The Sunday Best (9/26/2021)

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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!





I’ve been around the FIRE community long enough to be considered old school. Also, I’m kind of old. Doc G and I kicked off his recent Earn and Invest podcast with a 2-year update on my post-FIRE life. Old vs New School Financial Independence.


The Frugalwoods, who moved to a homestead in rural Vermont several years ago, also give an update on their post-FIRE lives now that he’s joined her in early retirement. Mr. FW Retired and We Paid off Our Mortgage: Frugalwoods FIRE is Complete.


Some view frugality as a virtue. Others see it as an obstacle to overcome. Rick Kahler with Advisor Perspectives falls into the latter camp. His perspective on how and why one should work on Overcoming the Frugality Syndrome.


When you spend very little and continue working a job you despise, FI can be a long slog. Mr. 1500 and The Fioneers collaborate with this cautionary message. It’s no Bataan, but you should still Avoid the “Death March” to Financial Independence.


Jim Wang sold a website for millions at a young age, but he soon realized that he was not ready to retire, even though he could easily afford to do so. At Wallet Hacks, he discusses the challenges associated with a true early retirement. Are You Ready to Retire? Probably Not.


Joe Udo from Retire by 40 revisits the story of “Dr. Doom,” a true old school FIRE buff who thought he was ready to retire and pulled the trigger in 2015. Things did not go as planned. At all. A post-mortem on this Early Retirement Epic Fail.


The physician who shares his story, net worth, and investments with us was definitely ready to retire in his forties. So far, so good, he reports! Post-FI Notes 001: Retired Physician Traveling the World with His Party of Five.


He’s paying for health insurance in both the United States and abroad! Jim from Route to Retire plans to return to the U.S. after an extended stay in Panama, and he’s researched his options. Health Insurance in the U.S. – How We’ll Keep Costs Low.


Jim should pay close attention to what the folks at Clipping Chains are doing, which is being paid to have healthcare coverage. How to Have Negative Health Insurance Costs (which is a very positive thing).


Stocks turned negative early last week, and out came the “Buy the Dip” memes. Does that actually work, though? Nick Maggiulli with Of Dollars and Data shows us the data behind the dry powder phenomenon. Why Buying the Dip is a Terrible Investment Strategy.


If proposed legislation passes, we’ll have to alter a number of our investment strategies. The White Coat Investor looks at many features of the latest tax proposal and offers potential steps to take if this comes to pass. Is the Backdoor Roth IRA in Danger of Being Wiped Out? Spoiler Alert: Yes!


Most family wealth is wiped out within three generations and DLP is doing its part to change that, one family at a time. DLP Prosperity: Free Membership Has Its Privileges. They’ve got 2 events coming up soon in northeast Florida, and I’ll be there in November.


The early retiree from Stop Ironing Shirts has made his first two investments in private real estate, using his investment banking background to better understand and vet these (and many other potential) deals. My Introduction to Passive Real Estate.


If you don’t have an investment banking background, fear not. Passive Income MD has done the legwork and brought on experts to help you learn to understand and vet these potentially lucrative deals on your own. Today is the final day in 2021 that he’ll be taking students in his signature course, Passive Real Estate Academy.


Are you familiar with BTR real estate as an investment?  Crowdstreet shares What You Need to Know About “Build to Rent” (BTR): A Break-Through in Rental Housing.


$250 is the new $100


It’s all about the Benjamins, and it seems my medical survey partners have settled on 2.5 Benjamins as the proper incentive for you to register to receive paid medical surveys. Sometimes inflation works out in your favor.

Note that any bonus offered is on top of any money you receive for completing surveys and that not everyone will receive this bonus money. When offered, it goes to one person referred from Physician on FIRE each month. Note that I might refer dozens of people in a month but never hundreds, so you’ve got decent odds of winning as compared to many raffles.

Incrowd has decided to reward one person who signs up via this link with an extra $250 this month. This is a new incentive and it applies whether you signed up earlier this month, sign up today, or sign up before the month ends.



The same is true of Curizon, and this monthly $250 bonus is a perk that they’ve offered to one lucky registrant from Physician on FIRE each month for quite some time, and that offer still stands!


Register with Incrowd Register with Curizon





While some credit cards reduced their welcome bonuses this week (I’m looking at you, United), the Marriott family of hotels has boosted the offer on three of their co-branded credit cards.

If you got in on the increased miles offered with the Delta AmEx cards (offers still stand) that I featured a couple of weeks ago, these cards below can give you a bunch of free hotel nights at some very nice hotels when you reach your next vacation destination.

You can now score 125,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first three months with either the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card or Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card (rates and fees). An off peak night can be booked for as few as 5,000 points at eligible Marriott hotels, meaning the bonus could be worth as many as 25 nights at a Category 1 hotel or 6 nights at a higher-end Category 4 hotel.

You’ll also be rewarded with two additional free nights after meeting the welcome bonus spending requirement with the Bonvoy Business card and one free night with the Bonvoy Boundless card, up to a 50,000 point value per night.

If you prefer a no-annual fee card, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card (rates and fees) will give you 60,000 points once you’ve spent $2,000 on the card in the first three months.


Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

125,000 points & 1 free night (up to 50k point value) after $5,000 spend in 3 mo.
PoF Summary

A valuable welcome bonus + a free night every cardmember anniversary. You'll also qualify for Silver Elite Status automatically and receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually. With a $95 annual fee, it's a great card for Marriott hotel users.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold

60,000 Points with a $2,000 spend in 3 months
PoF Summary

Silver Elite Status with 15 Elite Night Credits granted annually. The welcome bonus is good for a free night at many hotels under the Marriott umbrella. No Annual Fee

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

125,000 points & 2 bonus Free Night Awards (up to 50k points each) with a $5,000 spend in 5 months (rates and fees Offer ends 11/3/2021)
PoF Summary

The Marriott Bonvoy Business card gives you a great welcome bonus, Platinum Elite status for 1 year, 6x points at Marriott, 4x points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations & cell phone. 1 free night's stay annually + extra night after $60k in purchases each year. $125 annual fee.


If you’re more interested in piling up flexible points for future flights, hotels, or cash back, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards remain excellent options.


Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 Points good for $750 in travel or more with a $4,000 spend in 3 months
PoF Summary

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent first (or only) rewards card. New 8/2021 is a $50 annual hotel credit for bookings via the Chase UR tavel portal & 5x points for all travel via the portal. 3x points on dining, 2x on other travel. Flexible rewards good for cash, travel, or transfer to travel partners, great travel protection & new Peloton, Lyft & DoorDash perks! $95 Annual Fee

Chase Sapphire Reserve

50,000 Points with a $4,000 spend in 3 months
PoF Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers great travel perks including Priority Pass lounge access, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ and a $300 annual travel credit. When using Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, get 10x points on hotels and car rental & 5x points on air travel. 3x points on other travel & dining. Elevated Peloton, Lyft and DoorDash benefits. $550 Annual Fee




Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


To see rates and fees for featured cards from American Express:Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card (rates and fees).

Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.


4 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (9/26/2021)”

  1. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  2. Great Sunday Best as always PoF! You do such a wonderful job of curating great articles every week! My favorite this week was Jim Wang’s article “Are You Ready To Retire? Probably not.”

    Good stuff! Keep it up!

  3. Loved Jim Wang’s article. He perfectly illustrates the difference between “FI” vs “RE” and the importance of either:
    1) Setting yourself up for “retirement” so that by the time you get there, you have something new to keep your attention.
    2) Preparing yourself mentally for retirement so that you can enjoy life even if you’re not attacking anything new.

    Personally, I am more for #1 because I feel like I’d be bored to death after FI if I wasn’t doing some hustle or attacking some project.

    Thanks for putting the weekly together, as always!


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