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About Michelle Lum

I wanted to be a doctor.  But life had other plans, which led me here! After growing up in Hawaii, I left my little island to attend Marquette University in frigid Wisconsin.  At the age of 18, I gleefully embraced the snow days, sub-zero temperatures, and college basketball. Four years later, I graduated, pre-med degree in hand, and headed off to law school at Hamline University School of Law (now the Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Law school was nothing like the movies and everything you’ve heard about in real life; so two and a half years later, I graduated and jetted off to Boston. After spending some quality time studying for the bar exam, I passed!  I accepted my first position at CIBC Private Wealth Management in downtown Boston as a Wealth Strategies Associate where I would not use my newly minted license.  Instead, I collaborated with team members across the country to provide wealth planning and cash flow analyses to high and ultra high net worth clients. Along the way, I passed another bar exam and obtained my CFP(R) designation.   I have always been a planner, so entering the professional world of financial planning is a seamless fit.  My pivotal moment of realization occurred six months after graduating from law school - the moment my first student loan payment was due.  From then on, seeing the amount of interest each day being added to my balance was shocking. So after taking inventory of my personal financial life and making some changes, I was able to pay off my undergraduate and law school student loans in less than four years!  It was a great feeling, and one that motivates me to work hard and grow every day. I cannot wait to share this excitement and all the positive vibes that come with organizing and simplifying your financial life so that you can focus on enjoying, well, your life!

Mid-Year Job Change – What happens with my HSA?

By |2021-02-12T15:28:40+00:00February 12th, 2021|Categories: Insurance Planning, Single Point of View|Tags: , |

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are the (not so new) cool account in town!  It is like a Roth IRA, but for healthcare expenses.  You can open and contribute to an HSA if you are enrolled in an eligible high-deductible health insurance plan.  The amount you can contribute is capped each year, but any contributions grow [...]

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You collected unemployment, now what?

By |2020-07-23T19:44:12+00:00July 16th, 2020|Categories: Single Point of View, Tax Planning|Tags: , , |

Surprise, unemployment benefits are 100% taxable (including the additional $600 weekly benefit under the CARES Act)!  Okay, you’re not surprised, because Shaun and Seth sprung that on you last week in Episode #5 of Behind the Curtain: Avoid Surprises with Unemployment Income.  Unemployment benefits are taxable and as a default, most states, including Massachusetts and [...]

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How I use my credit card points

By |2020-06-03T21:33:32+00:00June 3rd, 2020|Categories: Cash Flow, Single Point of View, Wealth Logistics|

We loved hearing from so many of you after the last Behind the Curtain post, thanks to everyone who shared how you are using your points.  Below, Michelle provides her own insights along with some great resources for managing and optimizing your credit card points. - Shaun I currently live over 5,000 miles and almost 12 [...]

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