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Finance With Intention®

Financial Planning Designed To Empower You To Live Your Best Life

Money is tied to everything in our lives

 There is power in understanding your finances and getting control of them. My goal is to help people from all walks of life understand their finances and create a plan for the financial future they desire.

Answering Clients’ Questions From Across the U.S. 

"Where do I start?"
"Am I on the right path?"
"What should I be doing?"

Do you find yourself overwhelmed with financial news and information? Are you trying to make sense of all of the different opinions on how you should be approaching your financial life? Maybe you have been working for a while and wonder if you will be able to retire someday (or soon)? Maybe you are trying to figure out if you are properly insured, investing properly, or trying to understand how Social Security might fit into your plans someday? Maybe you are thinking of taking a career sabbatical, reducing your hours or even changing careers?

If you answered yes or can identify with any of these questions, then you've landed in the right place. I work with people like you to move from feeling anxious about their money and finances to finding answers and feeling confident in their decisions. Together we will chart a customized financial course to lead a satisfied and fulfilling life. 

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.”

Jay Danzie


Michael Palazzolo, CFP® Financial Planner in Birmingham, Michigan

Helping Others + Finance = My Passion

I am passionate about learning and helping others with personal finance.  I participated in multiple Your Money or Your Life study groups in the 90’s. Over the years, I have volunteered to prepare income taxes for low-income individuals and conducted financial education seminars as part of the Federal Reserve MoneySmart Week.

Since transitioning from my software engineering career in 2007, I have worked with people from Southeast Michigan and all over the U.S. as part of a consumer credit counseling organization and a registered investment advisor with over $1 Billion under management.

I live just outside of Detroit in the city of Birmingham, Michigan with my wife, Amy. We live with two Balinese cats, which occasionally make video conference appearances as the official office cats. My wife and I enjoy running, yoga, live music, good food, and conversations with our friends. We are also passionate about traveling. We have hiked in many of the National Parks in the Western United States and Alaska. Recently, we spent two great weeks in Italy where we were able to visit relatives in Sicily. 

For more details on my professional background, please check out my LinkedIn profile.

Featured in Yahoo Finance/CNBC, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal.

I have seen first-hand how sound financial advice can really make a difference in someone’s life.  This is true for someone who may have a negative balance sheet or a surplus in the tens of millions. At some common level, we are all just trying to make the best decisions possible for our families, friends, communities, and ourselves. One of my great joys in life is helping someone achieve that empowering "aha" moment about their relationship with their finances. 

I am passionate about delivering transformational financial planning advice to Gen X and Young Baby Boomers contemplating full retirement, semi-retirement, a career change, or starting a business.

These Core Beliefs Shape My Practice:

  •  Debt is hard.  Assets are soft. Minimizing and using debt wisely can build or protect net worth, but too much debt is concerning. 
  •  Small decisions in your 30’s and 40’s and even 50’s add up over time.
  •  Big decisions in your 60’s and beyond can make a critical difference in your retirement. 
  •  Invest in a well-diversified low cost portfolio and leave it alone (except for occasional rebalancing.) 

I have had the opportunity over the years, including 2017,  to work with the Federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program administered through the Accounting Aid Society of Detroit. While volunteering my expertise, I prepared tax returns for low-income clients to ensure clients received their refunds and available credits. I also analyzed, explained, and counseled them about their credit information and how to rebuild their credit.

Additionally, I dedicated some time to conduct workshops at local libraries during the Federal Reserve Money Smart Week. As part of the Federal Reserve sponsored event, I presented lectures on the Introduction to Financial Basics (2015), Steps to Financial Freedom (2010), and Surviving a Layoff or Job Change (2009).

Fintentional is proud to be a sponsor for the ongoing 2017 - 2021 Annual MOM 5K Race for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention.  


Your Money: Join the great chase for cheaper 'runcations' - June, 2018

Shared some ideas for saving money on running vacations and also gave a shout out for the annual Harvest Stompede race held in Northern Michigan wine country.


Ease the financial stress—and improve your health - May, 2018 

The following quote was featured along financial ideas from myself and other professionals. 

"You feel empowered because you're in control of your finances instead of the other way around. You're not waiting for something bad to happen to upend your finances. Your physical health may also start to improve as your financial health does."

gingras global magazine - the intersection of social enterprise and impact investing

Impact Investing and 2018 Tax Changes - March, 2018

Featured as a guest contributor.  I share some thoughts on the 2018 tax changes and how they may shift your view of charitable giving and impact investing. 

big money in the 805 podcast

#32 Best of our Feature Interviews. 8 clips worth hearing - February, 2018

I was a guest on this podcast hosted by my colleague Michael Anderson from California.  We discuss fee-only planning during the mailbag section starting at the 23 minute and 26 second mark.  

financial planning association

An Investor’s Guide to Transitioning Your Money — and Your Mindset — to Retirement - December, 2017

An in depth interview about transitioning your investments as you approach retirement.

the wall street Journal

How Financial Advisers Give Thanks - November, 2017

Paid subscription may be required to read the article.  Here is how I thanked my clients.

"Mr. Palazzolo recently mailed custom Thanksgiving cards to his clients. In addition to marking the holiday, he thought the timing was right given that he recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the official launch of his business.

He wrote a note in each card and purchased National Park stamps for the mailing since most of his clients like to travel.

'It’s a simple, personal and cost-effective way to say thanks,' Mr. Palazzolo says."


Why It’s So Important to Diversify Your Investments - November, 2017

Provides some insight into my overall investment philosophy.


Tax moves to make regardless of what happens in Washington - October, 2017

Discussed donating highly appreciated investments and donor advised funds. 

U.S. News & World Report

When Do You Convert Into a Roth IRA? - October, 2017

Shared my ideas for retirees in low marginal income tax brackets.



Stories of individuals who are working to keep their credit scores over 800 including a personal profile. 

work-at-home success

Work-At-Home Experts Share Their Productivity Tips and Tricks - July, 2017

Many good tips for working at home.  Scroll down about half way to see how I try to stay productive. 


Agile for Non-Software Products - January, 2017

Scroll down the linked page to read how Agile software development ideas can be applied to financial planning. 


Finances and Intentionality in a Home Purchase: An Interview with Michael Palazzolo podcast - January, 2017

Bill Joyce's mission is to educate home buyers about buying a house that fits their financial and life goals. Bill and I have a nice conversation about intentional home buying.  


Advisors Debate the Need for DOL Rule - December, 2016 

Free subscription required to read the article.  I shared my thoughts on the proposed DOL Fiduciary Rule.  

"Michael Palazzolo, head of the Birmingham, Mich.-based RIA Fintentional, says that as a fiduciary he’s personally 'indifferent to the potential demise of the DOL rule.'  But that’s not because he thinks it goes too far. 'It only covers retirement accounts,' says Palazzolo. 'Does this mean one can act as a fiduciary for retirement accounts but not for money invested outside of retirement accounts?' Palazzolo thinks this uncertainty 'could cause even more confusion for people' despite the rule’s undoubted “good intentions” toward the consumer."


31% Cut in Social Security Benefits Needed by 2031: CBO - December, 2016

Free subscription required to read the article.  I shared my thoughts on Social  Security.

"Michael Palazzolo, a financial advisor with Fintentional in Birmingham, Michigan, recommends that clients 55 or older use the projected benefit amounts listed on their Social Security Benefit statement. However, he also runs two scenarios for clients aged 55 or older who are worried about Social Security: one with benefits rising annually at 1% to 2% and a second scenario with no inflation adjustments.

For those under age 55, Palazzolo recommends running scenarios using 70% of estimated Social Security benefits and an inflation adjustment of 1% to 2% and, if they’re interested, a second scenario with the full amounts of their estimated benefits."


Secrets from people who actually kept their financial New Year's resolutions - December, 2016

A personal and professional interview regarding financial resolutions.  


Advisor Websites: Fintentional - November, 2016

The story behind Fintentional's name and web site.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”

Henry David Thoreau


The Comprehensive Financial Planning Program is designed for those seeking a long-term relationship to develop, monitor and evolve their financial plan including investments over time.

What it looks like

A complimentary introductory meeting is held to determine the scope of the engagement. Upon engagement, Fintentional LLC will provide comprehensive financial planning services. 

The goals and objectives of each client will be developed, prioritized, and captured during the on-boarding phase consisting of “Get Organized” and “Priorities” meetings.  The initial client priorities with timeline are mutually defined and a high-level plan is captured electronically in the collaborative financial planning software.  A “Deep Dive” meeting is subsequently scheduled to address the first one or two high priority items.  

Specific recommendations will be tailored to each client’s unique situation and obligations. The implementation of the recommendations is always at the discretion of the client. The client is responsible for implementing or approving each recommendation. 

Personalized guidance, implementation assistance and follow-up are provided.  Investment recommendations may be implemented on your behalf with your approval and appropriate authorizations. Email, phone and and on demand video meeting support is provided. Follow up will occur to encourage implementation of accepted recommendations. 

Regularly scheduled reviews will take place to update priorities, decide on next items to address, and review accounts for re-balancing. Online access to your financial plan, document vault, and task list is provided. With proper authorization, we will interface with your other professionals such as estate attorneys or tax advisors.


The Comprehensive Financial Planning Program consists of an Initial Strategy fee between $1,100-$1,400 and a Recurring Planning and Investment fee that is paid quarterly in arrears ranging from $750 to $1,250.  Monthly billing can also be arranged. 

In general, the comprehensive ongoing financial planning will encompass any or all of the offerings below.   We will work together to select the specific offerings to pursue and prioritize their relative importance to your situation. These offerings may include, but are not limited to:

Business Planning

We provide consulting services for clients who own a business or are considering operating their own business. We will assess your current situation, identify your objectives, and develop a plan to achieve your goals.

Cash Flow and Debt Management

We will review your income and expenses. We’ll provide recommendations on debt management, cash reserves for emergencies and other financial goals.

College Savings

Includes projecting an estimated amount that will be needed to achieve college or other post-secondary education funding goals, along with advice on ways for you to save the desired amount.

Employee Benefits Optimization

We will provide an analysis of your employee benefits to assess whether you, as an employee, are taking maximum advantage of your benefits.

Estate Planning

This usually includes an analysis of your exposure to estate taxes and your current estate plan. Our advice typically includes ways for you to minimize or avoid future estate taxes.

Financial Goal Development

We will identify financial goals and develop a plan to reach them.

Insurance Review

Review of existing policies to ensure proper coverage for life, health, disability, long-term care, liability, home and automobile.

Investment Analysis

We'll develop an asset allocation strategy, advise on investment vehicles and strategies, review employee stock options, and review investment accounts at brokers or custodians of your choice.

Retirement Planning

Our retirement planning services include projections of your likelihood of achieving your financial goals, focusing on financial independence as the primary objective.

Retirement Withdrawal Strategies

Advice may be given on appropriate distribution strategies. Factors considered include desired length and amount of distributions, tax implications, income streams, and investment strategy.

Risk Management

A review includes an analysis of your exposure to major risks that could have a significant adverse impact on your financial picture, such as premature death, disability, property, and casualty losses.

Tax Planning Strategies

Taxes can have one of the largest impacts on financial planning. We'll advise on how to minimize current and future income taxes and ways to structure investments. 

“The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient.”

Warren Buffett


A Behavioral Approach to Your Finances

I find that the best way to help a client is to first truly understand their relationship with money. Therefore, as we are getting to know one another, you will complete a financial behavioral assessment developed by DataPoints. This assessment was created from forty years of research data from Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind, and helps to uncover and prioritize your financial goals, wants, and desires. This tool also allows us to measure your results over time to help you achieve your desired life.

You can learn more about the assessment by watching this short video from DataPoints. 

We Use The Latest Technology To Keep You Informed and On-Track

The Right Capital planning software allows clients to interact with their plan online, link their accounts for updated information and provides a secure document vault for sharing files between us.  It also maintains a shared action item list. Email reminders are sent out to keep us all on track. 

You can establish a basic free account today to monitor your expenses and net worth.  You will learn a little bit about how the planning software works while gaining insight into your current financial picture.

“My advice is shaped by my core financial beliefs. Needless to say, you benefit from some very careful thinking and experience.”

Michael Palazzolo


Who are your typical clients?
Where are your clients located?
Where or how do we meet?
What is it like to work with you?
What is the minimum account size needed to use your services?
Do I have to move my investments?
Will you help me with my 401(k), 403(b), Traditional and Roth IRA accounts?
Why don’t you provide day-to-day management of my investment accounts?
How come other advisors do not charge me for financial planning advice?
What is your cost?
Does Fintentional act as a fiduciary?
Will you work with my other professionals, like my CPA and attorney?
What is the advantage of working with a fee-only financial planner?

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”

Ayn Rand


Your Complete Guide to Money Happiness

by Henry S. Brock
Although the book was published in the 90’s, it provides sound advice for developing a healthy relationship with your finances. This book first introduced me to the concept of debt being hard and assets being soft.

Your Money Or Your Life (YMOYL)

by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, with Monique Tilford
Another book that was first published in the 90’s. The book outlines steps for developing and following a sound budget. It walks the reader through three levels of financial growth that include financial intelligence, financial integrity and financial independence.

The Millionaire Next Door 

by Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
An excellent book that shares the results of a twenty year study of the wealthy. Overall, the book demonstrates that for most people, hard work, living within your means, and not trying to impress for success foundational principals for living a good life.

The Tao of Warren Buffet

by Mary Buffett, David Clark
An easy read, this book offers insightful quotes by Warren Buffet with narratives provided by the authors.

The Laws of Wealth: Psychology and the Secret to Investing Success

by Dr. Daniel Crosby
The first part of the book provides a nice framework to learn how your behavior impacts investing decisions. 

Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

by Taylor Larimore , Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf, with foreword by John C. Bogle
A great, common sense, overview of investing. It lays the groundwork for investing in a low cost, well diversified portfolio.

Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning

by Taylor Larimore , Mel Lindauer, Richard A. Ferri , Laura F. Dogu, with foreword by John C. Bogle
This book provides a solid overview on many financial planning topics related to retirement written in a very straight forward manner.


by David Kundtz
Although not a financial book, it provides great insight for anyone contemplating a life transition such as starting a new career or retiring. It stresses the importance of slowing down and carving out some quiet time to figure out what is next.

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”

Paul Samuelson


As we are primarily a virtual practice, please feel free to contact us through any of the following mediums. We look forward to focusing on your goals and finances together as life unfolds.


(248) 294-0783



Mailing Address

1221 Bowers Street #2532  Birmingham, Michigan 48012

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