What Is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC)?

A Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) is a specialist who can help you address your retirement planning needs.

The CRPC credential identifies experts with comprehensive and objective financial planning knowledge and the skills to use that information to enable clients to reach their financial goals.

Why Are CRPCs Important?

CRPCs is an expert in retirement planning who provides objective advice. They take a holistic view when it comes to helping individuals and families plan for their financial future.

They also consider your total financial picture including many significant aspects such as: income, savings, investments, long-term care needs, social security, pensions and estate planning.

In addition, they have demonstrated their expertise by passing a rigorous three-part exam on the knowledge they need to prepare comprehensive financial plans for retirement and provide objective investment advice.

CRPCs must meet continuing education requirements to maintain their certification. Only those who pass the CRPC examination and demonstrate that they have the expertise to apply it can use the initials “CRPC” after their name.

Thus, when you seek out the services of a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, you can trust that he or she has the educational background to help you navigate your financial future with confidence.

Types of Services Offered by CRPCs

A Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor is an expert advisor who helps clients develop comprehensive plans to provide security for their entire lives, not just in retirement.

They can provide the following services:

Education and Advice to Help You Understand Your Financial Needs in Retirement

For example, a CRPC can help you determine how much of your retirement savings should go into different types of investments, e.g., stocks, bonds and cash.

A CRPC can also help you decide when to begin taking withdrawals from your retirement savings so that they last as long as possible, and can educate you on the benefits of various investment products, e.g., annuities and structured settlements.

Education and Advice on Ways to Save for Retirement

A CRPC can help you determine an appropriate savings plan based on your income, age, life expectancy, tax bracket and other factors related to your retirement goal.

For example, a CRPC can recommend different types of investments and savings plans, e.g., a Roth IRA, to help ensure that your money lasts as long as possible in retirement.

Education and Advice on How to Take Income From Your Retirement Savings

A CRPC can advise you on the best ways to withdraw money from your various types of retirement investments so that they last for at least as long as your life expectancy.

For example, a CRPC can recommend structured withdrawal plans that allow you to withdraw money in a safe, systematic way in order to ensure you have the money you need for the duration of your retirement years.

Education and Advice on How to Maintain the Highest Standard of Living in Retirement

A CRPC can help you plan for your expenses, including any long-term care costs, so that they are realistic and affordable given the income you have available.

For example, a CRPC may suggest ways to manage debt or work part time during retirement if necessary to ensure that you are able to live comfortably in retirement.

Education and Advice on the Best Ways to Divide up Assets Between Family Members

A CRPC can help you draw up a plan for what should happen to your retirement savings, investment accounts, cash accounts and other assets after your death.

For example, a CRPC may recommend that some of your assets be transferred to younger family members as a gift or as part of your will, etc.

Who Needs a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor? 

Anyone who wants to enjoy a more secure future should consider working with a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor. Anyone nearing retirement or already in retirement can benefit from the expertise of a qualified financial planner.

In addition, this person may be someone who has recently lost a spouse or a business owner who is near retirement age.

People who also want to learn more about their options and ensure that they are making sound investment choices may also benefit from the expertise of a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor.

What Kind of Questions Should I Be Asking a Prospective Counselor?

You should ask a CRPC what his/her qualifications are, how long he/she has been in business and if he/she is affiliated with any professional organizations.

It is also important to find out what services the CRPC offers, which could include retirement income projections, developing financial plans or optimizing pension payouts, etc.

It is also a good idea to ask your prospective CRPC if he/she has any specialized training in the area of retirement planning.

For example, a CRPC may be an Accredited Senior Advisor (ASA) or a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

You should also find out if the CRPC has other professionals on staff and/or under contract to help with other aspects of your retirement planning.

Many CRPCs work closely with other financial professionals, such as attorneys and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to help their clients.

How Long Does a Consultation With a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor Take? 

A consultation with a CRPC may take anywhere from one to two hours.

This time together allows you and the professional to discuss your situation, financial goals and personal preferences in greater depth.

Should I Have More Than One Professional to Help Me With My Retirement Planning?

Yes, especially if your financial situation warrants it. More than one provider ensures continuity and reduces the chances that important aspects of your financial plans will be overlooked.

In addition to the CRPC, you may have other professionals that help you with specific areas of your financial life.

For example, you may also have an accountant and a planner on your team who can provide financial-specific expertise in addition to general retirement planning knowledge.

How Can I Find a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor? 

It is important to check the CRPC’s credentials to ensure that he/she is qualified to provide you with the services you need. You should verify that this person has met all of the requirements set forth by The College of Financial Planning.

You can find a CRPC by checking the yellow pages of your phone book, looking online or asking around.

It is a good idea to talk to friends and family members who have used a retirement planner in the past. You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against this particular professional.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning your retirement or have already retired, it is important to seek professional advice in order to help ensure that your golden years are financially secure.

A CRPC will help you with everything from tax-planning issues to investments and estate planning. By investing some time now, you can increase the likelihood of enjoying a worry -free retirement.

A CRPC is a third-party financial professional who helps to plan your financial future. This person can guide you through the entire retirement planning process, from financial planning to investment management and tax planning.
CRPCs are an essential part of creating a solid financial plan that can help you to achieve your financial goals. A qualified CRPC will help you to maximize your retirement income, minimize any taxes that you may incur upon retirement, plan for the future of your spouse and/or children, protect your assets from creditors and ensure that you are following all laws related to estate planning.
CRPCs can help you with many different areas of your retirement planning. For example, they can show you how to make an investment plan that fits in with your financial situation and risk tolerance level.
To find the right CRPC for you and your family, do a background check on any professional that you are considering. Make sure that this person has been out of school no less than five years and is a member in good standing with The College of Financial Planning.
You can check the yellow pages of your local phone book or do an online search to find CRPCs in your area.
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, his interview on CBS, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.