The CPA's Guide to Practical Retirement Planning
This guide provides a comprehensive look at what CPAs need to know about retirement planning. It covers how to effectively motivate clients to make decisions necessary to implement a successful retirement plan that meets their goals.

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Who Will Benefit?

  • CPA financial planners as they take a comprehensive approach to retirement planning
  • The tax preparer who is starting to have conversations with clients on general retirement questions and is bridging to other personal financial planning services

Key Benefits

  • Learn the key concepts that every CPA should know about retirement planning.
  • Understand how to make decisions using current research on withdrawal strategies.
  • Observe how these topics all come together to address the client’s fundamental concerns.
  • Recognize the unique retirement needs of specific groups of clients.
  • Reduce the possibility that key client retirement risks and needs are overlooked.

This guide addresses retirement planning by looking at both the “science” and the “art” of retirement planning—what all CPA financial planners should know, and how they can effectively communicate with their clients.

By covering the following, the “Science” section provides assurance to CPAs that they are focusing on key concepts and issues about retirement decisions:

  • Assumptions about taxes, asset classes, portfolios, financial planning software, life expectancy, and much more
  • Summaries of current studies by well-known researchers on safe withdrawal rates and asset allocation with applications for distribution strategies to address longevity concerns
  • Discussions that address your practice, such as highlighting the value CPAs and financial planners bring to the process, key risks, and retirement decision dates

The “Art” section focuses on the clients and how to address their retirement goals and needs by:

  • Establishing a systematic framework to cover topics such as spending, inflation, and successful data gathering.
  • Recognizing the unique needs of groups like women, same-sex couples, and divorcees.
  • Distinguishing the distinctive needs for clients in various stages in their lives, such as savers, pre-retirees, and retirees in both early and later years.

Not only is the number of baby boomers reaching retirement at an all-time high, but their decisions about retirement are made more difficult because of factors like the prospect of living longer than previous generations, the uncertainty of investment returns, and the changing definitions of what retirement even looks like. CPAs and financial planners can use the information in this guide to put together a game plan for meeting retirement needs with their clients.

By incorporating the reader’s anticipated questions with his own experiences, the author has addressed these topics in a very practical manner.

The CPA’s Guide to Practical Retirement Planning is available free in electronic format to Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Section members. Click here to access your copy. For more information about the PFP Section, click here. For PFP Section membership information, click here.

Ratings and reviews

James A. Shambo, CPA/PFS


American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialized credentials for qualified professionals who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. With The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it offers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets the global benchmark for quality and recognition in management accounting.

The AICPA and CIMA also make up the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), which represents public and management accounting globally, advocating on behalf the public interest and advancing the quality, competency and employability of CPAs, CGMAs and other accounting and finance professionals worldwide.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

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