Introducing, “Max’s Back Pocket”

Over the last several years, I have absorbed a ton of excellent content from a lot of people in and around the internet. A lot of those ideas even got implemented into my personal finance strategy. Some of these people are professionals, but a lot of them are just amateurs throwing their weight around in a specific niche. I like to think I am pretty good at healthcare and personal finance, but there are plenty of people out there much smarter than me.

Up until now, most of this content just landed in my back pocket to be used for my own benefit whenever needed. It was rarely shared or exchanged with anyone in my personal network. Today, that all changes. Max will start sharing these ideas in a weekly effort to help spread and recognize the wealth of knowledge that is out there. This weekly check-in will also give me an excuse to catch up on what’s going on around here more often. What will we name this little idiomatic experiment?

Max’s Back Pocket

I know, it’s a bit ridiculous. But we like to have fun around here and sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Now, Max tends to be pretty self-aware. I know I have limits. As someone who can barely get four posts out a month, adding a weekly post is no small feat. After all, I already have a full-time job to worry about and the last thing I want to do is turn my little writing hobby into work. I also don’t have a long term interest in being a professional content curator. So, I am going to commit to an 8-week series and then re-evaluate how things are going. If I am enjoying it, we will carry on with the project. But if it makes sense to dial things down a bit, I won’t hesitate to do that either. I want to keep this little blogging hobby on the fun side of happiness, so I think there are pretty good odds this will turn into a monthly update.

Designer Jeans? Not Quite.

As I like to say, process over product. Even though I launched Max Out of Pocket over a year ago, I still very much consider myself an amateur blogger. I actually cringe to myself a bit every time I use the word “blogger” and sometimes wonder how I got to this point. But it does help me when I set some parameters.

As usual, we will try to keep things light around here. Every Saturday, I will scrub the entire internet for the best it has to offer. Since we live at the intersection of healthcare and personal finance, we will try to share at least one personal finance article, one healthcare article, and maybe even a podcast here and there. I may even drop in a throwback classic from time to time. The format of this is fully expected to evolve just like everything else does. In other words, things might be a bit clunky while I get this rolling.

Eventually, I am going to try and build out a separate archive for this series since I don’t want it to bog down my content already out there. It will probably take me some time to figure out how to do that. Also, if you find this is bogging down your email, let me know and I will try to find a way to stop the email.

So, without further ado, I offer you the first edition of Max’s Back Pocket.

Max’s Back Pocket

A very quick update to start since there isn’t much going on around here this week. Mrs. Max OOP and I have been buckled down at work for the last few months. We have been getting out skiing twice a week and my exercise routine has been solid. My goal is to bench 225 lbs within the next month or two. Unfortunately, one of our cats has been sick but seems to be hanging in there.

Speaking of folks smarter than me earlier, I had a nice little chat with Kim from the frugal engineers on Wednesday. Kim and her husband went to Stanford and retired rewired at the age of 35. She gave me a lot of pointers that will help me keep this little blog project rolling. Mrs. Max OOP has taken a similar approach to them by rewiring her teaching career to part-time so she can focus on other things.

The stock market has been acting a bit funky with COVID-19 going around. So far, I am glad I didn’t front-load my retirement accounts in 2020. But I am wondering if I might need to pivot on that decision if things keep dropping.

For those who didn’t notice, I quietly rolled out my first ever guest post over at Physician on Fire. If you are a Health Savings Account junkie like I am, take a read.

Medical Office Building Experiment

My medical office building portfolio seems to be holding strong with all the volatility. I made another $1,000 investment into GMRE after dialing things down the week before. It is hard to believe I have been consistently buying medical office buildings every two weeks for almost a year. It is probably about time for me to consider adding another REIT to the mix.

Personal Finance

I hate to admit this, but I once stored some of my belongings in a self-storage unit. It was way back in 2009 and the experiment lasted about 4-5 months while I was in between apartments. I stumbled into a great deal for a completely furnished place and had to find a place to quickly put my stuff. I probably would have been better off giving all my stuff away.

I’m going way back here, but Jeremy from Go Curry Cracker hit this right on the head back in 2012 with Self Storage is for Suckers

“I think this is where stuff goes to die”

I just looked up a 5’ X 5’ unit in my area, and it comes out to $45/month which is about $540 per year. There are administrative fees that come along with that to open the unit. I don’t own anything worth over $540 that would be worth paying that much to store for a year.


The Healthcare Hustlers put together a nice write-up on dental insurance a few months back. Dental is still something I need to touch on here at Max Out of Pocket since all I have talked about was how I threw Mrs. Max OOP off the insurance to save us $300

Dentists are much more likely than medical providers to give you a printed estimate of the cost of care with your insurance benefits in advance of the service.”

Still looking for one of these companies to sponsor the blog…any day now.

The Frugal Professor went on a little rant about a prescription he accidentally overpaid for back in January. The good news is at the end of the day he got a refund for the overpayment. I like the level of detail he is keeping up with and how his prescription buying decisions impact the one and only max out-of-pocket.


The folks over at ChooseFI have been putting up some solid work for a couple of years now. On February 24th they released a podcast with John Zeratsky who was promoting his new book, Make Time. I haven’t read the book, but I listened to the whole podcast and there were a ton of good ideas discussed. My biggest takeaway from this talk was the idea of a daily “highlight”.

“Yeah, we came up with this idea of the daily highlight. And so our pitch, if you will, our sort of proposal is that at the start of each day you should ask yourself, what do I want to be the highlight of my day? What is the thing that is most important to me today? What’s the thing that’s most deserving of my energy and my attention?”

I really like this idea of choosing something each day as a “highlight” and structure your time and resources around that highlight. Want to guess what my highlight is today? Launching Max’s Back Pocket.

How was your week? Have any great content to add to my back pocket? Shoot me an email.


2 Responses

  1. My husband was so jazzed when he learned what you found about our local hospital’s financial programs. It’s amazing what you can do when you put two minds from different fields together!

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