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Retirement Income Certified Professional®

Clients for life.

RICP® prepares you to help clients obtain a secure retirement. This designation equips advisors with the knowledge to effectively manage the transition from asset accumulation during a client’s working years to asset decumulation in retirement. RICP® enables the advisor to demonstrate tremendous value by delivering smart strategies for creating secure, sustainable income for a client's retirement. 

of the top retirement planning experts in the country
Enhanced retirement income planning knowledge.

There is an urgent demand for practical ways to structure effective retirement income plans. Today’s regulatory environment underlines this need. Study with the nation’s leading retirement income planning experts to learn best practices in Social Security claiming, risk management, decumulation planning, distribution strategies, and more.

The RICP® program offers relevant solutions to modern retirement income planning scenarios ranging from the common to the complex. The College's expert faculty continually update the RICP® curriculum to reflect the changing landscape of the financial services environment.

major risks that clients face in retirement

Required courses
HS 353 Retirement Income Process, Strategies & Solutions:
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand the steps in creating an effective retirement income plan
  • Identify retirement income needs, objectives, and goals by evaluating the client’s current situation
  • Determine how to choose the appropriate retirement income strategy for your clients
  • Evaluate income tax, estate issues, retirement risks, and other threats to an effective retirement income plan
  • Integrate risk management tools, products, and strategies to create an effective retirement income plan

HS 354 Sources of Retirement Income:
The second of the program's three courses explores sources of retirement income in depth. After completion, you should be able to:

  • Recommend the optimal age to claim Social Security benefits as appropriate for each client's situation
  • Help the client evaluate the factors to consider when determining an appropriate retirement age
  • Understand the role of annuities in a retirement income plan
  • Have a better understanding of how executive benefits and retirement benefits for federal and military employees fit into the plan
  • Understand the different ways that life insurance can be used in planning and how to address the retirement needs of the small business owner
  • Understand how to build a retirement income portfolio
  • Become more familiar with the latest research on strategies for ensuring that retirement assets last a lifetime

HS 355 Managing the Retirement Income Plan:
The third course in the RICP® series focuses on initial and ongoing retirement income plan management. This knowledge will help you:

  • Choose the appropriate tax-efficient distribution options from a retirement plan
  • Help a client create a health expense budget and navigate the many decisions regarding Medicare and other health care options
  • Help a client prepare for their long-term care needs
  • Navigate retirement housing decisions and address home equity strategies
  • Identify the key ethical issues in retirement income planning
  • Create and manage retirement income portfolios appropriate for each client’s situation

Individual course: $950
Three-course package: $2,450

Tuition includes all required study materials, access to on-demand online learning tools, and your examinations. RICP® does not include or require any physical textbooks.

To receive the RICP® designation, you must successfully complete all three courses, meet experience requirements, and agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures. Participation in the Professional Recertification Program is also required.

A four-month testing window gives you ample time to study and prepare for exams. Students typically spend about 40-50 hours per course.

You are free to create your own plan for how you want to pace your studies. We recommend a steady approach, so that you can truly absorb the material. From enrollment, you’ll have a window of four months in which to schedule your final exam. Your window opens on the day you enroll and includes the current month, plus the next four months.

Designed for the working professional
This is an online self-study education program, which includes extensive video lectures, expert interviews, practice exams, assessment questions, and professor-driven webinars, all supported by a detailed outline that allows students to move through the program at their own pace. Each of the three courses concludes with a two-hour 100-question exam.

Online, on-demand
Your course material is divided into competencies that are designed to guide you through the content in the means most appropriate to the subject matter.

Intensive Review Program (IRP) for RICP® Courses
Accelerate your RICP® studies with a live classroom review. In your optional IRP component, highly qualified faculty members from The American College of Financial Services provide you with 10 hours of intensive review of all the major course concepts. You will also have the ability to ask questions and interact with fellow students. On the last day of the session you will take your final exam, so there’s no need to make a separate appointment at a testing center. IRP sessions are a great way to study along with an expert right up to the moment you begin your exam. Students should still study their text and course materials prior to the IRP to be fully prepared.

Taking Your IRP
Below is a list of upcoming Intensive Review Programs. We recommend that you follow the recommended course sequence, and enroll in IRPs when they are available for your next course. If you are interested in enrolling in an IRP that is not for your next recommended course, please speak with a counselor by calling 888-263-7265.

No IRPs are scheduled currently. For assistance, please call 888-263-7265.

John Ameriks, PhD
Principal, Head of Quantitative Equity Group
The Vanguard Group, Inc.

Ben Baldwin, Jr., CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®
Director Emeritus
Baldwin Financial Systems, LLC

Somnath Basu, PhD
Professor of Finance
California Lutheran University

Brent Burns, MBA
President and Founding Partner
Asset Dedication

April Caudill, JD, CLU®, ChFC®, AEP®
Advanced Solutions Director
Prudential Financial Group

John Cermak, CFP®
Financial Advisor
First Command Financial Planning

Curtis V. Cloke, CLTC, LUTCF, RICP®
CEO and Founder
Thrive Income Distribution System, LLC
Acuity Financial, Inc.
Green Tax Pros, LLC

David Freitag, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPC®
Vice President, Marketing
Impact Technologies Group, Inc.
Financial Planning Consultant
Mass Mutual Financial Group

Shelley Giordano
Funding Longevity Task Force

Donald Graves
HECM Advisors Group

Edward Graves, ChFC®, CLU®
Associate Professor of Insurance
The American College of Financial Services (1975-2013)

Jonathan Guyton, CFP®
Cornerstone Wealth Advisors, Inc.

Sherman Hanna, PhD
Ohio State University

Tom Hegna, CASL®, ChFC®, CLU®

Paul Henry
Managing Director, Retirement Clients and Products
LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement Institute

Jamie Hopkins, Esq., MBA, LLM, CLU®, RICP®
Co-Director, New York Life Center for Retirement Income
Larry R. Pike Chair in Insurance and Investments
Associate Professor of Taxation

The American College of Financial Services

Stephen Huxley, PhD
Chief Investment Strategist and Founding Partner
Asset Dedication

Roger G. Ibbotson
Professor in Practice
Yale School of Management

James Ivers III, JD, ChFC®
Professor of Taxation
The American College of Financial Services (1984-2010)

Colleen Jaconetti, CPA, CFP®
Senior Investment Analyst
Vanguard Investment Strategy Group

Joe Jordan
Consultant, Speaker, and Author of “Living a Life of Significance”
Senior Vice President
MetLife (1988-2012)

Michael Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CASL®, CLU®, CFP®, ChFC®, REBC®, RHU®
Partner & Director of Wealth Management
Pinnacle Advisory Group
Nerd’s Eye View at

Theodore T. Kurlowicz, JD, LLM, CAP®, ChFC®, CLU®
Charles E. Drimal Professorship in Estate Planning
Professor of Taxation

The American College of Financial Services

Craig Lemoine, PhD, CFP®
Director, Northwestern Mutual Granum Center for Financial Security
Jarrett L. Davis Distinguished Professorship in Financial Planning Technology
Associate Professor of Financial Planning

The American College of Financial Services

David Littell, JD, ChFC®
Co-Director, New York Life Center for Retirement Income
Joseph Boettner Chair in Research
Professor of Taxation

The American College of Financial Services

Kevin M. Lynch, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, RHU®, REBC®, CASL®, CAP®, CLF®, LUTCF, FSS
Assistant Professor of Insurance
The American College of Financial Services

Allen McLellan, LUTCF, CASL®, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®
Adjunct Professor of Insurance
The American College of Financial Services

William Meyer
Founder & Managing Principal
Social Security Solutions, Inc.

Moshe Milevsky, PhD
Executive Director
IFID Centre

Dr. Harry (Rick) Moody
Vice President and Director of Academic Affairs
AARP (2004-2013)

David Nanigian, PhD
Associate Professor of Investments
The American College of Financial Services (2010-2016)

Debra Newman, CLU®, ChFC®, LTCP
Newman Long Term Care

Kirk Okumura, MSFS, ChFC®
Academic Director, FSCP Program
The American College of Financial Services

Wade Pfau, PhD, CFA
Professor of Retirement Income
The American College of Financial Services

Anna Rappaport, FSA, MAAA
Anna Rappaport Consulting

William Reichenstein, PhD, CFA
Pat and Thomas R. Powers Chair in Investment Management
Professor of Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate
Baylor University

Stephen H. Rosen, E.A., C.P.C., F.C.A.
Managing Director & Practice Leader, Pension Consulting Services
FTI Consulting

Steven Sass, PhD
Associate Director, Financial Security Project
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Albert “Bud” Schiff, CLU®, CAP®, AEP®
Managing Director and CEO
Alveraz and Marsal

Paul J. Schneider, JD, LLM
Senior Counsel
Paisner-Litvin LLP

Bruce Schobel
Consulting Actuary

Barbara Stucki, PhD
Cofounder and CEO
NestCare FPC
Vice President
National Council on Aging (NCOA) (2003-2012)

Arthur Tacchino, JD
Assistant Professor of Health Insurance
The American College of Financial Services (2010-2013)

Kenn Tacchino, JD, LLM
Professor of Taxation and Financial Planning
Widener University
Journal of Financial Service Professionals

Stephen D. Tarr, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP®, CASL®, MSM
Senior Vice President, Major Gifts
The American College of Financial Services (1989-2015)

Sandra Timmerman, Ed.D.
Visiting Professor of Gerontology and Retirement Living
The American College of Financial Services
Executive Director
MetLife Mature Market Institution (1997-2013)

Jack VanDerhei, PhD
Research Director
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

Katy Votava, PhD, RN

Walt Woerheide, PhD, ChFC®, CFP®
Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security Research
Professor of Investments

The American College of Financial Services

See the student handbook and policies page for comprehensive details on refund policies, learning policies, recertification information, and more.

Program Faculty

Jamie Patrick Hopkins

Larry R. Pike Chair in Insurance and Investments
Associate Professor of Taxation
Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income

David A. Littell

Joseph E. Boettner Chair in Research
Professor of Taxation
Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income

Dr. Wade D. Pfau

Professor of Retirement Income

Get Started With RICP®

Ongoing Commitment: Carry The Shield

The American College of Financial Services is the premier educational institution dedicated to the development of financial services professionals. The College has worked tirelessly to educate our nation’s advisors, to help them raise the level of their service, and to ensure that society can rely on a profession built on trust. Graduates and designees of The American College of Financial Services have studied, have passed rigorous exams, and have proven that they not only have the technical knowledge to serve their clients, but have sworn to practice ethically and in the best interest of the people they serve. Holders of the RICP® designation are required to complete ongoing continuing education and participate in the Professional Recertification Program. We look to our graduates, designees, students, and future leaders, to earn the trust of your clients, to represent the legacy of this institution, to proudly, “Carry the Shield.”