Joint Study by InvestmentNews and The American College Reveals Need for Stronger Advisor Education on Retirement Income Planning

May 01, 2012, 11:22 ET from The American College

- Ninety-Three Percent of Advisors Surveyed Identified Need for Further Education on Retirement Income Planning -

BRYN MAWR, Pa., May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On average,10,000 baby boomers will retire every day for the next two decades. Advisors need a reliable planning approach to navigate the complexities facing consumers seeking to create a sustainable lifetime stream of income during retirement. The American College, the nation's largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services, and InvestmentNews, the leading news source for financial advisors, announced today the findings of a joint survey conducted with advisors to learn about their needs related to retirement income planning.  

Over 670 qualified respondents participated in this online survey, with an overwhelming 93 percent identifying the need for broader advisor education on retirement income planning.

"Our survey confirmed what we had thought – that there is an vast need for more education, which is why we recently launched the RICP designation," offers David Littell, JD, ChFC® and lead professor for the Retirement Income Certified Professional™ (RICP™) designation at The American College. "Retirees count on their advisors to help them achieve a sustainable income in retirement despite all of the risks of market uncertainty, rising healthcare costs, inflation, and increasing longevity.  It's no surprise that 68% of advisors surveyed agree that there is a need for a professional retirement income planning designation backed by a serious curriculum of study." 

Some of the key findings from the survey are:

  • Having a clear, systematic planning approach and choosing the right strategies and products to generate a lifetime income are the biggest challenges for advisors when constructing a retirement income plan.
  • Market volatility, followed by longevity and rising healthcare costs, are the most difficult risks to manage in building a client's retirement income plan.
  • 93 percent feel most advisors/wealth managers need to know more about retirement income planning. 
  • 68 percent believe there is a need for a serious professional designation to retirement income planning.
  • 69 percent believe that such a designation/certification would build more effective relationships with investing consumers.

"The results of this survey confirm that there is a greater need for advisors to continue to become more educated about retirement income planning," states Mark Bruno, director of online content and data at InvestmentNews. "With market conditions, and clients' retirement needs and demands more challenging to manage than ever before, income planning skills will be a distinguishing factor for all financial advisors over the next decade."

The study follows the recent launch of the RICP™ curriculum and designation program by The American College. Because completing the three courses in the program will take, on average, about 9 – 12 months, the first graduates earning the designation are expected by March 2013. Additional information on the designation can be found by visiting this link.

"For far too long, the financial services industry has concentrated its efforts on investors accumulating wealth," offers Laurence Barton, CAP®, PhD, president and CEO of The American College. "The RICP™ focuses on all elements - strategies, techniques and investment vehicles - suitable for investors that now need to rely on those assets for income.  What's more, our curriculum will cover plan construction, risk management and dynamic portfolio management over the course of an investor's retirement."

To view graphics and additional insights developed via survey findings, please visit  

About The American College:
The American College is the nation's largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services.  Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others since 1927.  The College has assembled a faculty of the foremost thought leaders in the industry to help companies and their employees succeed.

About InvestmentNews:
Since 1998, InvestmentNews has been delivering news and analysis essential to the business of financial advisors. Our weekly newspaper, which combines comprehensive news with accurate, independent reporting on the entire financial services industry, provides financial advisors with insight into the market unavailable in any other publication. Today, our readers have come to rely on InvestmentNews for up-to-date market information on the stories and events affecting their clients' investments, making us the number one source of news to the financial advisor community. The InvestmentNews main office is located in New York, with bureaus in Boston, Irvine, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

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David Littell

SOURCE The American College