Retirement dreams need a plan for saving and spending. Knowing the credentials of your planning team can help determine if your retirement game plan is Olympic or peewee worthy.
A professional labeled as a “CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®)” goes through a meticulous process to guarantee they are ethically working on behalf of their clients with exceptional skills. Whether one needs help with retirement planning or even with business and other personal financial goals, a CFP works with clients to plan and learn how to deal with their financial future.
Those bearing the “CFP®” qualifications meet requirements established by the Certified Financial Board of Standards. Prospective planners must pass an exam and follow the rules outlined in the Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct, and Financial Planning Practice Standards. Traits upheld by a CFP are integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence. All candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or need to obtain one within five years of completing their Board examination. Some universities offer CFP Board-registered programs.
In order to keep a CFP stamp of approval, certification must be renewed every two years. This guarantees that the financial planner is maintaining their knowledge and continuously learning. Walter Wisniewski, of Paragon Capital Management, is an example of a financial planner devoted to life-long learning. He is a CFP® with other education in mediation and collaborative divorce. He works with a variety of life transitions and he meets the necessity of completing 30 hours of continuing education to renew his certification.
Working with a CFP is also based on their area of interest and the level of comfort they provide when a future retiree explains their ideal goals. Some financial planners are skilled in other areas, so it is best to do some research before a consultation. This may include asking other clients how they feel about the CFP or what they thought of their planner’s approach. For example, Walter Wisniewski uses his experience as a concert pianist to teach his clients. His e-book, titled The Musical Flow of Money: The Three Phases to Unleashing the Secret Force Within Yourself to Achieve a Safe, Secure Financial Future, shows how he offers a unique management method.
A CFP can help guide retirement planning. Knowing their standards and how to assess their skills style will help determine if they can help someone reach retirement gold.