FISE: Financial Independence and Save the Earth – $$$ Is Important – Dr. Plastic Picker

FISE: Financial Independence and Save the Earth – $$$ Is Important

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Upcycled Bird House. Essentially free, helps my birds.
Upcycled Planter. Most of the plants were propogated for free.

March 7, 2021

by drplasticpicker

My mortgage broker and I are best friends again. I’ve worked with this particular person for over a decade on various purchases, and I value our relationship. I always shop around at least with 1-2 other brokers, but usually she will offer a comparable rate and the most important thing about her is that she gets the job done. I’ve tried to work with other mortgage brokers but they are not as efficient as this particular person. She really is a gem.

So I’m up and continuing to work on my refinance of the two properties. Before I commit to making a big financial move (this is not big, but a moderate financial move), I have to have quiet and go through the numbers. And honestly yesterday morning, I went through the scenarios and the decision to refinance was a no-brainer for property #1.

The first property is a no-brainer as I have a 30-year fixed at 4.6 percent around and bout 25 more years left on the loan, and I will refinance at a 20-year-fixed at about 2.875% with 0 points. When I originally bought this property I had a substantial downpayment > 30%. I’m a super safe real estate investor. Anyway, the monthly payment will actually stay the same but the length of the loan will shorten 5 years. I will save us 70,000 in interest over the lifetime of this loan, as this is a long-term investment. As always Dr. Plastic Picker has plan B-Z for what may happen in life, and for some reason if Mr. Plastic Picker and I need to downsize – I will be very comfortable in this 2 bedroom 2 bath place in a choice area in downtown. Lets just say its across from one of the best places on earth – A LIBRARY! Free unlimited books for me to read in retirement which will keep my retirment cost low. What more could I ever need? But in all seriousness we have things planned out that we will comfortable retire in the current home we live in. But always good to have back-up plan after back-up plan.

The second property I will also refinance. I was punching in the numbers yesterday and initially I was shocked???!!! Could I really be savings that much a month – $800?!!! I was excited but this didn’t make sense because the current rent on it is $1850? My mind was a bunch of jumbled numbers yesterday so I set it aside and am returning to it now. And indeed, I must have not really been thinking clearly and misplaced a decimal point somehwere. I will still refinance that property but it will save be not as much as I thought. For Property #2

Current Principal and interest$1,396.44
New Monthly Payment P&I$ 1,227.29
Savings$169 a month

Over the lifetime of the loan, we will save the difference in interest which is $7,269.50. So the first property is the no-brainer worth the effort, and will save us $70K and this one another $7K and some change. I’m already doing the refinance for the first propoerty, so will do it for the second with no additional effort really. This is all theoretical money in the whole scheme of things and has to do when I think of our overall networth. So $77K is nothing to sneeze at. In order to earm $77K post tax I have to work at my rate and our effective tax rate (we pay a lot of taxes) about 225 shifts which is about 1000 hours. Easier for me to just refinance.

For those that are interested, I just use the mortage calculators. That is generally a good site to become familiar with, that does not have too many ads and I’ve always found solid and trust worthy.

And having this overall understanding of our own networth, and that money is a proxy for time – helps me focus my environmentalism. I enjoy doing meaningful work whether it is in clinic, management, mentoring premeds, litter picking or my environmentalism. But in the end I am my father’s daughter and I like to be strategic and impactful. And having this birds eye view on our own financial security, I also keep the same birds eye view on the security of our earth. Which is why one of the most impactful things we do is to strategically donate. Our money is honestly earned, and Mr. Plastic Picker worked another overtime shift this weekend.

I did our monthly donations this morning, and we donated again to the Monarch Butterflies through the Rainforest Trust. Our $150 was doubled through the SAVVES campaign, and it’s about $0.26 an acre after the matching donations. So this month we were able to help preserve 600 acres in Mexico’s biodiversity hotspot and effectively 180K trees. In total we have helped preserve 8,485 acres of this beautiful world and prevent the destruction or plant 682,180 trees.

TOTAL$64508,485 Acres
682,180 Trees 

And that is it. That is why I am up refinancing 2 properties when we are already financially independent, because I realize money is a means to an end. We earn our money and won’t squander it. I know scams when I see them, and plenty of organizations and people have tried to scam me. Sometimes when I think of it, I get kind of sad. But then I look at my upcycled bird house that I made with things that would have been discarded, and see them birds that come and I become happy again. All this environmentalism cost money and time. Mentoring our 5 premed interns incurs cost here and there. Donating time to organzing has cost as well in deferred earnings. I buy a lot of things here and there to run the various groups I am part of, but again strategically and with joy and I get bang for my environmental buck (and your too!)!!! Money is important, and it is important to be generous to the earth. $169 a month is nothing to sneeze at! That’s a lot of money! Look what $150 did this month for our shared world.

Most of the new outdoor seating area is repurposed stuff from other places around the house.
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