Monday, June 17, 2013

Retirement Designations and Retirement Bootcamp

I have a new column available from Advisor Perspectives about three of the leading retirement income designations available. This column is geared more toward financial advisors who are thinking to study for a retirement designation and wondering which one to choose, but it could also be useful for consumers to know more about 3 of the more rigorous designations: CRC, RICP, and RMA.

While on the subject of certifications and designations, let me mention the RMA's retirement bootcamp at Salem State University on July 15-19 in Salem, Massachusetts. I attended a few days of last year's event, and it was a really great experience. My plans for this year are to arrive for dinner on Tuesday and leave at the end of the day on Thursday. I'll be speaking on Wednesday afternoon. Last year, this was a truly unique opportunity for enrollees. Six students (one of whom was not a financial planner, but rather just a new retiree who signed up after reading about the course in a Salem State University course catalog), were able to hear lectures and have discussions with (followed by dinners at a very scenic local country club) some of the leading names in the retirement income world, such as Zvi BodieLaurence KotlikoffDana Anspach, and others. Can you imagine? Opportunities like that are hard to come by. Those names are planning to attend again this year, and I'm also excited to meet Michael Zwecher and Manish Malhotra in person for the first time. Again, though in principal the purpose of this event is to prepare students for the RMA examination, enrollment is open to any interested parties. You can see the planned course schedule here and learn more about how to sign up here.

Back to the Advisor Perspectives column, I had wanted to include a fourth designation: The College for Financial Planning's CRPC designation. But it was too late to include it by the time I heard back from them with answers to my questions. So here is some bonus content for the blog. The CRPC is actually older and larger than any of the others I reviewed. It began in 1996 and there are now about 16,000 active designees with another 1,500 actively enrolled and working through the course materials. Students take one 3 credit hour graduate course with 12 modules. Expected study time is 120 hours and students should be able to complete the course in 3-4 months. Examinations are conducted at testing centers around the country. The course cost is $1140 with discounts available for employees of specific firms which have endorsed the designation. Recertification is required every two years with 16 CE credits, and reaffirming compliance with a code of conduct. The biannual recertification is $95. About what distinguishes this designation, I learned that, "The College for Financial Planning began surveying CRPC® graduates for the Survey of Trends in the Financial Planning Industry in 2006. CRPC® designees have shown increases to not only their earnings and number of clients, but also their job satisfaction in every survey to date."