FISE: Financial Indepedence and Save the Earth
December 31, 2019
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.
But life moves on and one grows up. Honestly, my net worth surpassed theirs. I learned more from my own father who is an accountant. I reached a point in my life where I thought, do I retire early? Retire now – to do what? I had always been frugal by nature. I actually like being a doctor, and know I need to serve society in some way. I have always had the need to be useful. I wanted to at some point try financial blogging. In fact, one of my medical school classmates who is Ob-Gyn and I played around for a while about starting a mommy MD financial blog like WhiteCoatInvestors. But I realized that in the end, the reason I wanted to start blogging was to help people with their finances. I do that in real life with some of the younger doctors anyway, gently advising them not to buy that Tesla just right now or reminding them that home renovation costs are not necessarily going to improve their home’s value. Doctors are notoriously horrible at finances.
But I didn’t need to make money off blogging because I’ve always been frugal and a hard worker. I think finding out that Retireby40 was actually a brother of one of our other medical school classmates made me realize that I can create something myself as well. I’m smart. I went to an Ivy League college and top medical school. And I have a platform as someone who is invested and connected into my professional, work, and actual physical community.
And then I became a middle manager, and trying to solve organizations and departments and people is difficult. We have succeeded and met and exceeding our organizational goals. But it’s a never ending task. Big corporations always want more, especially from their middle managers. And then I realized that rather than being frustrated with work, and the mantra of more – more – more. I realized that I can solve issues, and I still want to work but need to pace myself but I needed a better outlet for my energy.
What did I really care about? My children. Yes, but they are fine. What did I really care about? Even though my children are fine and well adjusted, and we had financially settled everything for them after completing our Living Trust and wills there is an existential threat to them. All the money is the world is not going to help if the world ends is climatic catastrophy and mass extinction.
Greta Thunberg came onto the international consciousness, as well as the Ocean CleanUp and the Friday School Strikes for the Climate. As a pediatrician I take care of many children on the Autistic spectrum, and seeing young Greta Thunberg speaking bravely in front of millions regarding climate change and knowing that she has Autism and how difficult that is for her – made this pediatrician weep tears. I was so impressed and proud of her. I saw all my own young patients who have autism spectrum disorder in her. I started walking along the beach and was disgusted with how counting points on Weight Watchers made me feel, and I was disgusted with all the trash on the beach – and it all clicked when I started picking up plastic on the beach. I had always loved the earth. We have always done everything a normal environmentally minded person does – solar panels, recycle, support Facebook petitions, watch Leonardo Dicaprio movies, buy hybrid cars, donate clothes to Goodwill. But is that really all I could do?
No. It is not. And that is when drplasticpicker was born. I figured go big or go home. Why not try to save the earth? Really that is literally the 500 pound gorilla in the room. It all comes down to climate change and mitigating these effects.
So I have joined the movement of millions of people individually working to save the earth. The ploggers, the litter-pickers, the low-wasters, the recyclings, the reducers, the ocean plastic pickers, and what I would like to create the FISErs. Those of us who can teach people how to be Financially Independent to Save the Earth.
And I was FISE today. I know about money, about keeping cost low. I know when someone is trying to scam me. I know the worth of my time and my money. I know the worth of the earth. I donated $100 dollars today to the Rainforest Trust. The Rainforest Trust according to Charity Navigator has a four star rating, and as much as you can trust any charity – donations to them go to the environment. That $100 through their current SAVES campaign is actaully quadrupled through a generous donor. So my $100 became $400. https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/ That money now works to save biodiversity in Cote d’Ivoire, 1142 acres of coastline and rocky reef. Species that it helps include Hawksbill Turtle, Slender-snouted Crocodile, Green Turtle, Great Hammerhead, Scalloped Hammerhead, Stingray, Leatherback, Olive Ridley. 1,142 acres of coastal lagoons, mangroves and forests, as well as nesting beach habitat. $0.35 an acre through an effective environmental organization. That is the power of FISE.