x
facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast blog external search

Finance With Intention®

Financial Planning Designed To Empower You To Live Your Best Life


Schedule a meeting

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

ABOUT

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



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 was proud to be an Event Sponsor for the 2017 - 12th Annual MOM Race for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention.  


zing!

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

Provides some insight into my overall investment philosophy.

Yahoo Finance - CNBC

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.

creditcards.com

OVER 40 AND OVER 800: SEASONED CREDIT SCORE ACHIEVERS - October 2017 

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. 

SMARTSHEET COLLABORATIVE SOFTWARE

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. 

HOMEOWNER UNIVERSITY

Finances and Intentionality in a Home Purchase: An Interview with Michael Palazzolo podcast - January 19, 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 converstation about intentional home buying.  

FINANCIAL ADVISOR IQ

Advisors Debate the Need for DOL Rule - December 29, 2016 

Free subscrption 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."

THINKADVISOR

31% Cut in Social Security Benefits Needed by 2031: CBO - December 27, 2016

Free subscrption 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."

CHASE - UNDERSTAND YOUR FINANCES

Secrets from people who actually kept their financial New Year's resolutions - December 27, 2016

A personal and professional interview regarding financial resolutions.  

TWENTY OVER TEN - ADVISOR SHOWCASE

Advisor Websites: Fintentional - November 22, 2016

The story behind Fintentional's name and web site.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”

Henry David Thoreau

WHAT WE OFFER

The Financial Planning Retainer Offering is designed for those seeking ongoing help to develop and implement their financial plan.

Initial Meeting

A complimentary introductory meeting will be held to determine the scope of the engagement. Upon engagement, Fintentional LLC will provide ongoing comprehensive financial planning for an upfront fee and annual retainer that can be paid monthly or quarterly.  Fees are based upon Adjusted Gross Income and Net Worth.  The goals and objectives of each client will be developed, prioritized and captured. The client is responsible for implementing each recommendation; however, ongoing guidance and follow-up will be provided during the year.

The First Year and Beyond

During the initial year, there will typically be three to four virtual scheduled planning meetings. In-person meetings can be arranged for specific circumstances or for the first scheduled planning meeting.  Ongoing email and phone support will also be available throughout the year. Follow up will occur to encourage implementation of accepted recommendations.  Online access to your financial plan, financial road map, and a document vault will be provided. With proper authorization, we will interface with your other professionals such as estate attorneys or tax advisors.

During subsequent years, the number of scheduled planning meetings will typically be once or twice a year based on the agreed upon services and your progress. Ongoing email and phone support, goal follow-up, interfacing with other professionals, and online access will continue as in the first year.

Cost

Ongoing Financial Planning consists of an upfront charge between $950-$1400 and an ongoing monthly fee of $150-$400. We can also arrange for quarterly payments.

Financial Planning Hourly Offering

We provide hourly, as-needed advice to clients who prefer to work on an hourly or project basis. The advice may be general in nature or focused on particular services of interest depending on each client’s specific circumstances. Following an introductory meeting, we will agree upon the scope of the engagement and provide a quote for the desired work. At the end of each hourly engagement you will also be provided with recommendations.

 Some examples of a limited engagement offering might be:

  •  Reviewing current 401(k) investment options and contribution rates 
  •  Reviewing employee benefit offerings at annual enrollment
  •  Reviewing potential Social Security claiming strategies in light of recent changes to the rules
  •  Reviewing lump sum pension distribution options at retirement or anytime you leave a current employer

Cost

Limited engagements are offered on an hourly basis at a rate of $200 per hour, calculated in 30-minute increments. If an hourly offering is chosen, half of the fee is due at the beginning of the engagement and the remainder is due at completion of work.

In general, the comprehensive ongoing financial planning will encompass any or all of the offerings below. Limited engagement planning will have a more focused approach. 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. 

Are You On Track?

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

Warren Buffett

HOW WE WORK

A Behavioral Approach to Your Finances

I truly believe 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. 

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 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.

Nest Egg Guru is always available to stress test your retirement and college savings strategies using some of the latest financial planning research.

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

Michael Palazzolo

FAQ


Who are your typical clients?

Individuals or couples with a desire to collaboratively work with a trusted advisor to make sure their financial life is on track. They like technology but also value working with someone who can provide organization, accountability, objectivity, and education.

Where are your clients located?

I am based in the Metropolitan Detroit suburb of Birmingham, Michigan. However, I enjoy working with clients from all over the country. I developed extensive experience working remotely with clients during my previous credit counseling and investment advisor positions.

Where or how do we meet?

We typically meet virtually by phone, email, and/or video conference. This helps us all maximize our time by reducing the amount of time spent in traffic. I am open to arranging to meet at a mutually convenient and comfortable location.

What is it like to work with you?
What is the minimum account size needed to use your services?

There is no minimum account size. Our goal is to make ourselves available to a wide range of clients. We try to be fair by basing our pricing on overall Net Worth and Adjusted Gross Income.

Do I have to move my investments?

No. As part of any Investment Analysis, we will review and make recommendations for your investments regardless of where they are held. We can discuss the pros and cons of different custodians if you need to move your investments for any reason.

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?

We are a planning-centric firm. We believe that long-term investment success can be achieved using a well thought out, passive based portfolio. Our long-term goal is to work with you to move your investments to such a portfolio as part of our ongoing planning services. We feel that your long term financial success is based upon the many other decisions you can make beyond just investment choices.

How come other advisors do not charge me for financial planning advice?
What is your cost?

We believe that we should base our fees on a combination of overall net worth and income. It should not matter what level of investments you have or where they are located to receive good advice. From experience, we have found that as your income and/or net worth increase, the complexity of planning increases. We only plan to revisit your fee schedule every two years.

Adjusted Gross Income
Net Worth
 
Initial Cost
Ongoing Monthly
Ongoing Quarterly
 
Up to $125,000
Up to $350,000
$950
$150
$450
$125,000 to $250,000
$350,000 to $2,000,000
$1,100
$250
$750
$250,000 to $500,000
$2,000,000 to $5,000,000
$1,250
$300
$900
Over $500,000
$5,000,000 to $10,000,000*
$1,400
$400
$1,200

* Costs for individuals or families with net worth greater than $10,000,000 are negotiable based upon the scope of services required.

For limited engagements, our planning services may be offered on an hourly basis at a rate of $200 per hour, calculated in 30-minute increments.

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

CLIENT CENTER


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.

Stopping

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

CONTACT US

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.

Phone

Local: (248) 294-0783 
Toll-Free: (866) 242-5097

Fax

248-792-0752

Mailing Address

1221 Bowers Street #2532  Birmingham, Michigan 48012

Send A Message