You might want to investigate acquiring the following designations to increase your knowledge and expertise of serving elderly clients:

Designation: Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)

Sponsor: Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Program(s): Classroom, Self-Study, or Fast Start option + exam

Topics: Physiology of aging, housing, nutrition, health, illness, funeral planning, long-term care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and more.

Cost: $1,195 – $1,395 based on program chosen

Contact: / 800.653.1785 (Canada: 877.272.7575)

Note: New eligibility requirements effective January 2008.


Designation: Registered Financial Gerontologist (RFG)

Sponsor: American Institute of Financial Gerontology, University of North Carolina (Greensboro, N.C.)

Program(s): Four required courses, plus choice of two out of six electives + exam

Topics: Main–New science of wealth planning, physical, psychological, social aging, values and ethics of serving older clients, strategies for financing longevity; Electives: long-term care, the new Medicare, families and aging, and more.

Cost: $1,500 (early admission discount offered)

Contact: / 877.277.2434

Note: RFG program only open to financial professionals; a separate Foundations of Financial Gerontology (FFG) certificate program is offered to all, and may qualify for CE credits.


Designation: Certified Retirement Financial Advisor (CRFA)

Sponsor: Society of Certified Retirement Financial Advisors

Program(s): Live Classroom (four full-days), Virtual Classroom (distance learning) or Self-Study through Javelin Marketing, plus proctored exam.

Topics: Tax issues, asset protection, Medicaid planning, annuities, health insurance, estate planning, post-death issues, charitable giving, hosting senior seminars, and more.

Cost: $1,995

Contact: / 888.880.CRFA (2732)

Note: 15 CE credits required annually.


Designation: Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL)

Sponsor: Administered by The American College

Program(s): Five-course program.

Topics: Understanding the older client, medical and long-term care, retirement decisions, investment risk and return, estate planning.

Cost: $550 per course ($2,750 total)

Contact: / 888.263.7265

Note: 15 CE credits required annually.


Designation: Elder Planning Counselor (EPC)

Sponsor: The American Initiative for Elder Planning Studies

Program(s): 3 1/2 day live class program, exam on day four; distance learning in development.

Topics: Society and aging, Alzheimer’s and dementia, Social Security, housing options, elder/fraud abuse, nutrition and fitness, medical insurance, funeral planning, grief and healing, legacy planning, income tax planning, and more (23 topics in all).

Cost: Live class: $995; distance learning will be $1,095

Contact: / 866.833.8606

Note: Program also offered to Canadian practitioners: / 866.734.2037


Additional registration and/or annual certification renewal fees may apply to all programs as well as costs for textbooks/study materials.