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Choosing a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional is as important as choosing a doctor or lawyer; it's a very personal relationship.

Many CFP professionals specialize in working with certain types of clients, such as small-business owners, executives or retirees. Some specialize in certain areas of planning such as retirement, divorce or asset management. We recommend you interview at least three CFP professionals to find the right one that best serves your needs.

You may not have the expertise, the time or the desire to actively plan and manage certain financial aspects of your life. You may need help getting started. You may benefit from an objective, third-party perspective on what are often emotional, difficult decisions. In today's hectic world, it can be beneficial to have a CFP professional expert to make sure you stay focused and follow through.

  • Making sure your money will last during retirement or rolling over a retirement plan.
  • Handling inheritance or other unexpected financial windfall
  • Financial preparation for a marriage or divorce
  • Planning for the birth or adoption of a child
  • Facing a financial crisis such as an illness, layoff or natural disaster
  • Making sure your money will last during retirement or rolling over a retirement plan.
  • Coping financially with the death of a spouse or close family member
  • Funding for education expenses
  • Buying, selling or passing on a family business.
  • Planning for complex financial situations

CFP professionals are dedicated to using the financial planning process. To earn the prestigious CFP certification and remain certified as a CFP professional, individuals must meet the following requirements:

Education

They must complete a comprehensive course of study offered by a college or university program (ranging from certificate to doctoral degree levels) which covers a personal financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board. In addition, they must have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

Examination

CFP professionals must successfully complete CFP Board's comprehensive examination, which tests an individual's ability to integrate and apply their financial planning knowledge.

Experience

They must acquire three years of financial planning related experience, or a limited 2-year structured option, before achieving the right to use the CFP marks.

Ethics

They must voluntarily ascribe to CFP Board's code of ethics and additional requirements as mandated. This includes providing financial planning services as a fiduciary, or acting in the client's best interest.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. ("CFP Board"), a 501(c)(3) organization that is independent of the Financial Planning Association, grants the CFP certification to CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals in the United States. CFP Board owns the trademarks CFP and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER.

Choosing a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional is as important as choosing a doctor or lawyer; it's a very personal relationship.

Many CFP professionals specialize in working with certain types of clients, such as small-business owners, executives or retirees. Some specialize in certain areas of planning such as retirement, divorce or asset management. We recommend you interview at least three CFP professionals to find the right one that best serves your needs.

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