The Sunday Best (9/22/2019)

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


The Sunday Best


Two great minds. One intelligent podcast. The White Coat Investor invites Nerd’s Eye View’s Michael Kitces onto the podcast for a discussion about financial advisors, fees, and the future of the profession. Podcast #124; Financial Advisors: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with Michael Kitces.


I’ve been recommending an individual 401(k) over a SEP IRA for those who have a choice between the two. The FI Tax Guy breaks down the reasons why. SEP IRA Versus Solo 401(k).


Vanguard doesn’t have a great solo 401(k) (no incoming rollovers allowed), but they may soon have the world’s lowest cost roboadvisory service, as Jim Wang of WalletHacks explains. Vanguard to Offer a New Robo-Advisor with Vanguard Digital Advisory Service.


Robots have no emotions. Therefore, roboadvisors like Betterment are not guilty of stupid human tricks, like attempted market timing. Dr. Cory S. Fawcett asks a simple question. Since Market Timing is a Waste of Time, Why are you Still Trying?


The Mad Fientist wants to record an album. He’s got the time to do it, so what’s stopping  him? The Best and Worst Thing About Financial Independence.


Learn how to better manage your student loan debt, and explore refinancing to a lower rate with cash back offers up to $1,000! Student Loan Resource Page


Steve Adcock wants to help you rise above the rest. If you want to be a part of the 1%, you can’t live your life like the other 99%.


99% of families are not traveling the world while their kids are young. Micheal & Ellen of Uncommon Dream are among the 1% who are. And yes, I made up that statistic. Refresh Your Perspective with Slow Travel. Don’t mind if I do!


I’ve noticed a shift from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance as I’ve recognized the fact that we’re truly financially free. What does this entail? From Women Who Money, How Do I Adopt An Abundance Mindset and Why Is It Important?


Leti Alto, MD, half of the Semi-Retired MD duo, has learned recent lessons about mindset. Risk is Good & Other Lessons from the Brave Enough Conference.


FinCon was all kinds of fun, and I got to hang out with a couple of dozen doctors who made the trip to D.C. Several of them wrote up posts based on their experience.


One more from a member of a mastermind group I’m in: The Frugal Girl: Everything you wanted to know about Fincon!



One of the take-home lessons I picked up at FinCon was that inertia is difficult to overcome. Fight the status quo with 5 Things You Can Do Today to Become Financially Independent.


Our Saturday Selection from The Physician Philosopher gives you high-value need-to-know information. Practical Investing Advice for Doctors: The Pareto Principle.


I recently published my review of Coach Carson’s Retire Early with Real Estate. That’s what he did. Could you do the same?


Perhaps with a little more guidance, you could. That’s what his course and the associated coaching calls and office hours are designed to do. Real Estate Start School is Open! Reach FI with Real Estate Investing.



Flexibility is Freedom


We’re in Minnesota visiting family, and we were planning to spend the day on the road heading back to our new home in Michigan today. Life had other plans.

I could tell a long tale about differing opinions among dentists, orthodontists, and the challenges that arise from plans to travel for months at a time. Few people like to go to the dentist, and even fewer like to read about other people’s trips to the dentist, so I’ll spare you the details.

I will share that we have two new appointments made on very short notice that require us to stick around at least a few days longer than we originally planned. And one of us will be going back home with four fewer teeth.

Fortunately, I’ve got no job to rush home for. Neither does my wife. We don’t have to get permission for our boys to miss school because they’re not enrolled in a formal school. We have the flexibility to change plans at the last minute thanks to financial freedom.

I’m also grateful to my parents for letting us stay as long as we like, to my employer for extending my health and dental insurance for a month beyond my final date of employment, and to our dentist for squeezing us in.


Chase Freedom!


It’s both an edict and sweet credit card. A command and a piece of plastic that’s saving me 5% to 7.5% whenever I gas up.

Wrapping up my job in Minnesota and moving to Michigan meant a lot of back and forth this quarter. Since the beginning of July, I have made the 10 to 12 hour drive eight times, and we’ll soon make our ninth.

Each trip was in a Nissan Armada pulling a 14-foot enclosed trailer, guzzling gas at a rate of about 10 miles per gallon.

I’ve gotten to know every Holiday station along the route. They sent me a card earlier this year that saves me either 7 cents a gallon or $1 per fill depending on the state.

Even better, the discount category this quarter on my Chase Freedom card was gas stations. Instead of 1 Chase Ultimate Reward point per dollar spent, I get 5 points when I fill up.

If I later add a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, those points’ value will be increased by 25% or 50% when redeemed for travel. That makes the gasoline discount more like 6.25% to 7.5%. Not too shabby!


The Chase Freedom card offers up to 5% cash back on categories that change every three months. These are popular spending categories like gas stations, grocery stores, wholesale clubs (like Sam’s and Costco), etc… You’ll get 1% cash back on purchases outside of the rotating categories.



The card has no annual fee and has an introductory 0% APR offer identical to its sister card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

This card does offer a welcome bonus of $150 when just $500 is charged to the card in the first three months.

Learn more about the
Chase Freedom card.




Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

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7 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (9/22/2019)”

  1. I’d be interested to see a post on how you educate your kids without formal school enrollment. Do you use a correspondence course or something?

    Homeschooling is something I’m thinking about trying with my little guy in about 5 years. Hopefully I’ll have enough cash socked away by then not to need to pull more than 1-2 ER shifts per week…

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Thanks POF for including my FinCon tales in your Sunday best.

    I really had a blast in DC and the biggest highlight was hanging out with the other physician bloggers I got to meet in person. Already looking forward to the next one in Long Beach.

    • That’s an improvement — thanks for the update. Still doesn’t accept rollovers as far as I know, though, making it useless for those who have IRA balances they want to transfer into a new account (to pave the way for the backdoor Roth).


      • I can’t speak to others experience but I was able to roll over a Profit Sharing Plan that I had with my previous group into my solo business 401K that I have through my PLLC. Initially, Vanguard wanted it in an IRA but I do a backdoor ROTH each year. I told them I would move all my money if they did this and they did let me do it.

        What’s odd about it is that the IRS allows it but vanguard seems to not want money rolling into those accounts.



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