has been featured here before, asked me to share my knowledge and experience not with medicine or personal finance, but with homebrewing beer. This being my eighth year as an amateur homebrewer, I said “sure, why not?” Beer O’Clock Brewing Sessions: Interview No. 2 with Physician on FIRE.


I doubt I’ll get much heat for that article, unless you believe the creation or consumption of alcohol is the work of the devil. Talk about retiring early, though, and the pitchforks come out! From The Physician Philosopher, the provocatively titled It’s Wrong for Doctors to Retire Early.


Is that the right question to ask — whether it’s wrong for a financially independent physician to retire early? Doc G of DiverseFI ponders the complementary conundrum: Should All Financially Independent Doctors Retire?


Is it immoral for an institute of higher education to give medical students preferential treatment whole charging other students tens of thousands of dollars per year? From Travis Hornsby, The Student Loan Planner (schedule consult here)NYU Med School Eliminating Tuition is a Distraction from the Bigger Problem.


FIRE made the New York Times Yesterday. Featuring my friends from 1500 Days, Our Next Life, Early Retirement Dude, Your Money or Your Life, Mr. Money Mustache, and more, Steven Kurutz shows us How to Retire in Your 30s With $1 Million in the Bank (or more).


Somehow, Justin from Root of Good was left out of this one. I’m guessing the retired engineer with a law degree who just got back from a month in the Bahamas doesn’t really mind. He shared a story of his own in 5 Lessons I’ve Learned in 5 Years of Early Retirement.


Switching gear, my kids watched The Greatest Showman and learned a bunch of new songs to sing around the house. The White Coat Investor watched it and took away 11 Financial Lessons from The Greatest Showman.


The bloggers behind Half Life Theory and ESI Money teamed up to teach another important but sometimes painful lesson. The One Thing FI Can’t Give You is the Only Thing You Really Want.


That sounds somewhat counterintuitive. So does this. From Method to Your MoneyWhy I Always Say Yes When My Kids Ask Me To Buy Them Stuff.


Passive Income MD has an open and honest conversation about what passive income really is. 5 Things You Need To Know About Passive Income


The Power of Community


Twice this last week, I witnessed the power of community. First was spending quality time at Camp FI Midwest with my family and about 60 other FI-minded couples and individuals who made the trip to Minnesota.

I touched on the details in last week’s Sunday Best, so I won’t belabor them, but it was a really great weekend filled with inspiration, education, communication, and libations. We made friends that I am certain we will remain in touch with for years to come.

A few of the attendees wrote up full blog posts on their experience, including (please let me know if I’ve left yours out and I’ll add it):



Refuting The Naysayers


Any time a FIRE story is featured outside of the FIRE community, pitchforks come out, as I mentioned above. If you’re a medical professional with a Doximity account, first sign in, then click here, and you’ll see what I mean.

Well, not necessarily right away, because after I saw the first dozen or so comments on my Business Insider article that was featured there, I summoned my community to come to my defense. My Physicians on FIRE friends did a wonderful job of putting the naysayers and frankly rude and misinformed docs in their place.

It’s a wonderful study in psychology to see what other people come up with based on limited information in one article. The barbs don’t pierce my skin, but it really makes me wonder what’s going on with those who are so quick to make false assumptions and absurd accusations.

Like Matt Dillon says to Eddie Vedder in Singles, their negative energy only makes me stronger. But it’s hard not to feel bad for them.

Thankfully, the comments are now mostly positive thanks to the power of community, but to respond to a handful of the naysayers:

  • Yes, I have planned for my children’s college education. They’re in grade school with 6-figure 529 Plans.
  • No, I don’t want a new luxury vehicle every 6 to 8 years.
  • Yes, I am a real doctor. Contemplating retirement doesn’t change that.
  • No, I didn’t go into medicine with every intention of making as much money as I could and retiring as soon as possible.
  • Yes, I tipped only $5 on a beer or two. How much would you have tipped?
  • No, I am not anticipating a giant inheritance.
  • Yes, I donate both time and money. Lots of money, actually.
  • No, I don’t have to count pennies and I don’t lose sleep worrying.
  • Yes, I live up north by choice, and not because I’m cheap.
  • No, I don’t live on rice and beans. Honestly, I can’t stand beans.
  • Yes, my expenses are realistic. They’re real and they’re spectacular.


Thanks again to my blogging friends and Facebook friends who get it and were willing to speak up on the behalf of common sense. I love this community!

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. One of them is Aptus Financial.

I had the pleasure of seeing Sarah Catherine Gutierrez speak this year at WCICon, and I can assure you Aptus Financial’s investment philosophies are well-aligned with mine.

Aptus Financial

Aptus Financial is a principled financial services company, focused solely on what is best for our clients and free of any conflicts of interest. We provide transparent, objective, and non-conflicted advice for a simple, fair hourly rate. Period. We don’t sell stocks or insurance. We don’t have a vested interest in managing your assets. Our highly-credential team provides comprehensive financial advice and sets our clients up for a lifetime of guided DIY financial planning and investing. You can do it yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone.


Aptus charges a simple, fair hourly rate of $200 across all engagements.
Comprehensive Financial Plan (20 hours+, $4,000)
Annual Checkups and Portfolio Rebalancing (~3-6 hours, ~$600-$1,200)
Initial Interviews (~15 minutes, free)

Contact Info:
2 Van Circle, Suite 4
Little Rock, Arkansas 72207
Prospective clients should request to interview us by submitting our contact form.



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

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34 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (9/2/2018)”

  1. “They’re real and they’re spectacular.”

    Seinfeld reference?

    I hope so because then you have great taste in 90’s sitcoms.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. The education and insights that I have gained from both POF and WCI are truly invaluable . The perspectives on financial issues and frankly life in general have opened the door to set goals and right the ship. I am confident that what I am learning from you will take me to FI sooner and make the practice of primary care internal medicine perhaps a little less aggravating. A very sincere thanks so much

  4. Thanks for the shout out, PoF! I had a fantastic time with you and the family at the fair and at Camp FI. I’m glad to see you’re not letting the naysayers get to you – comments from national posts can be brutal!

  5. Wow, those responses were a hoot! You screwed with some deep denial PoF, just by living your life. It’s proof a blog like this and the other bloggers we frequent are necessary, and how the exchange of ideas promote growth, insight and security. I especially liked the ones who were cluing you in on how much it costs to live, like you don’t have a clue. Did you not know houses cost money??? (I can almost hear the head smack) You got my respect man. To me it looked like you were just boating, biking and hangin’ with your kids, eatin’ ice cream. I didn’t realize you were a subversive miscreant rousin’ rable and hell bent on destroying medicine! Count me in.

    • No kidding — houses cost money? Kids play sports? And go to college?!?

      Looks like I need to start from scratch with this whole future planning stuff after getting a thorough education from the peanut gallery.

      Thank you for keeping it real, Gasem.


  6. Great picks as always. Someone needs to tell White Coat Investor to just enjoy the movie and not worry about financial matters. ?

    As far as the FIRE naysayers, I wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep. You saved and invested your money well, and you are free to do what you like. I would view any nasty comments as pure entertainment, nothing more.

  7. Big fan of your work, even bigger now that I realized you’re a serious homebewer. I started brewing after finishing residency 11years ago, but haven’t tried force carbonation since overcarbonating a brew years ago- shook up the keg a little much me thinks… Just kegged a citrus IPA this morning , and will turn up to 35psi at let it chill per your instruction, thanks!

  8. I think The Greatest Showman soundtrack has played in my car and house at least 200 times since we saw the movie. It’s one of those albums that has me singing at the top of my lungs in the car, and I think it is a very positive influence on my kids’ perspectives.

  9. Oh man, it was tough seeing I was left out of the NYT love fest! All my FIRE buds in the spotlight and here I was… wait, what was I doing? Getting ready for the next big trip I guess. Oh well, next time! 🙂

    • I didn’t think it would grind your gears too hard. Life is good with or without being featured in the NYT. Given the option, I’d take the feature over no feature, but c’est la vie.


  10. I was also surprised by the initial negative and mean-spirited attacks on Doximity. I do believe that the clickbait headline was responsible in part.

    My favorite argument was the dude who wanted to know how you were going to afford fancy luxury cars every few years. Really? Is that what motivates some people to go to work?

    If you want to continue to work as an FI doc, by all means do so but do it on your own terms to the extent that you can. If you want to leave the practice of medicine, by all means, do so, and don’t take any crap from anyone who tells you otherwise.

    • My favorite replies in that thread were the ones berating our gracious host’s annual budget as being completely unrealistic, even though it’s 10k higher than the amount the typical American household lives on. Talk about being out-of-touch with economic reality! No wonder so many people resent physicians.

    • Yeah, the headline is what it is (not written by me, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere). Like I say, Live and Let Live.


  11. Hey PoF!

    It was great hanging out with you (playing bags, playing cards the last night and the run were some of my favor moments), meeting your wife, and hearing your take on FIRE and kids.

    What I love about events like those is they lift my average (you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with) and inspire me to do more and become better.

    You are someone I look up to as a role model for being a great father, blogger and FIREee. Thank you for all you do.

    I’ll be posting my recap this Friday!

    Have a great Labor Day weekend!


  12. I just read the doximity comments. Lots of docs just do not get it. They do not want to pinch pennies and live in the frozen tundra. It is easy for people to denigrate areas of the country that they have not even visited. I have said it many times that if you save a bunch of money in your 30s you can walk away whenever you want to. Most docs simply do not do the early brute force savings so they have less options. Or you can do what I did and what Vagabond is now doing that is stop the hard heavy call part of your job and keep working a while longer.

  13. The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
    Shake it off, I shake it off
    Yes I just quoted Taylor Swift for ya, doubt she’s feeling bad about her haters and neither should you 🙂

    • ‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
      And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate (haters gonna hate me)
      Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
      I shake it off, I shake it off
      Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
      And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake (the fakers baby)
      Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
      I shake it off, I shake it off


  14. Ok. I am going to have to recover my doximity password so I can read the crap. I am sure you have coated yourself with teflon to repel these attacks. Crap like this is what keeps docs secretive about net worth to the detriment of us all. If people are giving you a hard time for living up North I can only imagine the crap I would get for living in Alabama.

    • You’re the best — thank you for leaving those comments!

      You’re right about Alabama. Personally, I wouldn’t choose to live long-term in NYC, Miami, LA, or Alabama for that matter, but I’m not going to hate on anyone who does.


  15. Those comments really made me think about our role or duty as physicians. The short sighted view would say you are retiring and throwing away your education or training. The long and more complete view would say you have educated and enabled thousands of physicians to get ahead of their finances and ultimately provide better care to their patients.

    I believe physicians who have control of their finances and don’t live under the stress of debt will potentially practice longer. So the service you are providing will provide more patients with better care. Keep it going!!

    • I suppose it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. I do realize with this site, I can help a lot more than 3 or 4 people at a time, which is what I do when I show up for work at the hospital.

      And even if I’m not practicing as a physician at this time next year, the education and experiences I’ve had will always be a part of me and will help me relate to my audience here.


  16. PoF you don’t need to worry one bit about the naysayers. It’s sad that they still don’t get it. Medicine is a wonderful profession but one that comes with great sacrifices. Wanting to live within one’s means and save/invest towards retirement should be everyone’s goal, no matter the profession. At the end of the day, medicine will not love you back. Your family and loved ones will. Spending quality time with them and being able to retire young/early to do so should be a top priority for everyone to have. I want to thank you for your hard work towards spreading the FIRE message. You sure have influenced some of my financial decisions for the better. Look forward to meeting you at FinCon this year.



    • Thank you, Ed. I don’t worry too much about the naysayers. As a live-and-let-live kind of guy, it’s rather offputting to see the live-like-me-or-you-suck attitudes. But whatever…

      See you in a few weeks!

  17. Hey Man. CampFI was a lot of fun and it was great spending time with you and your wonderful family. Thanks again for including me in your Sunday’s Best. It’s going to be the start of a great week!

  18. Thanks for the shout out, POF. Ended up being completely ironic that I wrote that in light of what was going on over at Doximity. Glad the physicians on FIRE community was aware and willing to speak up, too!

    And I’ll second the Aptus Financial recommendation. Really great group. If you need professional financial advice, they do it the right way.


    • Alanis Morisette would call it irony; I would call it a great coincidence. Either way, I appreciated your post.


  19. The initial responses on Doximity regarding you POF were really shocking.

    It was sad watching that type of venom coming from fellow colleagues. I guess I was really biased being in the physician financial blog niche because I thought that most docs now see the light because of the proliferation of physician blogs, but I see that there is so much work to be done.

    It is funny but a lot of those negative comments that were created were already mentioned and addressed in a post I did several months back:



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