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The Sunday Best (9/6/2020)

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


Our friend Dr. James Turner launched a brand new podcast titled simply The Physician Philosopher Podcast. He promises an uncurated and unapologetic look at physician life. Episode #1: My View on This Changed My Life.


Do you believe an expert can manage your money better than you can? Changing your view on this can change your life. A look at the data from endowment leaders by Larry Swedroe of Advisor Perspectives. The Best and the Brightest Fail at Investment Management.


Doctors make a lot of money. Naturally, they can spend a lot of money, right? Wrong, says The Frugal Physician. How to Stop Throwing Money Away.


Food is one of the top three things we spend money on. Laurie of the Three Year Experiment set a goal to cut her food budget in half. She found success! How I Went from Spending $1250 to $600 on Groceries in Two Months.


But you really want a Peleton! I mean, Dr. Turner has one, why can’t you? Well, you can, but you can have a similar setup for a lot less. The Penny Hoarder explains. Want a Peloton But Don’t Have $2K? Here’s How to Make a Cheaper Alternative.


How about a cheaper alternative to the costly med school and residency interview process? Dr. Michelle Finkel, the founder of Insider Medical Admissions, explains how The Virtual Interview for Medical School and Residency Will Save Everyone a Bundle of Money.



The more money you have, the more you get to pour into your Dream Bucket. Passive Income MD tells us what’s in his. Asset Allocation (Part 3): The Dream Bucket.


Remember the 7-Figure Urologist? You’ve read his story, and The White Coat Investor gives you an opportunity to listen to more of it. How to Make Seven Figures in Medicine – Podcast #174.


Of course he has side hustles. Several of them, actually. Why would a physician do such a thing? The Top 5 Reasons Your Doctor Has a Side Hustle.


The family behind Physician Finance Basics doesn’t need to hustle. In fact, they don’t even need to save money anymore to reach financial independence by normal retirement age. Coast FI: Our 2020 Goal.


Coasting is not the same as doing nothing. You still need to do some maintenance, like rebalancing your portfolio, for example. The Chicago Financial Planner describes 4 Benefits of Portfolio Rebalancing.


Have you ever thought about the order of investing, i.e. which accounts you should prioritize? Dr. Brent Lacey of The Scope of Practice has. 9 Easy Steps to Building a Great Investing Strategy Using the Tax-Efficient Waterfall.



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Memory Lane: My Old Florida Condo is For Sale Again


I spend way too much time looking at real estate listings on Zillow, and usually I’m looking in our neck of the woods, but occasionally I roam around.

This week, I decided to take a peek at what the housing market looks like in Gainesville, Florida, the place where I bought my first home as a resident. I haven’t lived there since 2006, and I haven’t owned a place there since I finally sold mine in 2014 after having two renters over about 7 to 8 years.

Lo and behold, not only was there a place for sale in my old building, the one for sale happens to by my exact unit!

I was the second owner. Someone bought it as an investment and flipped it about a year later for a $10,500 profit. Although, factoring in association dues of $175 a month plus property taxes and realtor fees, the previous owner probably didn’t do much better than break even.

I bought it as an intern when I was still living up north and found a tenant to rent the place out for the 8 months prior to my arrival. After living there three years and using it as a home base for a year, I once again found tenants to help pay the bills.

In hindsight, I should have sold it in 2006 or 2007 when I stopped living there. A similar unit sold for just under $200,000 at the time. I decided to wait and let the condo’s value continue to appreciate with renters paying the mortgage.

That was dumb.


good to see the gator still standing guard


When my second tenant was ready to move out in 2014, I sold it for $149,900, or probably $40,000 less than I could have gotten 8 years earlier. It’s been almost six years to the day since that day since owner number three took ownership, and how much is it listed for now?


That sounds like a lot, but when you consider the fact that it sold for half that 18 years ago, you realize that the price appreciated only 4% per year, on average. How do I know? The Rule of 72, of course.

And again, once you factor in the condo dues, property taxes, and improvements (the place looks way nicer now with new floors, paint, and appliances), the return over nearly two decades is reduced to next to nothing.

That’s also assuming it actually sells for list price. Although many real estate markets are hot right now, a 2 bed, 2 bath in the same building just sold for $215,000 earlier this summer. My old place is a 1 bed, 1 bath. It might be worth closer to $200,000 than $225,000.

Never think of your primary home as an investment. As far as investments go, they’re rarely all that great. Yes, leverage can boost your returns, but they can also put you underwater. Plenty of people found themselves in that position shortly after I moved out of that place.

A primary home is a great place to make memories, though, and I have many fond memories of my three years in that place. If those walls could talk…


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Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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16 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (9/6/2020)”

  1. Thank you for the feature, much appreciated! Though we hit the Coast FI milestone, we’re not stopping the hustle(s) anytime soon. If anything, it has lit a fire in us to keep going and get to full FI as fast as we can, while doing the things we love. I’m not sure what, if any, massive change will happen when we do get there. We enjoy our work and own our businesses and are not looking to retire right away.


    • And then you’ll work on fatFIRE. Then you’ll cut back on work and focus on the blog more and realize your life looks nothing like that of a retired person… or maybe that’s just me.


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Another great Sunday Best PoF! I especially love the story about your old Florida condo. All to often I see people in similar situations, hoping to use their home as an investment, and they don’t end-up making a whole lot after fees, taxes, and (of course) maintenance.

    It’s an important lesson to learn — Don’t just invest in what’s comfortable (like your own home), invest in the best assets you possibly can.

    • I forgot to mention insurance, too. You can’t look at price appreciation in a vacuum, which a lot of people do (and I’m sometimes guilty of before I step back and dig into the numbers like I did today.


  4. Indeed, only if walls could talk. Hindsight is really 20/20. It’s alright though, the experience of going through it all is worth a lot more than the monetary return. Silver lining 🙂 Thanks for the great article

  5. Honestly this is a wild coincidence. I have never really looked at forever places I lived before to see what they look like now or possible sales price.

    I was watching millionaire listing Los Angeles last week and I got curious what my family home there would be worth now. I remember my mom sold it for $400k I believe in 93. Unbelievably the house I grew up in for high school was actually being listed. They dropped the price a few times but they were currently asking $1.3M (and was the same people who bought it from my mom) . Seemed like a lot of appreciation but then I did calcs like you did and the $400k back then is worth about $725k now. Figure carrying costs etc would make the difference even less.

    Just wild that we both visited old haunts to see current pricing.

    • Isn’t that something?

      That’s a nominal return of 4.5% (probably 1.5% to 2% real return) assuming they get asking price, ignoring realtor fees, carrying costs, etc…

      Again, to “triple your money” sounds amazing, but over 27 years, that’s a paltry return on investment.


  6. First time reading through the 7 figure urologist posts. Good stuff. Very impressive. I just wonder how much free time he has between multiple practice locations, hospitals and management of these enterprises. Would be interesting to hear what types of hours he is working.

    When my practice is mature, I estimate I would be in the 800k/yr range as an employee surgical sub-specialist working ~45 hours a week with minimal call.

    With our level of spending and a healthy savings rate, that salary is more than enough to FIRE at 35x expenses within 10 years of starting work. I like my job and enjoy my time off with our two young kids. There is a good balance right now. I don’t *need* more, but these posts do give good food for thought, especially if circumstances change. The allure of long-term passive income is real, but I don’t know if the risk of time and money are worth the reward for me personally.

    • He does detail his hours in the podcast, so you’ll have your answer soon enough.

      That’s a great setup you’ll have; I must say I’m impressed. And you’re obviously planning on maintaining a high savings rate. Good for you!

      I know you’re not there yet, but this recent post from WCI may be another good read for you if you didn’t catch it when I published it a couple of weeks ago:

      6 Tips For Those Who Have Enough


  7. The housing market in Gainesville is crazy right now-any place decent in a good part of town is snapped up hours after it goes on the market, usually with at least three (Or more) offers Coming in! Ditto St. Pete – friend of a friend “lost” out on a 2.6 M place after offering full price – got beat out with a higher, cash offer. Seems a lot of people are moving to Florida to flee State taxes….

    • I can believe that. Even for other places in FL. We have a friend who offered $500k (!!) more than asking price for a teardown on Tampa Bay. He just had to have the place and lots on the Bay don’t come up for sale all that often, he said. To each their own.

    • I can’t imagine this insanity is going to last. I have a hunch 2021 could look a lot different. But I’ve been wrong before.

      And it’s not just Florida. It’s crazy everywhere — the lack of state income taxes are a nice bonus, though.



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