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How Getting CFP® Certification Can Help Your Career as a Financial Planner

(NewsUSA) - Climbing to the top as a financial advisor can be a challenge. Your ticket to long-term peak performance begins with earning the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification, the standard for competent and ethical financial planning.

More and more consumers understand the importance of working with a financial planner they can trust. Earning CFP® certification sets you apart, providing a sure-footed path to enhanced visibility and leading to increased income and greater market share.

If you’re already in the financial planning profession, earning CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification is a proven investment in your future, offering new opportunities. For example, do you want to:

  • Widen your client base?
  • Evolve with your existing client base?
  • Broaden your menu of services?
  • Deepen your commitment to financial planning?
  • Build on your other qualifications?

Whatever your objective, earning CFP® certification sets you up for a rewarding payoff on your investment. And since you’re already a financial services professional, you may qualify for the accelerated path to CFP® certification, bypassing most of the required education coursework, saving you both time and money.

Get Certified, Go Further

As part of their certification, CFP® professionals demonstrate their expertise and commit to high standards to earn the respect of their colleagues and the trust of their clients. Here are some of the advantages of earning your CFP® certification:

  • Competitive Edge: 83% of CFP® professionals say they have a competitive edge over other financial advisors.
  • Trust: 90% of consumers are more confident working with an advisor who has a financial planning designation.
  • Success: 86% of CFP® professionals say that certification has had a positive impact on their career satisfaction.
  • High Pay: Earning a CFP® certification can increase your income by 12%, with experienced advisors earning on average $192,000 a year.

Fiduciary Duty

Not all financial planners act as a fiduciary, but CFP® professionals do. When providing financial advice, CFP® professionals commit to always acting in their client’s best interests. With CFP® certification, your clients will know that you are practicing loyalty and care in your work, and placing their interests above your own.

The Marketing Edge

CFP® certification is an important branding signal for consumers. One survey found “consumers had higher brand awareness of the CFP® mark” than the ChFC, CFA, CLU and PFS designations. That can lead to lower marketing costs and increased revenue growth for CFP® professionals. Adding the CFP® mark to your other credentials can grow your business prospects while enhancing your career opportunities.

CFP® certification helps you build trusted relationships with clients and helps your firm grow by providing the knowledge and marketing edge needed for peak performance and sustained success. It’s the competitive edge you’ve been looking for. Get started today!

Working With an LGBTQ+ CFP® Professional

(NewsUSA) - Choosing a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional who aligns with your specific needs and goals is important. If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you may want to seek out an LGBTQ+ CFP® professional. Here are five ways an LGBTQ+ CFP® professional could help you.  

Understanding Your Unique Financial Needs

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you often face specific financial hurdles related to legal issues and healthcare. An LGBTQ+ CFP® professional, whose life experience may mirror yours, may have a better grasp of these unique needs and can tailor advice to effectively address them. Take family planning, for example, where you may face higher expenses or even discriminatory practices when pursuing adoption or fertility treatments.

Sensitivity and Cultural Competence

As an LGBTQ+ individual, you should feel comfortable sharing sensitive personal information that is vital to reaching your financial goals. An LGBTQ+ CFP® professional offers just such a safe and supportive environment. That’s critical for many LGBTQ+ issues, such as the financial challenges facing people needing gender-affirming healthcare, as treatments may not be covered by health insurance. For this and other challenges facing LGBTQ+ people, you can look to your LGBTQ+ CFP® professional for guidance.

Knowledge of Specific LGBTQ+ Resources

LGBTQ+ financial planners are more likely to be familiar with resources, organizations and programs that cater specifically to the LGBTQ+ community. That ranges from choosing the best insurance option to retirement planning and elder care.

Advocacy and Support

The emotional support and financial expertise of LGBTQ+ CFP® professionals help guide clients during life’s major milestones such as marriage, a new job or transitioning. In addition, many LGBTQ+ CFP® professionals advocate for clients and the greater LGBTQ+ community, helping address discrimination or bias they may encounter in the financial services industry.

Community Connection

By working with an LGBTQ+ financial planner, you contribute to strengthening the LGBTQ+ community. Choosing professionals who identify as LGBTQ+, or are allies/advocates, creates a sense of solidarity while promoting diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Of course, the challenges LGBTQ+ people face may vary depending on factors such as location and legal protections. Efforts are underway to address these financial disparities through policy changes, increased awareness and advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights.

You may find that there are many benefits to working with a CFP® professional who is LGBTQ+ or LGBTQ+-supportive. Your decision will depend on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. No matter what type of CFP® professional you’re looking for, you can find them today at

From High School to High Pay and a Personally Rewarding Career

(NewsUSA) - The best career is one that gives you so much personal satisfaction that you’d gladly do it without pay. But don’t worry; you won’t be working for free if you become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. In fact, the pay is high, with experienced advisors earning an average of $192,000 a year. And the demand for talented and skilled CFP® professionals is greater than ever. The benefits of becoming a financial planner go well beyond the financial rewards and include the following:

Working With People: Financial planning is a people business that succeeds by building trusting relationships with clients. It’s a great feeling when you help someone reach their financial goals!

Setting Your Own Schedule: Many financial planners enjoy the flexibility to balance career and home life. The more life you experience, the more well-rounded a CFP® professional you become, and the more value you bring to your employer and clients.

Growing in an Expanding Industry: The U.S. government predicts that personal financial advice careers will grow 15% a year through 2031, far faster than other occupations. 

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But how do you become a CFP® professional?

Your road to becoming a CFP® professional starts with a bachelor’s degree. It can be in any major at any accredited college or university. Once you have that diploma in hand, you’ve fulfilled one of the two education requirements toward becoming a CFP® professional. Next, you’ll complete coursework through a CFP Board Registered Program.

Or you could earn your degree from a CFP Board Registered Program. With more than 300 registered programs to choose from, you have lots of options to find the program that makes the most sense for you. After you pass your coursework, you’ll take the CFP® exam.

The exam is tough, but you don’t have to navigate this path alone. The most successful athletes and entertainers had a mentor who guided them from the beginning. So can you. You can find a CFP® professional mentor who is ready to help and support you as you prepare for the CFP® exam. Mentors can help you focus on time management, study strategy, staying motivated, dealing with work/life balance and more. By connecting with a mentor, you can gain valuable insights from your mentor’s own experience preparing for and passing the CFP® exam.

As you graduate high school, who knows what adventures lie ahead for you? One of them can be an exciting and rewarding career as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERprofessional. Learn more today!

How to Help Your Aging Parents

(NewsUSA) - At some point, you may need to step in and help care for the parents who once cared for you. Starting this new role can be a challenge, but with preparation you’ll be ready. These concrete steps will help you support your aging parents.


Start by talking to your parents and family members, and then get others involved, including professionals such as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional or lawyer:

  • Sit down with your parents to get a handle on their finances, healthcare, plans for their estate, and other legal matters.
  • Looking forward, decide between yourself and your siblings or other family members how you want to approach and share your parents' future care. Will family members divide up responsibilities? Would you prefer to pick one trusted agent to handle these matters? If you decide on someone outside the family, discuss how duties and costs will be shared by family members.
  • Be sure to have legal documents in place. This includes current power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a terminal care directive. All of these documents can name a specific person to make decisions during periods of incapacity.

Financial Matters

If or when cognitive decline becomes an issue, put systems in place to protect your parents’ finances:

  • Make sure bills are physically mailed to the home instead of electronically, where they can be missed.
  • Create a separate checking account for discretionary spending that the parent can control with limited overdraft protection.
  • Keep money for major bills and savings in a separate account that requires a dual signature.
  • Arrange for transaction alerts to be sent to family members to help catch errors and reduce fraud.
  • If possible, have a power of attorney on file with Social Security and Medicare, so someone other than your parents can discuss financial issues with these organizations. Common power of attorney forms do not provide this authorization.


Ensure that your parents will have access to the healthcare they want and need as they age:

  • Evaluate your own finances to see how you could help in the case of a large medical bill.
  • Add your names to the paperwork on file with your doctors’ offices to make sure you and your siblings have a right to inquire about the health of your parents.
  • Plan for someone to periodically attend medical appointments to get an understanding of health needs and prescribed medications.
  • Evaluate long-term care insurance options that could cover the cost of a home health aide.
  • Think about how to help with clothing and food choices, medication management, and meals as your parents’ physical abilities change, such as fading eyesight or decreased mobility.  

Safety at Home

Make sure your parent’s house is safe and fits their needs:

  • Consider saving up for higher housing expenses, perhaps in a joint account with other family members.
  • You may want to hire someone to mow the lawn and do odd jobs to ensure that your parents aren’t climbing ladders or putting themselves at risk doing chores.
  • Put in safety rails and non-slip flooring.
  • Add lighting by steps, close to doors, and around outside areas.
  • Install alarm systems that can be connected to devices to detect falls or health changes, such as heart or blood pressure changes.

Stepping in to help when our aging parents need assistance can seem overwhelming, but only if we’re not prepared. Mapping out a strategy ahead of time, with love and care, can be rewarding and can bring a family even closer together.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional can help you plan for the uncertainties ahead. Visit to find local CFP® professionals near you or your parents today.

Investing in Your Child's Future: The Advantages of a Career in Financial Planning

(NewsUSA) - As a parent, you want your child to succeed in life and have a career where they are fulfilled and paid well. It’s even better if that career can offer benefits such as personal and professional growth, job security, and the ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional offers those benefits and more — and entry into this growing profession is easier than you might think. College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline (no math or finance major required) can begin the path to CFP® certification.

With the demand for financial planners across the United States expected to grow at a rapid pace over the next eight years, those in the profession are working hard to educate both young people and their parents about a career that many people know little about.  

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is making recruitment of young people a priority. CFP Board Chair Dan Moisand says focus groups have shown there are many misconceptions about financial planning careers, including the belief that financial planners are focused on sales. But when parents were asked about the qualities of an ideal job for their child, “they said things like flexibility, work-life balance, helping people, a good salary — many of the qualities that describe a career in financial planning,” explained Moisand.

CFP® professionals have wide-ranging income potential, with many starting out at $50-70k. Those with more experience earn an average of $192,000 per year. Financial planners also have the privilege of helping people with major life decisions, such as preparing to have a child or planning for retirement.

Financial planning can also offer a great deal of flexibility. CFP® professionals can choose to work for a large financial services firm, a bank, or a credit union, or they can develop a specialized niche, establish their own firm, pursuing different paths for growth and advancement. And depending on their unique work situation, financial planners have the flexibility to set their own schedules to create a balanced work and personal life.

Encouraging your child to become a financial planner can offer numerous benefits, including excellent career prospects, high earning potential, and the opportunity to help others. It's a rewarding and challenging career that requires continuous learning and provides a great deal of flexibility. With the right education and training, your child can excel in this field and create a fulfilling and prosperous future for themselves. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a CFP® professional today

Not Sure What to Do When You Graduate College? Consider CFP Certification

(NewsUSA) - If you’re getting ready to graduate from college, congratulations! After years of dedication and hard work, your future awaits! And while it’s an exciting time, it can also be challenging if you haven’t yet decided on a clear career path.

Consider becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. Financial planning is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the country and obtaining CFP® certification can accelerate your career. As part of a profession focused on helping people, financial planners rely on their analytical and interpersonal communication skills — and they report high career satisfaction. As a college graduate, you’re in the perfect spot to get started. You don’t need to be a math or finance major; all you need is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline to start pursuing CFP® certification.

The benefits of becoming a CFP® professional are many and include:

High Salary Potential 

CFP® certification is the standard of excellence in financial planning and paves the way for an exceptional career with wide-ranging income potential. While salaries vary, experienced financial advisors earn $192,000 on average, with a $50-70K starting salary.

Opportunities for Growth and Advancement

As a financial planner, you can work for a large national financial services firm, bank, credit union, or independent firm; develop your own niche; or establish your own firm. You choose how to carve out your own career path. Many firms also provide professional development programs, including assistance for those pursuing advanced training such as CFP® certification.

Job Security

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for financial planners will increase at a faster than average rate of 15% over the next eight years. Financial planners can find plentiful career opportunities at firms of many types and sizes.

Scheduling Flexibility

Whether you have your own practice or work for a large firm, financial planners have a lot of flexibility in terms of schedules. You could tailor your financial services career and create a schedule allowing for balanced work and personal life.  

Ability to Help Others

CFP® professionals change lives and help people achieve their financial goals. It can be extremely satisfying to know you’re helping your clients pay for college for their children, build an investment portfolio, or plan for retirement.

Continued Professional Development

Once you’ve attained your CFP® certification, you’ll continue to stay current by building knowledge through ongoing education, professional memberships, and more. There are many opportunities to continuously build your expertise in financial planning.

Becoming a CFP® professional offers personal, professional, and financial rewards, as well as exciting opportunities for a strong future. Learn more and start your journey to CFP® certification today.

5 Tips to Help Young Professionals Prepare a Tax Return

(NewsUSA) - Filing your taxes can be stressful and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. As the deadline for filing taxes approaches, don’t let the pressure overwhelm you. Follow these five tips for a smooth tax season.

Know the different types of taxes you might have to pay.

Federal Taxes: Your money is taxed at a rate between 0% and 37%, depending on how much you earn. Your employer will deduct the money for these taxes, and the taxes listed below, from your paycheck each payday.

State Taxes: Not all states require you to pay state income taxes, but those that do typically take 3% to 11%.

Local Taxes: These apply only to certain large cities, such as New York City, and can be as much as 10% of your gross paycheck.

Social Security: Your employer will withhold 6.2% of your pay to cover Social Security taxes.

Medicare: For this tax, 1.45% of your pay is withheld from your check.

Understand what getting a tax refund means.

People make big plans for tax refunds, but most Americans are unclear on why they’re getting a refund. A refund indicates that you overpaid your federal and state taxes, essentially giving the government an interest-free loan. Adjust your tax withholding through your payroll to have less money deducted from your paycheck.

Understand the different tax forms you might receive.

These are the different forms needed to file your taxes:

  • W-2: This comes from your employer and summarizes wages, taxes and deductions throughout the year.
  • 1099: These are used to report other types of income you’ve received, including bank interest (1099-INT). Not every taxpayer receives these forms.
  • 1098: This form and its variants show payments you’ve made that may qualify you for tax benefits. For example, a regular 1098 shows mortgage interest paid, a 1098-T shows money paid for school tuition and expenses, and a 1098-E shows student loan interest paid.

Understand due dates.

Your tax return is usually due on April 15, although this year’s deadline has been extended to April 18. If you’re not ready, you can request a six-month extension, but this is only an extension for filing the return. The money you owe is still due by the regular tax deadline.

Understand what to do if you owe taxes and don’t have the money to pay right away.

Don’t panic, but don’t ignore the problem either. Contact the IRS to set up a payment plan. You’ll have to pay the government eventually, and until you do the IRS can add costly interest and late fees to what you owe. Get started, pay what you can as soon as possible, and then continue making payments.

Just as you can change your withholding to have your employer deduct fewer taxes from your paycheck, you can increase the amount to keep from owing in the future. Contact your HR/Payroll department to learn more.

For help in figuring out how your income taxes impact your financial situation, reach out to a CFP® professional at

Benefits for Women Becoming Financial Planners

(NewsUSA) - The financial services industry is changing and diversifying, and this includes women becoming financial advisors at a rate higher than ever before.

If you’ve ever considered a career in financial planning, now may be the perfect time to take the leap. Benefits include high earning potential, flexible work hours, professional growth, and more.

High Earning Potential

There’s a clear demand for financial advisors, and women are moving into those positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job opportunities for personal financial advisors will grow 15% in the next 8 years — much faster than the average for other occupations. With all that demand, financial advisors can potentially earn high salaries, including into the six figures.

Flexible Work Hours

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses have become open to employees working remotely and establishing flexible working arrangements, including in financial services. Women can tailor their career choices and create schedules allowing for balanced work and personal life.

Professional Growth

More firms and businesses are recruiting women with opportunities to become financial planners, investment advisors and wealth advisors. Many provide professional development programs, including assistance for those pursuing advanced training such as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Additional support is available through CFP Board, which offers scholarships and mentoring programs.

“There is also a growing number of women who are willing to mentor younger women and make it their life’s work to make sure we’re reaching back down and pulling people up,” explains Kate Healy, Managing Director of CFP Board Center for Financial Planning. “It’s wonderful to see and really starting to have an impact.”

Helping Clients Achieve Financial Goals

One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a financial planner is helping others achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. CFP® professionals can help navigate many of life’s big transitions, from saving for college savings to preparing for retirement.


As more women become advisors, they can empower other women to take control of their financial future. It's important that CFP® professionals reflect the public they serve, and women CFP® professionals can act as role models and provide guidance to other women interested in finance. Many women are even going on to start their own firms. The number of women-led firms is growing thanks to women supporting each other through networking, advice and feedback.

To learn more about the opportunities available within the financial planning profession, as well as financial planner training and compensation, check out CFP Board’s Career Guide. Explore how you can become a CFP® professional, with all the benefits that provides.  


(NewsUSA) - Teaching children about money is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Start when they’re young with simple lessons like saving up to buy a toy. You can build upon those lessons as they get older and become responsible for things like buying their own car or preparing their finances for college.

Talking about money isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t trust your own money management skills. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can boost your self-confidence and help you create a plan that supports your family members in understanding their finances.

Little Kids

When your kids are very young, stick to the basics. Explain three things you can do with money: Spend it, save it or give it away. Show them how to divide money they get from gifts or an allowance by putting a portion into savings or donating to a charity, and then allow them to spend the rest.

Also, share how you make money decisions for the family when you shop, cook and pay bills.


When teenagers get their first job, they get hands-on experience with budgeting. They learn to allocate money they earn to buy what they need, such as gas for their car. It’s also the perfect time to teach them about taxes. Go over their first paycheck and point out payroll deductions, explaining how the system works.

And when your teen is ready, introduce them to the magic of compound interest and the basics of investing.

College Students

Once your child reaches college age, engage in more straightforward money conversations. Discuss spending and cost-saving strategies. Go over student loan and credit card debt, making sure they understand their statements, interest rates, loan terms and repayment options.

Adult Children

With adult children, the type of money conversations you have will depend on whether they’re living on their own or with you. If your child still lives with you, strike a balance between helping them and protecting your own financial well-being, perhaps even drawing up a move-in agreement to keep everyone on the same page.

Regardless of where they live, speak to your children about your estate plan. Explain who you’ve designated to serve as your estate executor (the person responsible for distributing your estate and paying any remaining debts).

Make your children aware of the option of working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to build a more successful and financially secure future. To find a CFP® professional near you, visit


How Anxious Are Americans About Their Finances? Very.

(NewsUSA) - A new poll paints a troubling picture of how anxious Americans are about their finances.

Nearly half of respondents said they didn’t feel “financially stable,” according to the survey from financial services firm Edward Jones and Morning Consult, and 29 percent admitted to having less than $500 in their emergency savings fund.

That’s right, less than $500.

Anyone who’s been to the supermarket lately – the price of a dozen eggs in January was up 70% from the same time last year – can guess one of the main reasons for that low savings rate.

“People have been facing turbulent times,” said Meagan Dow, senior strategist at Edward Jones.  “Understandably, inflation is forcing consumers to spend more on necessities, like housing and groceries, while market conditions are startling investors, so savings are falling low on the priority list.”

How to take control when so much seems out of our control?  If, like most respondents, you measure “financial wellness” as being free of debt and worries over monthly bills, and having enough money to care for your family, read on for ways to move forward:

  • Build three to six months’ worth of living expenses in savings to cover emergencies.  Keep in mind that even a few hundred dollars can help improve your financial stability, so start small and celebrate your progress. The specific amount to ultimately target depends on variables like whether your car is on its last leg, or your house is in an area prone to natural disasters.  “There’s also your risk of temporary loss of income to consider, especially if you're a single earner or have job insecurity,” said Dow. "The higher your risks, the more you'll want to save."
  • Save enough for your unique retirement needs. This year the average senior can count on only $21,924 from Social Security, with the maximum benefit for those retiring in 2023 and claiming at age 70 being $54,660. Most people won't want to solely rely on Social Security for their retirement income. 

    Which means, if at all possible, you'll want to be saving money now. At a minimum, you should contribute enough to take full advantage of any employer match for a 401(k) or other employer plan. A match is essentially free money, and generally a 50% or 100% return on your  contributions. Then look to increase your savings over time, ideally at least annually or whenever you get a raise. "Many plans offer a feature to  automatically increase your contributions, making it easier than ever to boost your savings," said Dow.

    And if you're working but don't have access to an employer plan or have maxed out your contributions? You may be able to save in an IRA. For  2023, you can contribute up to $6,500 if you have taxable compensation, or $7,500 you’re age 50 or older. Although a Roth IRA has income limitations that may prevent you from contributing the full amount, a backdoor Roth strategy allows you to contribute to a Roth IRA even if you exceed those income limitations. A financial advisor can help determine if this strategy makes sense for you.
  • Pay down debt.  Start with high-interest, non-deductible debt. The most common form of this is credit card debt, but any high-interest debt is likely to cost you more in interest than you can expect to earn on your investments. Take a look at the "Minimum Payment Warning" box on your statement to see how paying extra can save you in interest payments, and significantly shorten how long it will take you to pay off your balance.

    Then you can focus on paying down other debt, starting with the highest after-tax interest rate. "Target a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 35% or  lower if you have a mortgage, and 20% or lower if you don't," said Dow. To calculate your DTI, divide your monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income.

Interestingly, the survey also found that those who said they used a financial advisor, instead of trying a do-it-yourself approach, were twice as likely to feel confident about their present and future financial situations. A trusted local advisor at Edward Jones can help you create a roadmap to work toward your own financial wellness.      


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