Become a sought-after financial planner with a needed specialty. Get the RICP® credential to expand your financial services offerings and become the newest member of trusted financial advisors.

Designation at a Glance




Complete in 12 months or less


100% online, self-study

Learning Outcomes

The 18 major risks clients face in retirement, including:

  • Strategies for Social Security claiming in an increasingly uncertain entitlement environment
  • Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurance choices for senior clients who will need long-term care
  • Estate and legacy planning for families and small business owners who want to pass on their success to the next generation
  • Choosing the right retirement savings solution as 401(k)s and other vehicles continue to change

What is the RICP® Designation?

The Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) program empowers financial professionals with the knowledge they need to become experts in today's fast-growing retirement planning market.

The accredited RICP® program is tailored for financial professionals seeking to specialize in the retirement income planning field through an online, self-study format that allows you to move through lessons at your own pace to suit your busy schedule.

With the RICP® program, you will gain the skills to build sustainable, holistic retirement plans, delivering unbeatable value for your clients and becoming a sought-after counselor with valuable, and valued, expertise.

Upon completion, you will be a certified financial advisor with a robust toolkit to serve your clients. These tools include estate planning techniques, portfolio assessment, personal finance best practices, health expense budget creation, home equity strategies, and more.


Why Choose The RICP®?


Constructed by 45+ top retirement planning experts


96% of designees say their RICP® education helps them better serve clients


51% of designees say they’re earning more than those without the RICP®


No educational prerequisites—start your learning journey today

Program Details

Educational Requirements

There are no prerequisite courses required before you can begin the RICP® program, but three years of experience in financial planning or a related profession ARE required to use the designation.

To receive the RICP® designation, you must:

  1. Successfully complete the three required courses
  2. Agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures

Participation in the annual Professional Recertification Program (PRP) is required to maintain the designation.  For more information, see our Continuing Education (CE) FAQ and PRP pages.

Tuition & Fees

Individual course: $950

Three-course package: $2,450

Tuition covers all course fees, your final exam, and course materials:

  • Downloadable companion content for easy following
  • Video lectures on retirement income and financial planning
  • Expert interviews with retirement planning professionals
  • Practice exams to test your understanding of material
  • Assessment questions to evaluate your learning progress

Program tuition can be paid on a per-course basis, or packaged together with three or more courses at a reduced rate (as shown above). In addition, we are proud to offer scholarship opportunities for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and spouses, as well as African American financial professionals and other qualifying groups.

Annual participation in the Professional Recertification Program (PRP).

RICP® Curriculum

HS 353 Retirement Income Process, Strategies and 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 clients 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 clients situation

Program Faculty

Adjunct Professor Steve Parrish
Steve Parrish

Adjunct Professor of Advanced Planning

Co-Director of the American College Center for Retirement Income

Professor Wade Pfau
Wade D. Pfau

Professor of Retirement Income

RICP® Program Director

Co-Director of the American College Center for Retirement Income

Colin Slabach
Colin Slabach

Assistant Professor of Retirement

Assistant Director of the American College Center for Retirement Income


Normally students spend approximately 45 to 60 hours per course for each of the three courses in the RICP® program, each containing 14 weeks worth of material. In total, plan to spend between 135 to 180 hours over 12 months to complete the RICP® program.

Upon enrolling in each RICP® course, students are given a four-month window to complete the course, plus the remainder of the month in which they enrolled. There is no deadline on how long you have to complete all three courses.

Tuition includes all fees, exams, and course materials. For a complete listing, view the Tuition & Fees section.

Program tuition can be paid on a per-course basis, or packaged together as a program for a reduced rate. To see our current tuition rate and options, view the Pricing section.

We are proud to offer scholarship opportunities for qualifying active-duty military personnel, veterans, and spouses. For more information, visit our Center for Veterans Affairs.

There are no prerequisites required to take RICP® courses; you may begin at any time. However, in order to be awarded the designation, you must have at least three years of experience in financial planning or a related profession.

To enroll in the RICP® program, contact an admissions advisor at 888-795-6306 or click here to begin our online enrollment process.

The CE credit value of RICP® courses depends upon your individual state. For more information, see our CE Credit Listing page or check your state’s guidelines.

Each course in the RICP® program has a 2-hour exam with 100 multiple choice questions.

Testing is continuing under approved conditions at Pearson VUE testing centers. View our COVID FAQ page for the latest updates on exam scheduling, testing windows, and processes.

The College’s annual fee for the Professional Recertification Program (PRP) is $125 for client-facing advisors and $50 for non-client facing professionals, and covers all your designations earned from The American College of Financial Services. The recertification fee is paid in advance during the last quarter of the recertification year, by December 31, and will cover the following calendar year. Payment can be made through your online account with The College.

For more information, see our full listing of PRP FAQs.