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February 21, 2012
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Top Story 
  • CPAs zero in on financial-planning market
    CPAs are well-positioned to gain a larger share of the financial-planning market. "Investors felt a lot of pain with the market declines, and there's been a shift in emphasis from growing assets to protecting them. That plays to the strengths of CPAs," says Louis Harvey, chief executive officer of financial-services consulting firm Dalbar. InvestmentNews (free registration) (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News and Trends 
  • SEC alters net-worth calculation, performance-fee thresholds
    The value of an investor's home no longer will be included in the net-worth calculation that determines whether the investor can be charged performance fees by registered investment advisers under changes to a Securities and Exchange Commission rule announced Wednesday. The changes also raise the thresholds that investors must meet before registered investment advisers can charge them performance fees. (2/16), (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Estate & Elder Planning 
  • Extension given on 2011 estate-tax-portability election
    The Internal Revenue Service extended the deadline for filing a portability election for the surviving spouses of some individuals who died in 2011. The extension applies to taxpayers with $5 million or less in assets whose spouse died during the first six months of 2011. The executor must file a Form 4768 within 15 months after the deceased spouse's death. (2/17), Accounting Today (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How will future tax law affect your clients?
    Tax changes put into law in 2010 will affect clients differently based on factors such as wealth and marital status, write Martin Shenkman, CPA/PFS, and Steve Akers, JD. CPAs should consider clients' situations carefully before deciding how the law will affect them. For example, younger clients are likely to experience more asset growth than older ones are, while single clients will have access to lower exclusions than couples have. Wealth Management Insider (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Substance abuse offers estate-planning challenges
    Clients whose family members have substance-abuse problems face unique challenges when it comes to estate planning, Patricia Annino writes. Advisers should consider the tools they have at their disposal to help clients for whom disinheritance isn't an option. They include setting up a trust with terms that are carefully tailored to the person's needs. "A plan created now should be good enough to handle today's circumstances, yet flexible enough to contemplate the unknown," Annino writes. Wealth Management Insider (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retirement, Investment & Insurance Planning 
  • How advisers can help clients fund a long-lasting retirement
    One of the biggest challenges facing retirees is making sure their savings will sustain them through a long and active retirement. Financial advisers can help by helping clients maintain their principal, manage their distributions and adopt the right asset-allocation strategy throughout retirement. Advisers also need to confront clients and educate them about the importance of budgeting and living within their means. Financial Advisor (2/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Housing is nearly half of older Americans' expenses, study finds
    Mortgage costs, rent, property taxes, home upkeep and insurance accounted for 47% of expenses for Americans ages 50 to 64 in 2009, according to a report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. While the dollar amount fell sharply for people 85 and older, such costs still accounted for nearly the same percentage of expenses, researchers found, pointing to property taxes as one of the chief culprits. InvestmentNews (free registration) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why clients should make a wellness plan for their retirement years
    Ironically, healthy people may end up having higher health care costs in old age than their unhealthy counterparts, writes James Sullivan, CPA/PFS. That's because healthier people tend to live longer and require more care in their later years. CPAs should ensure their clients understand how their well-being can affect health care costs in retirement. That may include a combination of financial planning along with wellness planning to help clients maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle for as long as possible, Sullivan writes. CPA Insider (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Tax Topix 
  • Proposed PTIN regulations issued on nonsigning supervised preparers and non-1040 preparers
    The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations that, when final, would formally allow nonsigning tax preparers who are supervised by a CPA (or other Circular 230 practitioner) to obtain a preparer tax identification number and prepare returns without becoming a registered tax preparer. The rules would also allow practitioners who prepare only non-1040 returns to obtain a PTIN. The proposed regulations incorporate rules first issued in a notice last year. (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  You and Your Practice 
  • 4 types of clients you might meet in your practice
    Ross Levin describes four types of clients that financial advisers are likely to encounter in their practices. They include clients who are curious, fearful and relationship-minded. There are also clients who are greedy and only think in the short-term. Advisers need to decide which type they want to choose to work with as they build their client base, Levin writes. Financial Advisor (2/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Send your suggestions for our 2012 webinar calendar!
    The PFP Team is working on a webinar calendar for 2012, and we want your suggestions! Do you have a topic or speaker you'd like to hear from this year in a webinar? Send your suggestions to the PFP Team at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Help us get media coverage for CPA financial planning
    We need your feedback! AICPA conducts a survey of the PFP/PFS members on key issues that we can pitch the media. This has been a successful effort, resulting in coverage in outlets such as CNN. To maximize journalist interest, we need as many responses as possible. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Member benefit spotlight: Forefield Advisor
    Forefield Advisor is a premier Web-based education and client communication tool. Create personalized client presentations with more than 3,000 articles, concept pieces, case studies and calculators, and have relevant knowledge at your fingertips ($399 annual cost; free with PFP/PFS membership). Additionally, Forefield Alerts highlight recent news or changes to content in Forefield Advisor. Log on to Forefield from the PFP home page ( You will be prompted for your AICPA user name and password to access this member-only benefit. Forefield was ranked as one of the top two member benefits by PFP/PFS members in our 2011 PFP Survey! 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
Learn more about PFPAbout the PFP Section  |  Join the PFP Section  |  About the PFS Credential
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When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
--John Muir,
Scottish-American environmentalist and writer

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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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