The Sunday Best (9/6/2020) – Physician on FIRE

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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.

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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!




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.

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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.


But money isn’t everything, right? Or is it? Simple Money Simple Life attempts to answer the question. Is Money Everything?


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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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