Hello and welcome to the ultimate manual on a retirement financial planning career.

Do you envision advising seniors on the difference between a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and a 401K?

A career as a personal finance retirement planner could be ideal, and to help you, we have some helpful tips that may help sway things in one direction.

We will be covering the following topics:

Why are retirement planning and wealth management important?
A look at the history of the retirement planning career
Financial retirement planner salary and employment prospects
The different retirement financial planner designations and career requirements

This article prepared by Career Employer can help you align your career financial goals.

Why is retirement financial planning important?

The ultimate purpose of retirement planning is to identify retirement income goals and the subsequent actions required to meet those goals.

It involves the identification of income sources, sizing up expenses, implementing a savings program, and managing assets and risks.

A retirement financial advisor is also interested in long-term care for their clients and will close with insurance providers, recommending Medicare, health care, and life insurance products.

Also, future cash flows are forecasted to gauge whether the retirement income goal is achievable.

The most typical service provided by personal financial advisors is retirement planning. Most personal financial consultants offer retirement planning as part of their entire financial planning process, while others focus on retirement planning and promote themselves.

So, what is the importance of financial and retirement planning? Or what benefits do I stand to reap if I choose to hire the services of a financial retirement planner?

Adequate financial retirement planning lets you earn financial freedom by eliminating the need for financial reliance after retirement.

With a retirement savings plan in place, retirees can enjoy low-risk tolerance, a good flow of money, good coverage of medical expenses, and even possible capital investment in business expansions.

Research reveals that the average life expectancy of an ordinary person is rising due to lifestyle changes. It is hence wise for one to save more to finance their future.

A look at the history of the retirement planner career

The 20th Century will have reminisced among the older employees as the era when their employment was shaky.

The reasons for such uncertainty included population growth, technological advances, and work efficiency. In addition, the growing pool of young workers forced employers to set work age restrictions.

Several laws later altered the limits, and in 1986 a federal law prohibiting mandatory retirement for most workers was passed.

Later, the Social Security Act of 1935 gave workers and their families retirement benefits, social security benefits, and social welfare programs.

Moving forward, insured workers would receive monthly benefits depending on the retirement age.

Employees who partook in retirement at 65 years reaped full benefits, while those who chose early retirement before 62 reaped 80 percent of benefits.

Those who put up and worked beyond 65 years reaped additional benefits.

However, most ex-employees complain about the insufficiency of Social Security since the benefits cannot maintain their previous standard of living during their retirement years.

As a result, they have sought retirement income supplements such as pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), company profit-sharing, and other investments.

As the awareness about the benefits of saving and finance retirement planning keeps growing, people often turn to knowledgeable professionals for strategic financial advice.

Today, the retirement planning profession operates as a branch of traditional financial planning that creates and administers financial retirement plans.

In addition, retirement advisors are also the professionals in charge of medical insurance needs, relocation, estate planning, wills, and income tax.

The Job of Retirement Planners

The first primary task of a financial retirement planner is gathering information.

Your first sitting with them will involve a comprehensive analysis of the information provided to draw your complete financial picture.

They will dig deep about your assets, investments, real estate, pending inheritances, or other resources of value and also want to establish your indebtedness.

They will inquire if you have a mortgage, credit card, car payments, student loan, small business liabilities, or any other type of loan.

A retirement planner will want to know how you draw the balance between debt servicing and retirement savings.

Retirement Planning

They will want to know more about your retirement plans.

Do you prefer retiring sooner and want to explore expensive hobbies or indulge in traveling when you retire?

What is your monthly social security collectible, and when is the suitable time for the first collection?

Once you provide them with all the required information about you and your finances, they will partake in the second role; reporting.

They will draft a detailed report that comprehensively articulates a viable finance retirement plan for you. You will be informed of the monthly withdrawable amount during retirement in the report.

The amount is not a mere calculation, but it reflects the various scenarios you need to adhere to and how much you should save every month to attain your goals.

It is also the role of your financial retirement counselor to educate you extensively about the various tax considerations, interest rates, and penalties.

Say, if you are using the conventional IRA, they should advise whether or not converting it to a Roth is a viable option.

They will help you explore all the best investments for the retirement income you can embrace to minimize the tax payable on your alternative income sources and assets.

Since they work in the capacity of a financial and retirement planner, they should prospect the chances of asset accumulation and the ultimate creation of an estate.

Hence, they will explore and advise you on all the appropriate ways of minimizing applicable estate taxes.  

A retirement financial advisor can also serve as a portfolio manager.

They will explore your economic situation and ultimate retirement goals and create a portfolio that marries your goals.

The future outlook for a finance retirement advisor career path

According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of persons who had attained 65 years and above was nearly 40 million in the United States at the start of the 21st Century.

It was around the same period when they experienced the baby boom generation, soon reaching retirement age.

The number will not stagnate and is predicted to skyrocket until 2030.

The Census Bureau predicts that as 2050 approaches, the retirement age bracket will host nearly 82 million people.

Subsequently, the retirement planning profession is expected to experience a faster-than-average increment rate as more people seek the services of financial retirement planners.

People’s lifestyles are changing, becoming more productive, life expectancy is increasing, and consequently, the government’s Social Security system is seemingly insufficient to meet their financial needs.

Hence, there has been an increasing reliance on pensions, savings accounts, and various investment plans to help people maintain a reasonable standard of living in retirement.

The services of retirement financial planners are significantly growing as the demand for their suggestions and advice on the optimal ways of creating and managing retirement assets also grows.

Certified retirement planners will have plenty of job prospects, whether they work for a corporation or choose to freelance.

Financial retirement planner employment prospects and salary

You are likely to encounter retirement planners as employees of small and established banks, accounting firms, brokerage houses, and consultancy businesses; several others have ventured to offer their services as freelancers.

Numerous financial planners have embarked on different paths where they have outrageously grown as accountants, insurance personnel, realtors and only provide consulting services part-time.

This should not come as such a shock, considering the diverse nature of the profession as retirement planners advise their clients on ‘how to plan for retirement.’ 

Those considering self-employment or freelancing as a retirement option should be aware of the level of responsibility that comes with running a successful business.

Accounting, insurance, overhead costs, and obtaining consumer leads and recommendations are all things to keep an eye on. While being your boss may appear enticing at first, it comes with many responsibilities and risks.

As a result, it’s a good idea to start your business by interacting with industry professionals to consider the benefits and drawbacks of working for yourself.

According to the US Department of Labor, personal financial counselors, including retirement planners, earned a median annual salary of $61,910.

The bottom 10% of earners made only about $37,580, while the top 10% generated more than $113,490.

Most financial retirement planners, particularly freelancers, bill their clients hourly or impose a fixed price for a complete plan.

The intricacy of the consultant’s task determines the applicable rates and fees. In addition to their usual fees, retirement planners may collect commissions on the services they offer.

Depending on the volume of customers and companies a financial retirement officer represents, they will consume about 40 hours or more per week at their designated workplaces.

You are likely to encounter a retirement planner spending most of their work time at the office, either doing research or interacting with clients.

However, financial retirement advisors may travel to their client’s offices, homes, or other designated locations once in a while to advise on the best retirement investments of best retirement plans.

The different retirement financial planner designations and career requirements

Certified Retirement Financial Advisor

You can enroll to earn a Certified Retired Financial Advisor (CRFA) with the Society Of Certified Retirement Financial Advisors.

The primary focus of the certification is the distribution of the years of retirement rather than the years leading to retirement.

To meet the basic requirement, you must have at least two years of experience in related financial planning during application.

You must then enroll and complete a five-week training program, which ends with passing a 100-question certification exam in financial planning for retirees.

Fifteen credits of continuing education are required each year.

Certified Retirement Counselor

The International Foundation for Retirement Education offers the Certified Retirement Counselor program (InFRE).

A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required and two years of relevant professional experience within the last five years.

Enrollment is also possible with a high school diploma or equivalent and five years of relevant professional experience during the previous seven years.

Before being accepted for the certification, one must also pass a background check.

Fifteen hours of continuing education are required each year, with at least two hours of ethics every two years.

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

If you wish to earn a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) accreditation, you should register to enroll with the College of Financial Planning.

Individuals must complete prescribed classes and pass a final exam as part of this program, which focuses on their pre-and post-retirement needs.

In addition, every two years, you must complete 16 hours of continuing education.

This tool allows expert advisors specializing in individual retirement planning to create a retirement road map and afford clients the best investments for retirement.

Clients’ pre-and post-retirement needs, investment management, and estate planning are prioritized during the learning process.

Retirement Management Analyst, RMA

The Retirement Management Analyst (RMA) is currently being offered and recognized by the Investments and Wealth Organization.

Prerequisites for the certification are financial services professionals with three years of relevant experience.

The organization also accepts professions with CIMA, CPWA, CFP, CFA, ChFC, or RICP designation and those who adhere to the Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility.

In addition, there are two education requirements under this certification; completion of the RMA online course and the RMA Capstone Course.

Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist, CRPS

A certification program for retirement planners who work with corporations to set up and maintain retirement plans known as the Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist is exclusively available at the College of Financial Planning.

The CRPS title requires passing a final test and completing specific classes.

In addition, every two years, you must complete 16 hours of continuing education on investment strategy and new investment products in the market.

Financial advisors and other professionals can be credentialed by demonstrating their skill in managing retirement plans for corporations and wholesale clients.


Retirement was perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of ordinary financial life.

Some thought, “Retirement may be years in the future for some, so why worry about it anyway?” while others believed that they are far behind in saving no chance.

According to Yahoo Finance, the current crop of millennials and Gen Z are a different crop, putting much thought into asset allocation, tax-free investments, mutual funds, the stock market, and other retirement investment options that may guarantee a smooth and hassle-free retirement.

Those specializing in retirement fund options and retirement strategies will be in high demand as demand increases for their expertise.

While you are likely to work with more experienced financial retirement counselors in established organizations, you can also consider freelancing as the work from home concept is accepted more and more.

We hope that the financial retirement planning guide can help you chart your path.

All the best.

Frequently Asked Questions


Kaplan Financial

Yahoo Finance

US Department of Labor

United States Census Bureau

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