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March 20, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Understanding how clients spend in retirement
    While clients' spending patterns change during retirement, many financial advisers take a one-size-fits-all approach to retirement-account withdrawals, Wade Pfau notes. "Applying differential inflation rates and age-based lifestyle adjustment factors ... may be the best approach for working with individual clients," he writes. Advisor Perspectives (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News and Trends 
  • Why your marketing pitch could be out of focus
    For some planners, offering fewer services might be better for business, Michael Kitces says. Firms that offer comprehensive planning can find it more difficult to get referrals than those that offer niche services. That's because niche firms have an identifiable value proposition that is easy to explain to others, Kitces says. "Doing everything for everyone means nobody refers you to anyone." AdvisorOne (3/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Estate & Elder Planning 
  • What clients should know about transferring vacation properties
    Clients who own vacation homes may want to take advantage of the current gift-tax exemption to transfer the property to the next generation, writes Patricia Annino, J.D. However, owners of vacation homes should consider the costs and benefits of different approaches to transferring the property. The options include an outright transfer, an irrevocable trust or a partnership arrangement. For many clients, a trust or partnership will offer the most flexibility. Wealth Management Insider (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lower interest rates lead to higher costs for long-term-care insurance
    Low interest rates have caused the price of long-term-care insurance to increase, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance reports. Insurers must charge higher prices for long-term plans to compensate for lower investment returns. Premiums may increase as much as 15% for every 0.5% drop in interest rates, the AALTCI says. Prices for some plans have increased as much as 17% over last year. Financial Advisor online (3/15), AdvisorOne (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retirement, Investment & Insurance Planning 
  • Survey: Advisers and clients disagree over investment goals
    Clients and advisers have different ways of measuring investment success, according to a survey by Russell Investments. More than half of advisers said investment performance is about steering clients toward their long-term goals. Meanwhile, about the same number of clients emphasized factors such as short-term gains or volatility. (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How divorce can damage annuity investments
    Financial advisers should be aware of the surrender charges and early-withdrawal penalties that occur when divorced couples split annuities. "It's a big problem," says Lili A. Vasileff, president of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners. "Most attorneys think these annuities can be divided, and don't wait for the consequences." InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tax Topix 
  • IRS introduces online lookup tool for exempt organizations
    The Internal Revenue Service announced the launch of an online lookup tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check, that will allow taxpayers to find out whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions or has had its tax exemption revoked. Select Check replaces the online version of Pub. 78 and the IRS' Auto-Revocation List. (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why clients shouldn't wait to record capital gains
    Higher tax rates for capital gains are coming, which means investors need to adjust their tax strategies, Michael Kitces writes. Instead of the old strategy of recording capital losses, investors should think about "harvesting gains" before tax rates increase in 2013. That means selling investments this year and repurchasing them to minimize the gains that will be taxed down the road. Nerd's Eye View blog (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  You and Your Practice 
  • How to deal with mediation-bound clients
    Tracy Stewart, CPA/PFS, offers tips from Texas mediator Linda McLain for how financial advisers can help clients headed to mediation. They include advising clients not to bring uninvolved parties into the mediation, not to get sidetracked by the past and not to argue with the mediator. Wealth Management Insider (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Can your clients describe what you do for them?
    A recent survey found that many clients are uncomfortable about making referrals for comprehensive advisers, even though they feel better about the quality of their services, Michael Kitces writes. Advisers who aren't holistic may get more referrals because their services are more focused and easy to define. For holistic advisers, the goal is having a "niche and making it easier for your client to be able to explain, clearly and concisely, what it is you actually do and who you do it for!" Nerd's Eye View blog (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Some advisers are trying client meetings via Skype
    Advisers who face difficulties in meeting with clients in person are experimenting with Skype as an alternative, some in the field say. The videoconferencing tool works best with longtime clients, says Alex Wingert, social media specialist at "Advisers are finding more ways to extend their offices. Skype can be a useful tool for advisers," Wingert says. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Introducing a PFS Credential referral program
    In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Personal Financial Specialist credential, the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Division is launching a PFS referral program for our current PFS credential holders. This program will financially reward PFS credential holders for referring other CPAs to either become a PFS or to sit for the PFS exam. Receive a credit of $350 to apply toward your future PFS credential dues for referring a new PFS credential holder (awarded after they are approved) or a candidate to sit for the 2012 PFS exam (awarded after they complete the exam). There is no limit on number of referrals, make 10 referrals and receive a credit to offset the next decade of your PFS credential dues! Learn more about the PFS referral program. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Download updated Traditional IRA Distribution Flowchart
    This popular chart from Bob Keebler has been updated for 2012! PFP/PFS members, download and print your copy today. Not a member? Join the PFP Section today and save $50 on your first year of membership when you enter promocode CPALDPFP at checkout. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Member Benefit Spotlight: Fox Financial Planning Network for CPAs
    Systemize the delivery of your personal financial planning client services with Fox Financial Planning Network for CPAs. This program is a customized version of Fox Financial Planning Network especially for CPAs that is only available to AICPA PFP/PFS members and offers three membership levels with deeply discounted pricing that is not available to the public. Access fully customizable, prewritten workflows for each area of financial planning, training on how to systematically prepare for, deliver and follow up from each client meeting, and resources for learning best practices and staying up to date. Learn more about the Fox Financial Planning Network for CPAs. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."
--Samuel Johnson,
British author

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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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