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Retirement Income Certified Professional®

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Best For

Financial professionals with retiree clients in need of income solutions.


<12 Months


Study the curriculum at your own pace, engage through virtual office hours, and receive support from the nation’s preeminent retirement planning thought leaders. Learn About Personal Pathway®.

100% Virtual


Starting at  

Three-course package available for $2,695



Enroll Now Request Info
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Experience the RICP® Program

Extensive & Intensive Retirement Income Education

Join preeminent retirement planning thought leader Wade Pfau, PhD, CFA, RICP®, along with one of the program’s 10,000 alumni Kristin Shea, RICP® for a video tour of the RICP® Program.

Take a Tour
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Admissions Requirements

There are no prerequisite courses required to 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 is required to maintain the designation.

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Tuition & Scholarships

Program tuition can be paid on a per-course basis, or packaged together at a reduced rate. Tuition covers your course fees, final exam, and course materials, including:

  • Downloadable content for easy following
  • Video lectures and expert interviews
  • Practice exams and assessment questions

Individual course: $995  
3-course package: $2,695

Scholarship opportunities for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and spouses, African American financial professionals, women and other qualifying groups are available. Discover scholarship opportunities.

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What You'll Learn

The RICP® Program gives you the skills to build sustainable and holistic retirement income plans using a depth of knowledge that covers every strategy and income style.

Your learning outcomes to help retirees and pre-retirees include:

  • Skills required to counter the 18 major risks in retirement
  • Strategies for Social Security claiming
  • Approaches to contain healthcare and long-term care costs
  • Tools for estate and legacy planning
  • Solutions for retirement plan savings
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Course Delivery

Study the three-course curriculum at your own pace, engage through virtual office hours, and receive support from the nation’s preeminent retirement planning thought leaders and our academic advising team.

Benefit from program resources including:

  • Comprehensive curriculum without knowledge gaps – supporting a 21st-century, best-interest approach to retirement income planning 
  • Modern e-learning with dynamic presentations and graphics, practice exams and knowledge checks to both engage and help you retain the material 
  • Interactive Exam Prep with the Webinar Intensive Review Program (WIRP), instructor-led live webinars with Q&A and peer engagement (separate enrollment at no fee)
  • Faculty office hours with nationally-recognized academics, researchers, and practitioners
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Why Become an RICP®


Higher earnings are possible if you go beyond financial planning certification with a second College designation.1


Elite, committed professionals have made an investment in advanced retirement knowledge.


Of RICP® designees agree that The College’s programs are a great investment in career development.1

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The RICP® is Right For You If:

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You Embrace Client Complexity

One Size Does Not Fit All

You recognize the lack of expertise to meet this growing market. Only 17% of the CFP® exam covers retirement.1 And most other retirement designations are introductory or incomplete.

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You Seek In-Demand Expertise

You and Your Clients Agree

71% of your peers realize the need for specialized retirement knowledge2, and clients pick retirement planning as the #1 service.3

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You Strive to Exceed Expectations

Meet Client Needs

There’s a "massive expectations gap" between the services clients want, and those your peers deliver.4 This is especially true for post-retirement services, which opens the door for you!

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Inside the RICP® Program

HS 353 Retirement Income Process, Strategies and Solutions

Covers the process of creating an effective retirement income plan, including evaluating client goals, possible risks, and overall management strategies.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll 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 
  • Evaluate income tax, estate issues, retirement risks, and other threats to achieving client retirement goals
  • Integrate risk management tools, products, and strategies into client plans

HS 354 Sources of Retirement Income

Explores sources of retirement income, including their application in building a retirement income portfolio.

After completion of this course you will 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 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

HS 355 Managing the Retirement Income Plan

Focuses on initial and ongoing retirement income plan management, including choosing the appropriate tax-efficient distribution options, navigating Medicare and other health care options, preparing clients for long-term care needs, and more.

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
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Susan Pomfret
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The RICP® designation empowers me to help people have a more financially stress-free retirement and take care of their other needs as they age. It also makes me an indispensable partner to the financial advisors I work with.

Susan Pomfret


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The instruction and advice I received in the RICP® Program stood out and played a big part in molding my thoughts about retirement income and financial planning as a career.

Adonis Hembrick


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My RICP® Program instructors inspired me to use this designation to set myself apart. I use the material I learned every day.

Joshua Newhouse



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RICP® Program: See Where We Stand

Save time with a quick view of how our RICP® Program stacks up against other retirement income education programs.

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RICP® Program: See Where We Stand

Save time with a quick view of how our RICP® Program stacks up against other retirement income education programs.

The American College of Financial Services logo



RICP® Retirement Income Certified Professional®

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CRPC® Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®

Investments & Wealth Institute -  RMA® Retirement Management Advisor® logo



RMA® Retirement Management Advisor®


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Learn From the Who's Who of Retirement Planning

Eric Ludwig


Director of the Center for Retirement Income, Program Director for the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) Program

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Steve Parrish


Professor of Practice and a Scholar in Residence at the McGuire Center for Ethics

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Wade D. Pfau


Professor of Practice

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Ed Slott

Ed Slott


Professor of Practice

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Martin L. Bretz


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Barry Feigenbaum


Adjunct Faculty

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There’s Even More to Explore

Download the Brochure

Read more about the RICP®

Access the Program Demo

Hear from a peer, a professor, and take a tour

View a Competitive Analysis

See where the RICP® stands compared to other retirement education programs

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RICP® Program FAQs

You will have 14 weeks to complete the required coursework. You can expect to spend 5-8 hours per week to complete each of the three courses. You are given a four-month window to complete each course, plus the remainder of the month in which you enrolled. There’s no deadline on how long you have to complete the entire program.

You only need a high school diploma or the equivalent to begin the program. However, in order to be awarded and use the designation, you must have at least three years of experience in financial planning or a related profession. For more information, view Admissions Requirements above.


1 U.S. News & World Report. CFP Exam 101: Everything You Need to Know to Pass the CFP Test. 10/19/2022

2 The American College of Financial Services. RIA Growth and Specialized Knowledge Survey Results. 10/2022.

3 The American College of Financial Services. The 2022 Granum Center for Financial Security Consumer Survey. 10/2022.

4 Spectrem Group. Expectations Not Always Predictable. 7/27/2021.