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What is a CPFA® designation and why does it matter for your retirement planning?

Written by V. Raymond Ferrara, CFP®

On October 3, 2021

There are many professions where people can add certifications to boost their ability to help people. Doctors do this all the time. Marketers do too. There are even many helpful certifications for financial advisors, such as the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor® or CPFA® certification. 

There is a lot to like about working with a financial planner who has a CPFA® designation. To understand why, you will need to have a bit of background about what a CPFA® designation is. It can also be helpful to know how someone who has this designation can help with your retirement planning

What is a CPFA® designation exactly?

The CPFA® designation shows that a financial professional has completed the requirements needed to become a certified retirement planning expert. The process that CPFA® candidates go through is rigorous. Over a two-month period, candidates learn what it means to act as a financial fiduciary. Financial fiduciaries are advisors who are law-bound to act in their clients’ best interests. This helps ensure that their focus is not simply on pushing financial options or services that are in the planner’s own interest. 

After the required education, CPFA® candidates must pass a proctored exam to achieve this designation. To keep it, they must also earn 10 continuing education credits per year. Why? It helps keep them abreast of the latest developments in retirement planning. 

How can a financial planner with a CPFA® designation help with your retirement planning?

People tend to have a lot of questions about their retirement planning. Will my 401(k) be enough? How much do I need to save? When can I retire? These are just a few of the retirement-related questions that people commonly wrestle with. A financial professional with a CPFA® designation can help streamline your retirement planning by: 

  • Reviewing your current status objectively — Objectivity can be crucial to effective retirement planning, but it can be hard for you to view your finances dispassionately. CPFA® professionals are trained to do this, though. By doing so, they can help you get a clear picture of your overall financial situation. This helps provide a solid foundation for any retirement plan they create for you.
  • Identifying potential retirement roadblocks — Not saving the right percentage of your income. Taking a set-it-and-forget-it approach to your stock portfolio. Regularly withdrawing money from your retirement funds to address current financial issues. These are just a few of the common retirement roadblocks that people face. CPFA® professionals can help you identify these and other obstacles to your retirement plan. 
  • Recommending a retirement plan that addresses obstacles — After taking the first two steps, a CPFA® professional will have a better understanding of what sort of retirement plan you need. They can then build you a personalized plan intended to meet your specific needs and retirement goals. 

Talk to a ProVise CPFA® professional about your retirement planning

At ProVise Management Group, our team includes financial professionals who have a CPFA® designation. These professionals can get to know you and your current financial circumstances, goals, risk tolerance and personal values to help you develop a plan that works for you. We can also create a written plan for you at a fiduciary standard of care. All our written plans come with an unconditional money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with your written plan, you can return it to us, and we will refund 100% of the fee paid.

Are you ready to talk to a CPFA® professional about your retirement plan? Contact ProVise today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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