Simple, Hourly Fee

I provide tax planning or Social Security planning for a fee of $265/hour. (More details here.)

The idea of using an hourly fee is to minimize conflicts of interest — I will not be trying to “upsell” you any services that come with ongoing fees. Here, you pay for what you need and no more.

My goal is not only to guide you with your current decisions, but to help you understand the factors involved, so that you can make more informed decisions on your own going forward.

Mike Piper, CPA

I am a CPA in the St. Louis area. I have written several books dealing with various tax and retirement planning concepts and have been quoted about such topics in numerous publications, from The Wall Street Journal, to AARP, to Morningstar.

I publish articles regularly (about tax planning, retirement planning, Social Security, and various other financial planning topics) on my blog at I am also the creator of the Open Social Security calculator.

Areas of Expertise

Social Security planning

Retirement account distribution planning

Roth conversions

Entity selecton for a new business (sole proprietorship vs. LLC vs. S-corp, etc.)

Retirement accounts for self-employed taxpayers (i.e., solo 401(k), SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA)

Areas of Non-expertise

With the goal of looking out for your interests, I should note that there are various topics where my expertise is not very strong. Because I charge an hourly fee, I have to be able to work efficiently in order to provide you with a good value. For instance, with the following topics, I would not be able to work particularly efficiently because I would have to spend significant time doing background research, which would add to your cost.

  • Estate planning
  • Equity-based compensation, such as incentive stock options (ISOs)
  • Establishing or maintaining defined benefit (i.e., traditional pension) plans
  • International taxation (e.g., tax planning for expats)

Other Reasons You May Not Want to Work With Me

  • I do not provide tax preparation.
  • I am a sole practioner. And sometimes I get sick, I go on vacation, or my schedule gets completely booked. (Point being, I cannot promise that I will always reply to emails in a particularly speedy manner, nor that I will always be available for further consultation. If you are looking for such assurances, a larger firm would be a better fit, and I can provide at least one such recommendation upon request.)
  • Neither Michael Piper nor Michael Piper, LLC is a registered investment adviser (RIA) or representative thereof. As such, I cannot accept engagements to provide investment advice (e.g., engagements to give advice regarding asset allocation or to recommend specific mutual funds for a portfolio).