Physician Wellness/ Financial Freedom Save the Earth (FISE) – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Physician Wellness/ Financial Freedom Save the Earth (FISE)

My happy place.
I love love our house in Northern Virginia. Really nice pavers.

May 27, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is almost the end of May and the third calendar month that we have been #shelteringinplace and #stay(ing)home. I talked to my sister yesterday and as a nonmedical person she gets frustrated that her neighbors are slowly breaking down those physical barriers, and may increase the spread of COVID-19. A friend traveling to a vacation area. Families now meeting in the backyard. While she holds the line because she has to make sure some important people remain protected. I’m the older sister who is a pediatrician, and I advised her to do what she knows is right. The world will do what it is doing, and we can’t stop the world from going what is it going through – but we should not accelerate it.

CNN and the major news outlets do not stress me out as much anymore. What is happening now in California is what we expected. We closed down early, and our rate of infections was slow. But now sandwhiched between the crazies in Orange County that are going to beaches without masks and our less medically equipped Southern neighbor Tijuana, of course our community will see an uptick in cases. We had thought through various prediction models and I think the Pediatric Infecitous Disease head had said also during one of the weekly lectures, that we should expect things to peak mid June. So here we are, rising slowly and peaking but slowly. We are not the travesty of New York City. But then people will get together like they did undoubtably like this last Memorial Day weekend, and there will be another peak. The second wave will come, and we are all just playing our bit parts.

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Kitchen of our new likely rental home.

April 11, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’ll be blunt here. Physicians are not for the large part good stewards of their own money. Physicians often think other fields are easier than our own work. I hear this a lot. Some of my colleagues think there is easy money in real estate investing, yet rarely do those same people have actual real estate outside of their primary home. It’s kind of a minor insult to true real estate professionals, just like a parent telling you they could drain an abscess better than you could with a sewing needle and exacto knife.

To actually support a middle-class or upper-middle-class family solely through the real estate boom and bust cycles of the market is not easy. Like performinig surgery, real estate investing requires a very specific skill set. It requires negotiating, managerial skills interacting with skilled laborers and tenants, having good accounting skills and being able to take on financial risks. You need to know about the specific tax laws, termite inspections, cost by the square footage of decking material and on and on. It also requires time and focus and attention to detail.

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I think my friend Chris would have thought this picture really funny.

April 5, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Chris was my anatomy lab partner during our first year of medical school. We had the right side of the cadaver of a 90-something-year-old woman, and across from us was Felipe and Andrew. Felipe was the son of a Nobel Prize winning chemist. He was always a more morose soul, and would disappear after class. He made it through and I believe is an internist in New York. Andrew was very slim and handsome, and dated a fellow student who was beautiful and smart. They broke up before the Residency Match as they were applying in very competitive fields. I believe the beautiful girlfriend is an ophthalmologist now. Andrew stayed at one of the teaching hospitals as an academic specialist. It is ironic because he used to talk about the stock market and money a lot.

Even before medical school, Mr. Plastic Picker and I were already together and had been dating for 3 years in college. We were planning our lives together. I studied harder in the last few years of college so I could attend the same medical school as Mr. Plastic Picker. Life worked out. He was initially a year ahead of me at school, and when I was starting my first year of medical school – he purposefully took an extra year of research so that we could be in sync during our training. He was having a relatively relaxed time driving around putting on event monitors on volunteer study subjects with varying Bostonian accents. His lab was studying the effects of air pollution on cardiovascular events. He was there to support me, and talk me through the first year.

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The only time Mr. Money Mustache accepted one of my comments. This was one of hundreds of comments. I had just had my blog accepted on KevinMD and COVID-19 and social distancing, and used some of the same phrasing. MMM blog is one of the more popular FIRE blogs and he has a devout following, which kind of scares me.

March 24, 2020

by drplasticpicker

One of the bright spots of becoming Dr. Plastic Picker is since I have my own blog and a catchy internet handle, I can comment on some personal finance blogs that I have been reading for over a decade. When I was a young resident taking NICU call, I would look around me and analyze people’s financial lives. I realized that these super smart physicians that were training me were not as well-versed in personal finance. Some of the smartest ones went over to the dark side and sold their souls to pharmaceutical companies. You see, I am the daughter of an accountant and successful small-business owner. I absorbed my attending physicians’ lessons regarding medicine, but disregarded much of what they said about finances or real estate. Except Dr. Young-Ho Yoon, who advised me to start my Roth IRA https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-young-ho-yoon-pediatrian-and-environmentalist-1/. That guy is smart with his money.

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Dr. Plastic Picker is so financially free! I make trash art. LOL

February 16, 2020

by drplasticpicker

If you know me in real life, you know that if I had not been a pediatrician than I really should have been a Trust and Estates Attorney or a Personal Financial Advisor. I find personal finances fascinating, because the same way folks make irrational decisions in their personal lives or in their health decisions, they do the same in their finances. Personal finance is at it’s core pscyhology. It was taken me to my 40s to realize you cannot fix people’s financial problems. Even if you draw out a personal financial plan for them and hand them essentially every detail they need to make themselves financially free, they still won’t.

But since I have become drplasticpicker, I am very hopeful! Just like my mission to save the planet, I have to do it by not telling people what to do – but rather showing them different possibilities. Most won’t listen, but some will begin their journey and hopefully end up in a better financial place.

I am hoping that I give you small glimpses into our personal finance journey, especially to our Young MDs. So here are Ten Financial Tips to Young MDs.

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January 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It annoys me to no end when physicians (MDs an DOs) try to profit off other physicians that are lower than them on the training totem pole. Usually these physicians are trying to get out of doing real clinical work, and want to sit there and pontificate at meetings or attend conferences. So @drplasticpicker will now branch out of my environmentalism and talk about the state of student debt and financial health of MDs. Because if MDs are Financially Independent, than they can Save the Earth (FISE) – like drplasticpicker.

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I always find money on the beach. $8 that I donated by buying food for the local foodbank.

December 31, 2019

by drplasticpicker

I want to coin a new term. If I blog about it enough, perhaps it will gain traction and enter into the internet/instagram/English speaking lexicon. FISE – Financial Indepedence and Save the Earth. FIRE is well established. It’s Financial Independent Retire Early. I used to follow these FIRE blogs religiously about 15 years ago, when they were just getting started. I’ve been reading 3 bloggers pretty regularly, Retireby40, LenPenzo.com and Mr. Money Mustache. I read intermittently Financial Samurai as well. These financial bloggers pretty much just talk about their lives, how they spend their money, how much they save, and then all of them (except LenPenzo) left the workforce. Mr. Money Mustache is actually a closet environmentalist. He is probably the most popular of the FIRE bloggers. These bloggers all make money off their blogs through advertisements, links to financial planning services, links to credit card offers.

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December 4, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Mr. Plastic Picker had a headache last night. He was sitting in front of his middle management home office with spreadsheets open on multiple screens, pencil in hand with physical spreadsheets of names and numbers in front of him, and making tallies. “I have a headache,” he told me. “I’ve been getting about two a week.” He had thought perhaps it was his new eyeglass prescription and had gone to the optometrist a few times to double check, and his eyes seem better. But he is still getting headaches.

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November 15, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Today there was another school shooting in Santa Clarita, California. From the stretch of beach I take care of, one would have to walk 150 miles to reach that high school. There are children who have fired guns at children today, because we adults have not gotten our act together to pass comprehensive common sense gun control.

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