The Sunday Worst (and Best 12/4/2016)

sundayworstI received news of the worst kind this week. The kind of news that is startling, troubling, and doesn’t leave your consciousness without some kind of closure. We’re still waiting for that closure.

Early last week, I learned of Dr. Amanda Liu a.k.a. Dr. Wise Money’s death. She was 31 years old with a lovely 9-year old daughter. She was truly wise beyond her youth, having become debt free as a first-year resident, setting up a college fund for her daughter, funding Roth IRAs, and sharing her secrets with the world via her website.

In addition to finance, she wrote about mindfulness, yoga, defeating burnout, and of course, how important her daughter “Mini” was in her life. She shared her successes and struggles with us. Although we did not meet in person, I felt I knew her well.

Since she first reached out to me for advice in April, we exchanged dozens of e-mails. Her attitude was always upbeat. Her glass was not half full. It was overflowing.

We exchanged guest posts (hers on this site and mine @ DWM) and exchanged ideas. Amanda had big plans for her blog and online presence and thoughtful plans to work a lighter schedule while being a generous donor when she was in a position to afford it.

dr wise money

Mini & Lola. Credit: drwisemoney.com

I don’t know what happened on that fateful day, and perhaps we never will. I do know from our exchanges and her writing that she was a motivated, caring, amazing individual. It is heartbreaking to know that she is no longer with us, brightening the days of the people she encountered as she seemed to do so well.

There were a couple touching tributes to her this week, including this one from co-contributors at Physician’s Money Digest, and another from Future Proof MD, who had much in common with her.

Please give your loved ones an extra long squeeze today, offer help to a friend in need, and keep Amanda and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Rest peacefully, Amanda.


sundaybest4
The Sunday Best is a collection of a handful of posts I share with you each week. With so many informative and inspirational writers out there, I have no trouble coming up with a number of worthwhile reads each week.

Every featured post should be of interest to any physician seeking financial independence. Some will be written by your physician colleagues; others will be written by our friends and patients who share common goals and interests.

Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:

 

You’ve read their words, but have you heard their voices? Dave Denniston, CFA of the Freedom Formula for Physicians Podcast has held fireside chats with several of your personal finance bloggers and podcasters, including:

 

Physician Financial Services
Financial Independence is leverage. Steve @ Think Save Retire leveraged his FI as explained in this recent tale. I Nearly Quit: My Work Called My Bluff, and I Called Back.

 

Take care of yourself. Sassy (future) MD @ McSassyMD discusses excuses and a great work-around to defeat them in “But I’m in Med School.” Trust me when I say we’ve all been there, whether you’ve ever been to med school or not.

 

Jonathan Clements, author of How to Think About Money (on my short list of highly recommended books to read) has a nifty website with great short posts in full text right on the home page. Pay a visit to Jonathan Clements and thank me later.

 

In an oldie but goodie, Dr. Wise Money shared her aspirations after meeting one of her inspirations. DWM Meets WCI (in person).

 

Thanks to his recent guest post @ WCI, I just discovered another physician author with a personal finance blog. Dr. Cory S. Fawcett @ Prescription for Financial Succe$$ shares my view that Vacations are Good For Your Health.

 

I find myself happily between the 3rd and 4th stages. Where are you in Tawcan’s Four Different Stages of Financial Competency in Life?

 

Jon @ Be Net Worthy describes the system he uses to teach his kids about money. It happens to be very similar to ours. Three Steps to Teach Kids the Value of Money.

 

Health and Wealth are intertwined. ESI Money describes some of the ways in Improving Your Finances by Lowering Stress and Increasing Sleep.

 

Best wishes,

-Physician on FIRE


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18 comments

  • Thanks for the share out PoF and for more of Amanda’s story. I work with many families at school where someone is struggling with mental illness (and often more than one person – including children). There are also real challenges finding sustained help for these families, especially psychiatric services. We will continue to keep her family and especially her daughter – in our prayers.

  • Such sad news. I never personally interacted with Dr. Wise Money but as I started my own blog was always blown away with her productivity and ventures. The blogging community in many ways I’ve found is much smaller than it might seem and this certainly highlights that.

    I have often thought what would happen to the #LifeofaMedStudent blog and twitter account if something happened to me. My wife probably doesn’t even know the passwords. Do any of you have contingency plans? It’s a morbid thought, but we cover other sad instances in our lives with many forms of insurance and wills. The most positive outlook is that at least our legacy would carry on in the cyber world for years after our absence. Such is the case with Dr. Wise Money, RIP.

  • Such sad news. I never personally interacted with Dr. Wise Money but as I started my own blog was always blown away with her productivity and ventures. The blogging community in many ways I’ve found is much smaller than it might seem and this certainly highlights that.

    I have often thought what would happen to the #LifeofaMedStudent blog and twitter account if something happened to me. My wife probably doesn’t even know the passwords. Do any of you have contingency plans? It’s a morbid thought, but we cover other sad instances in our lives with many forms of insurance and wills. The most positive outlook is that at least our legacy would carry on in the cyber world for years after our absence. Such is the case with Dr. Wise Money, RIP.

    • Glad I’m not the only one who’s pondered the same morbid question. I have a few templates that I saved as posts with a publish date decades in the future. I imagine the hosting company would take down the site long before that time elapses, though. I only prepaid for three years.

      Unlike Amanda, I’ve never been more than a couple posts ahead. Knowing her productivity, we could continue to see new material that she had written for many months.

      Best,
      -PoF

  • Such sad news. To be struck down at 31 as a mother with a young child is heartbreaking to hear. I’m in my mid-forties now and it’s surprisingly common that I will hear of a friend of a friend that died from a previously undiagnosed congenital condition or suddenly gets terminal cancer. Very sad, especially for the kids and family.

    (Thanks for the call out on teaching kids about money)

  • I so sad to hear this. What a great loss. My oldest is 9, and I can’t imagine that loss for him. He lost his brother (our oldest child) when he was 4, and I still see the lingering effects of that trauma. I wrote a post about his passing. “You can’t waste good.” And even though her life was cut short, it sounds like not a moment was wasted. All that good that she put into the world gets to remain.

  • My condolences on the loss of your friend. My interaction with her was limited to two of her guest posts but I could tell she was a very driven person already. My thoughts go out to her family and especially her young daughter.

  • Thanks as always, PoF. Your compassion and kindness are well-respected and appreciated by all. I’m sure Amanda was happy to know you and receive your support as well.
    Rest peacefully, Amanda.

  • Sad news. I believe that we started our blogs also around the same time (I struggle to get out a post every couple of weeks!).

    Important to stay healthy and maintain a sustainable pace in whatever we do.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience PoF. I know we will all miss her dearly. Our thoughts naturally turn to Mini. Please keep us updated as you learn more.

    And of course, thank you for featuring my postings in your Sunday posts. It’s an honor.

  • It’s terrible to hear this sad news, very tragic especially with a 9 year old. Definitely a reason to reflect on what’s important in your life.

    And of course, thank you for the mention. Hope you have had a great weekend!

  • Thank you so much for your thoughtful post. My heart goes out to her family. I had several interactions with her and was always impressed with her drive and professionalism.

  • I understand your concern. She shared this information, including the mental health piece, with the world via her website. If I had learned of her struggles privately, I would have not made mention of it here, but I read it in her blog posts. The image of her daughter and dog came from her site, as well.

    Our e-mail exchange was private, but she often wrote about working less, spending quality time with family and pursuing outside interests, etc… I haven’t exposed anything that she didn’t choose to share with us.

    Best,
    -PoF

  • Thank you all for your kind comments. I can’t tell you how many times my eyes have welled up with tears as I’ve thought or read about Amanda over this last week.

    There has been discussion about establishing a fund of some sort in her honor, and people close to her and her family will be communicating this, and I will share it with you when I know more. It may be a scholarship, a fund to help “Mini” or something different altogether.

    Right now, the best we can do is to help carry out her cause. Find inspiration in her story, get a handle on your own finances, share your life with the ones you love, and improve the lives of the people around you.

    Best,
    -PoF

  • Just so hard to fathom such loss. At least we were able to share in some moments of her life and hopefully will have the opportunity to continue some of her mission to her daughter or some other cause her family suggests.

    Strive to make a difference. Every breath we take is an opportunity to do so.
    cd :O)

  • That’s very sad news. I always wondered how she could manage to be such a prolific writer/blogger and successful medical professional at the same time. She was an inspiration for MDs and non-MDs alike and will be sorely missed.

  • This is the first I’m hearing of her passing and its quite devastating. We had several exchanges since I started my blog. Initially I reached out for advise how to be able to do so much and keep a regular posting schedule when I first started blogging. I found it hard to keep a regular posting schedule and was blown away that she was able to do so much while in residency. She seemed upbeat in every interaction that I had with her and I will look back at each conversation fondly as she gave me some great advise.

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