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Book Recommendations for PAs on the Way to Financial Independence

financial independence miscellaneous pa-c pa-s pre-pa Jun 22, 2022

Thankfully, I learned about the concept of financial independence (FI) in May 2019 through attending the wedding of a PA friend who was a former coworker. The husband of another PA friend and former coworker had initially taught me about travel hacking with travel rewards while my husband and I were carpooling with them to the wedding. 

Since then, I’ve been hooked on FI, and have binge-listened to several FI podcasts, have read several FI blogs, as well as have leisurely read several books that integrate several concepts of FI throughout. I believe that pursuing financial independence can help with preventing and combatting burnout as a medical provider. 

If you enjoy reading as much as I do, although admittedly I’m a very slow reader when it comes to books due to time constraints and sometimes attention issues, I hope that this list of book recommendations is a helpful resource for you to find some motivating, inspirational, and informative books on your journey to FI. 

If you can’t find a copy of the book at your local library and decide to purchase either a physical copy or an e-book version, then clicking on the links below can help support the PA the FI Way podcast!

(Some of these links are referral links, and as an Amazon Affiliate and affiliate with other companies, I would receive a commission from qualifying purchases at no additional expense to you.)

My Top 10 FI Book Recommendations: 

1. The Simple Path to Wealth 

New to FI? This is arguably one of the best, most basic books to start you on your journey to FI and to build wealth over time. The author, J.L. Collins, has a blog where he has a Stock Series, and this book is the condensed version of the information found there. 

Additionally, if you’ve ever had a chance to listen to J.L. Collins speak as a guest on podcasts, such as the several times he has appeared on the Choose FI podcast, you may appreciate his calm voice as he speaks words of wisdom. 

He shares his mistakes, as well as his sage advice from learning from them. He teaches that patience will be your best friend as time in the market beats timing the market. After reading this book, you’ll be convinced to buy and hold your stocks, even when the market is taking a dip. This is a must read! 

2. Quit Like a Millionaire 

This book is honestly one of my favorites because it is written in a way that is entertaining, and yet eye-opening to many of the FI concepts, especially if you’re newer to FI. The authors, Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung, are founders of the blog Millennial Revolution. 

Although they co-authored the book, the book is written through the view of Kristy, who started her childhood in extreme poverty while living in China. They have created wealth over time, and discuss how important it is to “run the numbers” (or do the math) for decisions. They also share how spending on experiences instead of things can often lead to more happiness. They also share how geoarbitrage can be utilized to live lavishly in foreign countries for way cheaper than living in the US. 

This is an easy-to-read, practical book full of solid recommendations. Fair warning for those who may care: there are a decent amount of cuss words peppered throughout the book. 

3. The Psychology of Money

This is my most recent FI read, but so far, it’s one of my favorites! Maybe it’s because I’m a PA pursuing FI that also currently works in outpatient psychiatry… Or maybe it’s because the author, Morgan Housel, has a ton of quotes throughout the book that are absolutely filled with wisdom. He talks about how not every financial decision that you make is black and white about the “right” thing to do. 

Here are a few of my favorite concepts discussed in the book: 

I’m suspecting that you will enjoy this insightful classic as well. 

4. Set for Life

The author, Scott Trench, teaches you how to build wealth on the way to FI, and also introduces the concept of real estate investing since he is part of the BiggerPockets group of experts. 

He teaches you that living frugally can create options for you. For example you could consider house hacking to cut the cost of your housing expense, and you could try to cut your commute to help with transportation costs and to save you valuable time. 

5. Choose FI 

Two of the authors of this book also host the Choose FI podcast, which is one of my favorite FI podcasts. This book demonstrates how spending less, earning more, and investing the difference can help you reach FI sooner. 

6. I Will Teach You to Be Rich

In this book, the author, Ramit Sethi, talks about trying to figure out what your “Rich Life” looks like, and spend money accordingly. It’s important to spend intentionally on the things that you value in life, so that you enjoy life and not feel deprived while trying to invest for the future. He also discusses quite a bit about automating your process, which helps take the thinking out of each decision, likely helping you to succeed. 

7. Atomic Habits

The author, James Clear, does a brilliant job detailing how small, tiny changes can help you build good habits over time that compound and lead to extraordinary results. Making habits obvious, attractive, easy for you to do, and satisfying also increases the chance that you’ll likely do them. 

8. The Millionaire Next Door

The gist of this book is that many millionaires do not actually “look like” the version of a millionaire that is in your mind. That is because when you’re thinking of a millionaire, you’re likely thinking of someone who has actually spent a million dollars on flashy, fun, or fantastic things; however, an actual millionaire has retained a millionaire dollars. Many millionaires actual do not appear flashy as they have prevented lifestyle creep. They have “stealth wealth”. This book likely will shift your perspective of what a millionaire actually looks like. 

9. Rich Dad Poor Dad

Although the author, Robert Kiyosaki, has been perceived as a bit controversial, this book can really change how you view the world in regards to assets and liabilities. He also discusses how assets like real estate, stocks, and business can be used to generate cash flow or buy more assets to build wealth. 

10. The 4-Hour Workweek

The author, Tim Ferriss, is also well-known for his popular podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. He teaches you some concepts about starting your own business. He discusses lifestyle design, which is the concept that you need to try to visualize your ideal life in order to be able to take the steps to try to get there. Otherwise, you may just coast along in life, doing what everyone else wants instead of what you want for your own life. He also discusses that time and freedom are the true riches in life, and he encourages you to consider creating a business where you can work remotely. 

Honorable Mentions: 

Your Money or Your Life

This book is often credited with being one of the OG FIRE books. 

Financial Freedom

This is a great guide to reach financial freedom, a.k.a. financial independence. 

The Richest Man in Babylon

This is an excellent, simple, straightforward read that is great for beginners. I think even pre-teens and teenagers could learn a ton from this book, especially how important it is to pay yourself first. However, you may want to consider paying yourself a higher percentage than what the book recommends, especially if you’re striving for FIRE. It almost reads like a parable from the New Testament if you’re familiar with Bible stories. 

Books Authored by PAs for Current and Future PAs:

Savanna Perry, PA-C, founder of The PA Platform and host of The Pre-PA Club podcast, has authored two books for pre-PAs. The Physician Assistant School Personal Statement Guide helps you write your essays for applying to PA school in a concise though articulate way. Use code PAFI by clicking on the link for this book to get 10% off your copy!
The Physician Assistant School Interview Guide , also authored by Savanna, provides practical advice for preparing for the various types of interviews so you can shine during your interviews to land you a seat in a PA program. Use code PAFI by clicking on the link for this book to get 10% off your copy!
Jordan Fisher, PA-C, authored PA Next Steps, which overviews all of the steps to do as a new grad right out of PA school. Topics include licensing and credentialing, contract negotiation, student loans, job hunting, amongst others.
Jordan also co-authored The PA Blueprint with Shayne Foley, PA-C, and topics include CME, retirement accounts, burnout, as well as others. Check out the podcast episode about The PA Blueprint here.

I hope that this list gives you some ideas for your next few books to read as a PA on the way to financial independence! Reading is an excellent way to learn basic financial literacy as well as to help you continue your financial education over the years.



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