My brother David and I recently completed the coursework and passed the required tests to achieve the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) Designation.
Though it is well known in the retirement advice/financial planning industry, the RICP® doesn’t have quite the name recognition of other designations such as the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®). The typical person has probably never heard of it, and likely doesn’t know anything about it!
So naturally, I thought it was worth a blog post to explain what these mysterious 4 letters “RICP®” mean, what the designation is all about, and why we pursued it.
The Retirement Income Certified Professional® Program
The Retirement Income Certified Professional® designation was created for those who want comprehensive expertise in retirement planning. The RICP® program is sponsored by the American College of Financial Services® and covers 18 competencies spread among 3 courses. People pursuing the designation must complete the three courses and pass the accompanying exam for each course.
In addition to the coursework, the RICP® designation requires three years of professional experience.
Why Haven’t You Heard of It?
The main reason people haven’t heard of the RICP® is that it is so new. The Retirement Income Certified Professional® Designation is fairly new by industry standards, having first been started by the American College of Financial Services in 2012; the first crop of RICP®’s received their designations in 2013.
Compare that to the CFP® program that has been around since the early 1970’s!
Why Pursue It?
When Dave and I discussed the possibility of going through the RICP® coursework, what we really cared about was how applicable it was for us in our roles at Ruedi Wealth. We specialize in retirement planning, so it only made sense to go through a program that would help us hone our skills even more in that area.
We went over the curriculum and were excited to see such an incredibly comprehensive dive into retirement income planning. On top of that, the people involved with the program were revered academics in the financial planning realm David and I were both excited to learn from.
After going through all the coursework, I have to say it did not disappoint. They cover so many ways to put together a reliable retirement income stream. This made me even more confident in our processes here at Ruedi Wealth and my ability to explain them to our clients.
Retirement Planning: A People-Focused Discipline
The RICP® also strongly emphasized what I have always felt: that retirement planning isn’t just about investment portfolios and making the most out of money, it is about people first and foremost.
It is about enhancing our clients’ lifestyles at every stage in life and addressing the unique challenges and opportunities in each phase of retirement.
I think the RICP® did a great job of going beyond finances and highlighting the physical and mental challenges retirees face as they age. They even provide you with resources for retirees and advice on how to help them each step of the way!
As an advisor, having the ability to spot challenges before they come to fruition is of the utmost importance and I have a lot better handle on helping my clients through all the challenges they will face throughout retirement. That was worth the 9 months of studying.
Final Thoughts: The Perfect Designation for Retirement Planners
David and I both agree the RICP® program was a worthwhile experience that advanced our knowledge of retirement planning even further. This will without a doubt enhance our ability to help our clients retire successfully!
For more information about the RICP® designation, see this brochure: https://www2.theamericancollege.edu/assets/pdfs/ricp-brochure.pdf
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