the american college

Retirement Planning is More Important Than Ever

13,000 Financial Advisors Have Enrolled in RICP® Program; 80% said Clients are Asking More Questions

BRYN MAWR, PA, October 7, 2016 – 2016 has brought an unprecedented level of uncertainty to retirement planning and with it many questions for consumers about what to do and where to turn.

In the same year, The American College of Financial Services reached a total of 13,000 students enrolled in the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) program since its launch – a 65% increase from 2013.

The milestone underscores The American College’s efforts to offer the most knowledgeable support to Americans faced with the challenge of retirement income planning.

“There are uncertainties at every turn, including stock market volatility, length of retirement, impact of inflation, and the need for long-term care, and we need financial advisors who are well equipped to guide their clients to build a plan that addresses all of these contingencies,” said David Littell, Retirement Income Program Co-Director at The American College. “The strong growth of our RICP® program highlights the importance of skilled retirement income planning for consumers and advisors alike.”

To help understand the recent surge of enrollments in the RICP® program, The American College polled a panel of RICP® designation holders about client interests and behaviors. The college found that 80% of advisors said that their clients were asking more questions about retirement income planning today than 3 years ago. They also found that the top three reasons why a client is motivated to turn to a retirement advisor include:

  • Concern about meeting their retirement goals
  • Concern about running out of money in retirement
  • Concern about maximizing their financial resources

Interestingly, the college found that there is a discrepancy between advisors and clients on what are the most important issues in ensuring one’s retirement security, below.

Clients vs. Advisors – Most Important Issues When Ensuring Retirement Security



Client Issues

Advisor Issues


Determining if they can afford to retire

Building a comprehensive retirement income plan


Investing retirement assets

Generating income from financial assets


Generating income from financial assets

Claiming Social Security


“The findings of our survey demonstrate that while consumers are focused on decisions they face, the RICP® advisors are focused on those issues that have the most impact on the retiree’s financial security—like comprehensive planning and Social Security claiming strategies,” continued Littell. “The RICP® program at The American College empowers advisors with the expertise to improve their clients’ retirement security by helping them make better decisions.”

We need financial advisors who are well equipped to guide their clients to build a plan that addresses all of these contingencies.

The RICP® was launched in 2012 and quickly became one of the fastest-growing financial advisor credential in the 88-year history of The American College. The program consists of three in-depth college-level courses covering topics central to any retirement income plan: Retirement Income Process, Strategies, and Solutions; Sources of Retirement Income; and Managing the Retirement Income Plan. Professionals taking the program come from all segments of the financial services profession, including brokerage houses, independent advisors, wealth managers and financial planners.

Advisors can learn more about the RICP® program by visiting here, while consumers can learn about this credential and others here.




About The American College of Financial Services
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 American College’s faculty represents some of the financial services industry’s foremost thought leaders. For more information, visit here.
About the New York Life Center for Retirement Income at The American College
The New York Life Center for Retirement Income at The American College serves to elevate the knowledge of financial service professionals in order to improve retirement security for Americans. It provides a website for advisors and supports the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) designation, which educates financial advisors to help prepare the 76 million Baby Boomers and millions of older retirees who are concerned about the safety of their retirement income plans. To learn more about the New York Life Center for Retirement Income, visit here.