Professional Designations

What is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC)?

By  Mike Zaccardi

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals and firms not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

A Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) is a designation for financial professionals focused on retirement planning. The program is designed for new and experienced advisors who seek to define a “road map to retirement” for their clients. There is a focus on clients’ pre-and post-retirement needs and issues related to asset management and estate planning.

Continue reading to better understand the designation and what is required for a financial advisor to earn it. Individuals and couples interested in retirement planning can learn how to benefit from working with a CRPC.

What is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC)?

Financial professionals who hold the CRPC demonstrate expertise in retirement planning beyond standard industry testing and licensing programs. According to the College for Financial Planning, the credentialing organization and sponsor of the CRPC designation, individuals must complete an online instructor-led or self-study course program, pass a final designation exam (online and timed), and complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years to earn the right to use the CRPC marks.

A CRPC specializes in the complex niche of retirement planning. People seeking guidance on how best to prepare for life after full-time employment should consider working with a CRPC. The designation helps identify retirement planning specialists rather than financial planning generalists. Advisors holding the CRPC have taken steps to show they are serious about helping retirees and pre-retirees in areas such as Social Security, Medicare options, investment strategies, retirement account distribution strategies, long-term care insurance planning, and even the Affordable Care Act’s rules.

The College for Financial Planning states that “the CRPC designation program is designed for both intermediate and experienced advisors who wish to provide more comprehensive retirement planning advice to individual clients and families.“

Should You Hire a CRPC?

You should consider hiring a CRPC if you are looking for specific assistance with retirement planning needs. Typically, individuals and couples in their 50s begin seriously planning for retirement. While many people begin saving and investing for retirement early in their careers, more detailed and strategic planning is needed as retirement nears. A CRPC helps tailor plans for their clients and ensures that goals are being met and risks are properly managed in retirement. The CRPC designation can complement the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

The College for Financial Planning boasts that the CRPC designation is recognized as the industry benchmark for retirement planning credentials and is endorsed by top financial firms. The College administers many other professional designation programs, so an advisor with the CRPC marks has a strongly-regarded institution cosigning their prowess.

Individuals and couples should look to the help of a CRPC on such issues as:

·         Social Security and Medicare Planning: Few areas of retirement planning are more complicated than navigating the world of Social Security and Medicare. One misstep can mean thousands of dollars (or more) of lost income or increased expense. A CRPC that handles issues with these federal programs daily can deliver significant value.

·         Preparing for Retirement: Many individuals and couples underestimate the importance of making the right moves in the years leading up to retirement. Bridging the gap between late-career and the early years of retirement helps build the foundation for a secure and long-lasting retirement.

·         Reducing Financial Risks: Developing new income streams during retirement helps mitigate longevity risk and market risks. Researching and buying the right insurance policies is also critical to reducing financial risks. A CRPC can help in these areas.

·         Tax and Estate Planning: Leaving a legacy is important to many retirees. A CRPC can work with clients to outline the most effective charitable giving plan and strategies to leave the most money to heirs.

There are many facets to retirement. It’s not as simple as calling it quits from the 9-5 working world and then relaxing on a beach. Careful planning and strategy are required. An experienced financial planner who holds the CRPC designation can help design and manage the right retirement plan.

What Does it Take to Earn and Maintain the CRPC?

The CRPC professional designation program includes coursework, an exam, successful completion of continuing education, and an ethics component. Candidates begin by taking part in classes—either live online or on demand. There are no prerequisites.

The CRPC’s coursework covers the following areas:

  • Maximizing the Client Experience During the Retirement Planning Process
  • Principles and Strategies When Investing for Retirement
  • Making the Most of Social Security Retirement Benefits
  • Bridging the Income Gap: Identifying Other Sources of Retirement Income
  • Navigating Health Care Options in Retirement
  • Making the Emotional and Financial Transition to Retirement
  • Designing Optimal Retirement Income Streams
  • Achieving Income Tax and Estate Planning Objectives in Retirement
  • Fiduciary, Ethical, and Regulatory Issues for Advisors

Upon completion of the coursework, candidates must pass a final exam with a score of 70% or higher. There is a 3-hour time limit and candidates have a maximum of two attempts to pass the exam. The grade earned on the final exam reflects a candidate’s overall grade for the designation program. After passing the exam, the candidate may apply for authorization to use the CRPC marks. The application includes committing to Standards of Professional Conduct and disclosing criminal events and investigations into professional conduct.

After passing the exam, the certification requires continuing education. A CRPC professional must apply for renewal of the designation every two years. 16 hours of CE credits are required along with reaffirming the professional conduct policies mentioned earlier.

How To Find The Best Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor For You 

You’ll find a growing number of CRPCs featured on Wealthtender and you can also visit the Find a Financial Advisor page on the Kaplan Financial website

FAQs

How Can I Confirm the Financial Professional I’m Working with Holds the CRPC?

Visit the Find a Financial Advisor page on the Kaplan Financial website to see if an advisor has the CRPC designation. Using the search tool, you can find an advisor with the CRPC designation in your area.

What if I Have a Complaint About the CRPC I Hired?

Visit this page to contact the College of Financial Planning regarding issues with an advisor holding the CRPC designation. The Grievances section provides a link to the form to submit a complaint against a designee.

I’m a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor interested in joining Wealthtender. How should I get started?

Thanks for your interest in joining Wealthtender. We’re excited to help CRPCs connect with people interested in the specialized experience and services you offer to help them achieve their retirement goals. You can learn more about Wealthtender by visiting this page: Modern Advisor Marketing ™ with Wealthtender

Where can I learn more about other professional designations held by financial advisors and coaches?

Refer to this list of popular financial certifications prepared by Wealthtender to help you learn more about each designation. You’ll find a brief description of each certification, plus links to in-depth articles if you want to learn more about a particular designation.


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Mike Zaccardi CFA

About the Author

Mike Zaccardi

Mike is a freelance writer for financial advisors and investment firms. He’s a CFA® charterholder and Chartered Market Technician®, and has passed the coursework for the Certified Financial Planner program. 

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals and firms not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

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