The majority of affluent Americans said they are more likely to consult with a financial planner with tax expertise to meet their financial goals after the recent changes to the federal tax law, a survey has found.

A recent Harris Poll found that over half of affluent Americans said they would consult a CPA financial planner or advisor with tax expertise to meet their financial goals. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 were more likely to adjust their financial plans according to changes in tax policy.

Of those surveyed, 87 percent said adjusting their financial plan to be more tax-efficient would help them achieve at least one of their financial goals in the long term. Outliving assets in retirement was the most cited goal of 46 percent of the survey respondents. Long-term medical care ranked second at 28 percent; retiring earlier was at 22 percent, and delaying Social Security payments in retirement was at 21 percent, the survey found.

“Given the sharp bite taxes can take out of returns, the importance of structuring investments and income-generating savings in a tax-efficient manner cannot be overstated,” said Andrea Millar, a CPA and director of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Division, in a release.

While tax efficiency is a significant part of an affluent investor’s financial plan, the survey found only 43 percent of the respondents’ total investments and retirement savings were in tax-qualified accounts or tax-favored investments. The survey noted that retirement savings income was most important, while health-care planning and the achievement of investment goals followed.

The survey indicated that effective tax planning was considered to be very or somewhat important by the majority of affluent Americans for their overall financial well-being in retirement. A quarter of those surveyed said that leaving a more substantial inheritance to their family and grandchildren was an incentive.

Millar added, “However, taxes have an impact on all aspects of a financial plan, from retirement to medical care to charitable giving. CPA financial planners work with their clients to understand their financial goals and structure their financial plan in a tax-optimized manner accordingly.”

Utilizing a tax-efficient plan with municipal bonds or 401(k)s, is one way to allow growth and maximize retirees’ income, the study noted. The AICPA recommends that CPA financial planners talk with clients about investments for the new tax law, as well as charitable contributions, home equity loans and other strategies.

The Harris Poll for AICPA was conducted within the United States among 507 affluent U.S. adults aged 18 and over who either have $250,000 in investable assets or more than $200,000 in household income.