Most Clicked Financial Planning Digest Stories

1. Timing of Social Security benefits is critical

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 29, 2015

Delaying Social Security benefits until full retirement age or later can reap your clients far bigger returns than if they start benefits at 62, says Ted Sarenski, CPA/PFS. People who begin taking benefits at 62 face receiving 25% less Social Security income "for the rest of their life," he said. Journal of Accountancy online (01/28)

2. Variable withdrawal strategies may be right for clients

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 26, 2015

Panelists at last week's AICPA Advanced PFP Conference said people aiming to ensure that their retirement income lasts their lifetime should consider withdrawal strategies with some flexibility built in. Advisers should also be aware that market conditions in the early years of retirement can have a large impact on clients' finances and that retirees' spending habits are likely to change over time. InvestmentNews (free registration) (01/22)

3. What's new for this year's individual tax season?

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 26, 2015

This year, individual taxpayers and practitioners who prepare their returns should be aware of a number of new things: the new health care law; new aspects of our virtual, sharing economy; and new foreign financial reporting rules. Annette Nellen, Esq., CPA, CGMA, explains what different questions practitioners should ask their clients before preparing their returns. Tax Insider (01/15)

4. FICA tax reductions can cut Social Security benefits

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 29, 2015

Most of your clients are probably eager to reduce taxes on earned income, but when it comes to FICA taxes, those reductions ultimately can reduce Social Security benefits, writes Michael Kitces. That's because benefits are calculated based on a client's earnings history and his or her 35 highest-earning years. Nerd's Eye View blog (01/28)

5. 2 strategies to help clients in high tax brackets

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 26, 2015

Clients in higher tax brackets may be able to use tools such as Roth conversions and life insurance to manage their tax burdens, Bob Keebler said at the recent AICPA Advanced PFP Conference. Be sure to keep state laws in mind when considering a Roth individual retirement account, he advised. (01/21)

6. 2 indices seek to clarify retirement timing

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 29, 2015

A portfolio's performance in the years leading up to and after retirement can affect a client's lifetime financial returns, writes Wade Pfau, professor of retirement income. He discusses two indices -- the Retirement Wealth Index and the Retirement Affordability Index -- that are intended to guide advisers in helping clients decide when to retire. Advisor Perspectives (01/27)

7. Who really benefits from 529 plans?

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 26, 2015

Financial Advisor online (01/23)

8. Why now is the time to update estate plans

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 29, 2015

The beginning of the calendar year is a good time to work on estate planning issues such as exclusion gifts, beneficiary designations, revocable trusts and fiduciaries. Getting clients to take action can be difficult, so it's important to let them know that their effort will be worthwhile, writes attorney Tracy Craig. Download free chapters from The CPA's Guide to Financial and Estate Planning from the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Section to assist with addressing key estate planning issues. (01/27)

9. Proposal would let student loan debt be discharged in bankruptcy

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 26, 2015

A bill proposed by Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., would allow student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy. Delaney says student loan debt is hampering the economy and argues that it is illogical for this type of debt to be treated differently from other types of debt. ThinkAdvisor (01/22)

10. Mortgages can be a key aspect of retirement planning

Financial Planning Digest | Jan 29, 2015 (U.S.) (01/28)

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Designed specifically for CPA personal financial planners and others interested in financial planning, Financial Planning Digest is a FREE monthly e-mail newsletter from the AICPA. It provides the most important and timely news stories to support personal financial planners. Learn more