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Near the end of 2020, the Department of Labor released the final version of the new prohibited transaction exemption, affecting disclosures for rollover recommendations. The Department of Labor noted last week that it would move forward with implementation and enforcement, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration indicated it would continue to perform outreach to determine how the exemption could be improved.
Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell urged a "societywide commitment" to get Americans back to work and achieve maximum employment. The Fed has indicated that it will strive to keep borrowing costs low, but Powell noted that achieving the employment goal "will require more than supportive monetary policy."
Some of your clients might be confused about what the SECURE Act means for their IRAs and estate plans. This article walks through planning implications related to beneficiary designations and touches on topics such as Roth conversions and trust planning. (As you're helping your client families plan in relation to the SECURE Act, use strategies in the Adviser's Guide to Financial and Estate Planning -- Volume 1 is open to all AICPA members.)
Clients who missed their initial window for signing up for Medicare have until March 31 during the current general enrollment period to address the situation. This overview explains Medicare enrollment rules, options such as Advantage Plans and Medigap, and potential penalties for late enrollment. (PFP Section members can read this guide for in-depth planning strategies related to Medicare and paying for health care in retirement.)
People with employer stock in a 401(k) account could realize tax savings through special rules related to net unrealized appreciation for such a holding. This article describes when this approach is most useful, as well as key factors to keep in mind. (For more great information on retirement planning, see the Guide to Practical Retirement Planning, 4th Edition, which is open to PFP Section members only.)
Whole life insurance can provide certain advantages for clients' families, including a tax-free death benefit that can offer certainty and stability. In addition, this article notes that the structure of these products means that they typically become more efficient when they are held for longer periods of time. (Listen to this podcast, courtesy of the PFP Section, for more on what to do and what not to do with life insurance.)
The pandemic has created challenges for taxpayers and practitioners, but there are various kinds of penalty relief that might help, including first-time abatement and reasonable cause. Waiting until taxes are fully paid before requesting penalty abatement can be a wise move.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced last week that it is updating the Paycheck Protection Program's processes to accelerate the flow of funds to small businesses. Certain applications have been held up by additional validation checks, and the SBA said the changes were designed to clear bottlenecks while "maintaining the integrity" of the program.
Data suggests that a majority of firms are expecting an increase in remote work in the wake of the pandemic, and some are planning to shrink their office footprint. Nine strategies can help firms thrive in a virtual environment, including embracing technology, developing an effective routine and adapting communication styles as necessary.
The new approach to retirement planning: Gamification
Creating a meaningful experience for your clients has become even more important over the past year. Mackey McNeill, CPA/PFS, has gamified her process to bring fun to retirement planning. In this episode of the PFP Section podcast, she shares her approach, step by step, including:
How she opens the conversation to invite her clients in
Why she has her clients who are couples create their goals separately
What she says to get clients out of the data-gathering weeds
How she creates both an ideal financial plan and an acceptable one to help with decision-making
Create client conversations and discover ways to add value
Are your clients coming to you for advice in all areas of their personal finances? You can help them by reminding them that you're their primary point of contact for all things planning. AICPA members can use the Personal Finance Scorecard, courtesy of the PFP Section, with clients to help identify planning needs.
The AICPA's Personal Financial Planning Section is the premier provider of information, tools, advocacy and guidance for advisors who specialize in providing estate, tax, retirement, risk management and/or investment planning advice to individuals, families and business owners.
About the CPA/PFS Credential:
The Personal Financial Specialist program allows CPAs to gain and demonstrate competence and confidence in providing estate, tax, retirement, risk management and/or investment planning advice to individuals, families and business owners through experience, education, examination, and a resulting credential.
AICPA PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING SECTION RESOURCES