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What Is a Certified Professional Retirement Coach (CPRC)?


Making the transition from working life to retirement presents a number of challenges ranging from how you’ll pay your living expenses to how you’ll occupy your time. The Certified Professional Retirement Coach is a professional designation that indicates a retirement advisor has been trained to identify and help clients figure out ways to overcome these challenges. The Retirement Project, an organization that financial planner and writer Robert Laura owns, administers the CPRC title. In addition to the CPRC certificate, The Retirement Project offers workshops, guides and other resources that help people plan financial and other issues as they relate to retirement.

Do you have questions about planning for retirement? Speak with a financial advisor today.

What It Takes to Become a Certified Professional Retirement Coach (CPRC)

People who seek a CPRC designation are usually already working in the retirement field, typically as financial planners. The CPRC training expands their understanding of the non-financial aspects of retirement. It also provides them with additional skills to help them act as coaches with their clients.

The only prerequisite for the CPRC is a high school diploma. However, applicants also have to fulfill an educational requirement consisting of a set of prescribed courses and also pass a final exam.

The education courses are part of nine individual modules. The curriculum is self-paced and includes video instruction as well as opportunities to interact with other students.

The subject material addresses common themes of retirement planning, including finances, but goes well beyond that to cover additional topics. In fact, financial concerns are last in a lineup of the five key areas for a successful retirement in the curriculum. The other key areas are spiritual, mental, social and physical.

Each of the modules typically requires about two to three hours to complete. The entire educational component includes 28 to 36 hours of work, including 12 hours of practice coaching. The coaching practice component is necessary, along with the instruction to complete the certificate.

After each module students have to pass a quiz on the content of the module. In addition, there is a final exam. The final is a proctored, closed-book, online test.

The CPRC coursework and exam costs $1,795. In order to keep the certificate active, CPRC holders also have to complete 18 credits of continuing education every two years. They also have to follow a code of conduct and ethics.

CPRC Certificate Holder Privileges

What Is a Certified Professional Retirement Coach (CPRC)?

The CPRC is an optional designation that can trace its history back to 2016. While it indicates that the holder of the certificate has an interest in and has received training in coaching retirees, it doesn’t come with any special powers or privileges. As part of the certification, CPRC designees get access to some business-building tools such as intake forms, client contracts and marketing templates.

There is a private Facebook group for coaches to trade ideas. Also, they can include the CPRC logo on their marketing materials.

Certifications Similar to Certified Professional Retirement Coach

There are many certificates and designations available to financial professionals active in advising on retirement. Here are some that are like to the CPRC:

  • Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) is issued by the College for Financial Planning and requires completing approximately 16 hours of online instruction. It costs $1,350.
  • Fellow, Secure Retirement Institute (FSRI) is from LOMA, an insurance trade association. The educational component of this designation typically requires at least 73 hours of study, plus passing a final exam.
  • Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) is a certification overseen by the College For Financial Planning. It’s for entry-level investment professionals and requires taking a $1,300 course and passing a final exam.

Bottom Line

What Is a Certified Professional Retirement Coach (CPRC)?

Whether you are still working in the middle of your career, about to start retirement planning or are already a retiree, consider how you are going to handle the change to post-work life. A retirement advisor with a CPRC certificate will approach the work from a coaching angle, meaning the professional will attempt to engage and motivate the client more than a typical advisor. Also, the topics of the advice will encompass health, relationships and more in addition to purely financial matters.

Tips on Retirement

  • A financial advisor can provide assistance with navigating the transition from working to retirement. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • The annual payment you receive from Social Security comes from your income, birth year and the age at which you elect to begin receiving benefits. A Social Security calculator will give you a good idea of what you’ll be getting.

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