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February 26, 2013
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Top Story 
 
  • The CPA's evolving role in the personal finance industry
    The CPA's role in the personal finance ecosystem is evolving into one in which he or she serves as the client's most trusted adviser. As a result, CPAs and other players in this ecosystem, such as financial advisers, must find new ways to work together and relate to one another. CPAs should focus on deepening relationships with a few trusted partners instead of establishing many relationships that are more casual, this author suggests. They also should focus on partners who provide ongoing support and solutions, not periodic or one-off transactions or recommendations. Financial-Planning.com (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Help Clients Plan for the New 3.8% Healthcare Surtax
New: Tax Planning After the Healthcare Surtax Toolkit: The Medicare surtax will affect clients in 2013 & beyond. This toolkit includes checklists, charts & more to help you minimize the effects the surtax has on your clients. PFP & Tax Section Members qualify for 10% discount. Visit cpa2biz.com/surtax
  Industry News and Trends 
  • Why advisers should focus on human capital planning
    Financial advisers should take into account a client's career prospects and earnings potential as they guide client investments, according to academic research by Moshe Milevsky at Toronto's York University. Viewed through that prism, a new job entrant might be advised to build up savings or get a disability policy before investing in the market, because his or her career path is still uncertain. InvestmentNews (free registration) (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Critics worry that the Fed overlooks asset price bubbles
    A growing chorus says the Federal Reserve is not watching asset prices closely enough and a major bubble is forming. "I don't think the Fed is vigilant in terms of the negative aspects of zero-bound rates," said PIMCO's Bill Gross. The Fed responds that it is watching asset prices. AdvisorOne (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC reveals examination priorities
    The Securities and Exchange Commission's examination priorities this year will focus on a number of risks, including safety of assets and potential conflicts of interest. "We are publishing these priorities to promote compliance and communicate with investors and our registrants about areas that we perceive to have heightened risk," explained Carlo di Florio, director of the SEC's Office of Compliance Examinations and Inspections. AdvisorOne (2/22), InvestmentNews (free registration) (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Late-in-life divorces call for skillful financial planning
    Ending a marriage late in life will have complicated financial implications. Financial advisers should be prepared to advise clients how to divide assets, especially retirement assets, with minimal tax implications. Other considerations include health insurance, debts and whether the family home should be kept or sold. Financial Advisor online (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Estate & Elder Planning 
  • Trust decanting: A powerful estate-planning tool
    When an irrevocable trust no longer serves its original intended purpose, it can sometimes be "decanted" -- that is, the trust property is distributed to a new trust that better meets the changed circumstances. However, advisers must be aware of various income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax issues that come with decanting. This article discusses the opportunities and what to watch out for. CPA Insider (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Alzheimer's cases will increasingly challenge advisers, experts say
    The number of people with Alzheimer's disease is expected to rise significantly in the coming decades, posing a serious challenge to the financial professionals charged with advising them, experts say. Advisers need to recognize the signs of dementia in their clients in order to perform appropriately under the fiduciary standard, and they need a written policy regarding such clients, experts warn. InvestmentNews (free registration) (2/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retirement, Investment & Insurance Planning 
  • CPA's Guide to Social Security Planning: The AICPA's popular CPA's Guide to Social Security Planning -- updated with 2013 numbers -- is available free to PFP/PFS members and for sale to nonmembers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What to consider before converting a 401(k) to a Roth
    A provision in the American Taxpayer Relief Act allows participants in traditional 401(k) plans to convert their assets to a Roth 401(k) while still employed. Such a conversion needs to be considered carefully, especially as IRA conversions may be more attractive -- Roth 401(k)s don't allow for recharacterization, as Roth IRA conversions do. This post lists six questions to ask before proceeding with a 401(k) conversion. Morningstar (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tax Topix 
  • Tax elections clients shouldn't overlook
    During tax season, busy practitioners may overlook some of the tax benefits clients can elect to take. Although many elections can be made under extension or on amended returns, a little forethought can go a long way. Here's a handy reminder of elections available for individuals, estates and partnerships. Journal of Accountancy (2/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  You and Your Practice 
  • Why an IPS is good for all parties
    An investment policy statement serves both advisers and their clients, writes Jack Waymire. For the client, an IPS increases the adviser's accountability, Waymire writes. For the adviser, it provides a competitive advantage over advisers who don't offer them. Advisers can use a third party to develop these policy statements. RIABiz.com (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Using "choice architecture" to help your clients make good decisions
    Financial planners can encourage their clients to make positive decisions by using the concept of "choice architecture" -- the idea that people's behaviors are influenced by the way options are presented to them, writes Michael Kitces. For example, people may be more likely to choose options that are considered the default choice or that are prominently presented, he notes. Nerd's Eye View blog (2/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  AICPA PFP News 
  • January/February Planner
      
    The January/February 2013 issue of Planner includes articles on the planning implications of ATRA, the investment outlook for 2013, using annuities in planning, changes in the long-term care marketplace and more. Planner is a bimonthly publication available free to AICPA PFP/PFS members ($200 annual PFP dues) and for sale to nonmembers ($185 for an annual subscription). Not a PFP member? Join the PFP Section today and save $50 on your first year of membership when you enter promo code CPALDPFP at checkout. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Advanced PFP conference video/audio recordings and materials now available
    Video and audio recordings, as well as presentation materials from the 2013 Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference, are available from AICPA Conferences. Registered conference attendees have complimentary access when they log in to the site (see instructions on how to access the materials), while others can create an account to purchase recordings and presentation materials. Registration is now open for the 2014 conference, Jan. 19 to 22 at the ARIA Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tax law snapshot brochure
    The Tax Law Snapshot brochure, available in the AICPA's Tax Practitioner's Toolkit, is a concise overview of key tax law provisions and potential tax benefits that will affect individuals and small businesses this filing season (2012 tax year). This professionally designed brochure reflects current tax law as of Feb. 6 and highlights future changes that will require planning. Add your logo or name and contact information, then post on your website, include in mailings, or place copies in the waiting area for your clients to peruse. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Friedrich Nietzsche,
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About the PFP Section
The AICPA's Personal Financial Planning Section is the premier provider of information, tools, advocacy and guidance for CPAs who specialize in providing estate, tax, retirement, risk management and investment planning and advice to their individuals and closely held entities. The PFP Section’s primary objective is to support its members by providing resources that enable them to perform valuable personal financial planning services in the highest professional manner. Members of this section broaden their technical expertise, improve their professional competence and receive resources to deliver high-quality, profitable PFP services. All AICPA members, generally, are eligible to join the PFP Section.
 
About the PFS Credential
The Personal Financial Specialist credential distinguishes CPAs as having demonstrated that they have the subject matter expertise and experience necessary to deliver financial planning services of the highest, as well as the CPA's traditional hallmarks of uncompromising objectivity, integrity and adherence to the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct. CPA/PFS credential holders demonstrate their expertise through financial planning education, experience and testing.

 
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