Personal Financial Planning

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Create Financial Freedom...

through the support & consultation of Ray CPA's Personal Financial Specialist:

Building and preserving your personal wealth requires specialized attention. We offer one-on-one guidance and a comprehensive financial plan that helps manage risk, improve performance, and ensure the growth and longevity of your wealth by:

  • Helping you establish your financial goals 
  • Reviewing income and spending patterns; developing recommendations for cash flow management and budgeting
  • Performing “time value of money” calculations for decisions such as refinancing a home or buying vs. leasing a motor vehicle

As a CPA Firm and a Financial Planning Firm we are well equipped to provide you with the proper guidance both from a tax perspective and from a financial perspective. We’ve completed advanced training in Retirement Planning, Business Planning, Insurance and Risk Management, Estate Planning, Tax Planning, and Charitable Planning.

The principal of Ray CPA has been granted the prestigious Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential. The PFS credential demonstrates that an individual has met the minimum education, experience and testing required of a CPA in addition to a minimum level of expertise in personal financial planning.  To attain the PFS credential, a candidate must hold an unrevoked CPA license, fulfill 3,000 hours of personal financial planning business experience, complete 75 hours of personal financial planning CPE credits, pass a comprehensive financial planning exam and be an active member of the AICPA.  A PFS credential holder is required to adhere to AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct, and is encouraged to follow AICPA’s Statement on Responsibilities in Financial Planning Practice.  To maintain their PFS credential, the recipient must complete 60 hours of financial planning CPE credits every three years. The PFS credential is administered through the AICPA.

A CPA/PFS can provide you with services ranging from an informal personal consultation to a comprehensive financial plan, carefully tailored to your needs and circumstances. These highly individualized professional services will help you to:

  • Manage cash flow.
  • Build retirement savings.
  • Develop an estate plan.
  • Minimize tax liability.
  • Maximize the return on investments.
  • Manage financial risk.
  • Determine insurance needs.
  • Build education funds.
  • Plan for the care of elderly parents.
  • Purchase a vacation home.
  • Make the most of real estate investments

You've invested countless hours and hard earned dollars to achieve all that you now have. But getting ahead is getting harder every day. The world of financial planning is becoming more complex: Tax laws keep changing, the real estate market is in transition and a winning investment is more difficult to predict than ever before. That's why the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has created the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) program.

CPAs who have earned the PFS designation have demonstrated their ability to guide you through the confusing financial environment. Whether you need to build college funds for your newborn or develop investment strategies for retirement, a CPA/PFS is the one who can best maximize the effectiveness of your personal financial plans.

Personal financial planning is a process. It begins with an initial plan that is based on your current financial situation. The plan is then monitored so that it changes along with your lifestyle and the financial marketplace.

Financial planning means more than just choosing the mutual fund with the best current yield or deciding to buy a particular life insurance policy. It is the successful integration of your goals, resources, stage of life, and tolerance for risk.

In today's volatile economy, you cannot afford to leave your financial plans to chance. Invest in yourself...select the best. Select a CPA/PFS.

CPA/PFS – The Mark of Distinction

When you select a PFS, you are entrusting your financial well-being to a highly qualified professional who has pledged to upload a strict code of conduct -- mandated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Candidates for the PFS designation must first be CPAs. The CPA credential, in and of itself, implies a great deal of education, experience and technical skill. Furthermore, a CPA/PFS must:

  • Be an AICPA member in good standing and agree to comply with continuing professional education and reaccredidation requirements.
  • Have at least three years of personal financial planning experience, which must be documented with letters from clients and peers.
  • Demonstrate special competence by passing a comprehensive financial planning examination.

Once a CPA earns the PFS designation, he or she must work to keep it by becoming reaccredited every three years. This process includes taking continuing professional education to stay abreast of the latest developments.

In addition, CPAs with the PFS designation must periodically evaluate and document the professional quality of their practices to ensure that they meet the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. The CPA/PFS must also continue to practice personal financial planning. If the nature of the CPA's practice changes and the number of financial planning hours drops below the minimum required, the CPA will lose the PFS designation.

All Financial Planners Are Not Created Equal

Find out whether your financial planner has earned the right to use the initials "CPA" for certified public accountant. These letters are your assurance of competence, objectivity and integrity.

After completing the various levels of higher education, CPA candidates must pass a rigorous examination. In most cases, they must also work under a CPA's supervision for a specified period of time required by the CPA's state board of accountancy.

The CPA also is qualified to work with other professional advisers, such as attorneys, insurance agents, stockbrokers, and bankers, to help you secure the best possible financial future.

For more than 100 years, CPAs have been trusted financial advisers to businesses as well as to individuals. Therefore, they come to the financial planning marketplace with broad-based knowledge, including tax, audit, financial consulting, and small business expertise. CPAs who are financial planning professionals understand the framework of finance and the business world far beyond your personal financial planning needs.

The AICPA is the national professional association of CPAs and has more than 300,000 members. AICPA members are committed to the highest standards of quality, objectivity and ethics. In its continuing efforts to serve the public interest, the AICPA sets audit standards, upholds the profession's code of conduct, provides continuing professional education, implements peer review and quality review programs, and prepares and grades the Uniform CPA and Personal Financial Specialist examinations.

We can help you...

Save Enough for a Comfortable Retirement by:

  • Developing or refining retirement planning goals
  • Determining cash requirements to realize those goals
  • Calculating savings needed to meet retirement cash requirements
  • Analyzing available retirement plans.
  • Reviewing limits on and tax consequences of contributions to or distributions from retirement plans
  • Establishing retirement plans
  • Planning for retirement plan withdrawals
  • Assisting you with maximizing your Social Security benefits
  • Planning for post-retirement succession of a closely held business

Pay for your child’s education by:

  • Accurately estimating the amount of money you'll need
  • Analyzing your assets
  • Reviewing estimated shortfalls and considering general alternatives and strategies to help address these potential shortfalls
  • Developing an optimal savings plan given your financial situation and risk tolerance.

Protect your family in case of disability by taking these preventive actions:

  • Ensuring you have enough money in your emergency fund
  • Analyzing your exposure to risks and recommending methods for managing risk
  • Advising on various types and uses of life insurance
  • Helping you minimize your financial risks from disability, illness, property damage, and personal and professional liability
  • Planning for long-term health care for you and your family
  • Reviewing proposed policies to ensure your needs are satisfied
  • Reviewing income and estate tax aspects of insurance coverage 

Leave a legacy for your heirs by:

  • Helping you develop or refine your financial and personal estate planning goals
  • Estimating liabilities for federal estate tax, state death taxes and other obligations; determining cash needs upon death
  • Developing recommendations to meet financial obligations upon death
  • Reviewing tax and probate considerations of various forms of property ownership; making recommendations on the titling of assets
  • Developing strategies for minimizing estate and death taxes and achieving other estate-planning goals
  • Recommending or reviewing various instruments (e.g., wills, powers of attorney, trusts) for use in achieving goals
  • Planning for post-mortem succession of a closely held business (e.g., buy-sell agreements, estate freeze techniques, valuation issues) 
  • We also help you stay in control of your affairs by providing a road map for passing your estate on to your heirs.

We are extremely focused on Income Tax Planning, with such services including:

  • Advising you on the federal income tax consequences of your financial decisions
  • Helping to split income among family members through use of family partnerships, employment arrangements, gifts and trusts, installment sales, etc.
  • Advising on issues related to personal decisions, such as marriage or divorce (e.g., property settlements, retirement plan asset division, alimony, child support)

We can assist with examining Employee Benefits for planning opportunities by:

  • Evaluating or reviewing various benefits (equity, fringe, insurance) available to employees of public and private companies
  • Evaluating the implications of strategies for timing exercise and sale of equity employee benefits
  • Examining tax implications of benefits for employer and employees

Charitable Planning is a complex area, but we are available to assist by:

  • Evaluating your assets to use for charitable giving
  • Determining the advantages and disadvantages of charitable giving through different vehicles (e.g., conservation easements, charitable trusts, life insurance)
  • Summarizing the income tax consequences of various charitable giving options

 

A financial plan's true value comes with its implementation. Let us help you attain financial freedom by requesting a free consultation below.

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