Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA)

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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.

Please note, the ARA exam is not being offered at this time. Check back for upcoming testing dates.


Exam Information

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 & Retirement Distribution (21 questions)
    Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran's Benefits, Retirement Plans, Retirement Plan Distribution and Planning

  • Insurance, Health Care, Senior and Long-Term Care Options (21 questions)
    Health Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Health Care, Long-Term Care, Life Insurance, Senior Housing Options and Issues

  • Estates, Trusts, Estate Planning & Taxation Considerations (44 questions)
    Estates, Trusts, Estate Planning, Taxation of Estates Form 706, Decedent’s Final Return, Gift Tax Returns Form 709, Special Considerations for the Self-Employed

  • Personal Residence Issues (10 questions)

  • Ethics & Professionalism in Serving Aging Clients (4 questions)


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


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

ARA Exam