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Merrill Lynch Launches Longevity Training for Advisors

Merrill Lynch is rolling out a new training program for advisors to help them understand the needs of an aging population.

The Wall Street firm is working with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology to provide the free coursework, similar to other planning tools they've put in a mobile app used by about 8,000 of their advisors. It's currently in a beta test with about 30 advisors.

“It’s mind-boggling how much the retirement landscape has changed,” says Merrill Lynch’s director of financial gerontology Cyndi Hutchins. “We felt it was very important that our financial advisors had access to the content and knowledge base to understand the issues around longevity,”

The 12-hour program was developed in tandem with USC professors, according to Hutchins (a USC alum herself). Participating advisors and associates will be able to access nine modules on-demand, with video lectures, webinars, a quick-guide and assessments after completion of each segment.

Development of the program started last June, Hutchins says. Going forward, the firm will also continue to add to the library of content.

Upon completion of the program, advisors will receive a certificate from USC and up to nine continuing education credits for the Certified Financial Planner, Certified Investment Management Analyst or Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designations.

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