Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA)

    Overview

    The Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) credential recognizes professionals who have a thorough knowledge of topics relevant to retirement planning and special issues of senior citizens including tax planning and tax preparation for decedents, estates, and trusts; and applying your knowledge and skills in real-life situations when serving aging clients.

    In order to become an ARA, you must pass the 100 question ARA examination which is offered twice a year at testing centers around the country.

    Exam Information

    The ARA Exam is a computer-based test offered twice a year at Castle Testing Centers across the country. You must register for the ARA Exam by the deadline in order to take the exam during a specified testing window.

    • 2018 Summer Testing Window: June 1, 201 - July 15, 2018
      Registration Deadline: May 30, 2018

    • 2018 Fall Testing Window: November 1, 2018 - December 15, 2018
      Registration Deadline: October 30, 2018

    The ARA exam is a three and a half hour, 100 multiple-choice question exam. You must score 70% or better to earn the credential. For more information on the ARA exam visit the Exam Details  page.

    Topics covered on the exam include:

    • Retirement Plans, Benefits, Social Security, Medicare, Veteran's Benefits (51 questions)

    • Estates, Trusts, Taxation (31 questions)

    • Insurance, Health Care, Senior and Long-Term Care Options (8 questions)

    • Personal Residence Issues (5 questions)

    • Ethics (5 questions)Suggested Study Material for the ARA Exa,

    ARA Examination Fee: $250  

    Study Materials
    We suggest using the topics listed above to help find webinars and other study materials to prepare for the ARA exam.  Below we have listed a few webinars from the NSA library that apply to topics related to the ARA Exam.  For more suggested study material please email ACAT at info@acatcredentials.org

    https://nsawebinars.nsacct.org/products/social-security-basics-to-maximizing-strategies

    https://nsawebinars.nsacct.org/products/retirement-planning-tax-minimization-strategies-2

    https://nsawebinars.nsacct.org/products/2016-entitlements-review-and-update


    Testing Centers

    The computer-based ARA Exam is proctored at Castle Testing Centers across the country. Castle offers close to 1,000 test center locations that provide testing in a proctored environment. Of the top 100 U.S. cities by population, 99% of candidates are within 15 miles of a Castle testing center. 

    Locate your testing city here

    You must register for the ARA exam by the deadline in order to take the exam at a Castle testing center during a specified testing window. Once registered, you will receive a Notice to Schedule/Eligibility Notice email that provides instructions to submit a scheduling request (such notices are sent no earlier than 45 days prior to the testing window).  Once you submit your scheduling request, you will receive your Confirmation Notice from Castle via email. This information will include your exam date and time reservation; the address and driving directions to the chosen testing site as well as instructions regarding arrival time; what to bring and not to bring; the rescheduling policy; a link to a generic sample test that demonstrates Castle’s online testing software, PASS, and other important information. 

    Detailed exam information and FAQs can be found here.

    Maintaining Your Credential

    ACAT Credential Holders must meet three (3) requirements to maintain credentials: Payment of annual renewal fees, continuing education requirements, and adherence to the Code of Ethics. Details of each can be found here


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    For more information about ACAT and its tax and accounting credentials, view the ACAT Candidate Handbook

    ACAT is affiliated with the National Society of Accountants (NSA), a resource for information about accounting topics and issues. NSA members provide diversified accounting services to small businesses and individuals across the United States. Learn more about NSA by visiting www.nsacct.org.

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