PRO-SEMINARS PARTNERSHIP WITH CIEPS FOR
THE DELIVERY OF THE ELDER PLANNING COUNSELOR (EPC)
ENROL SECURELY HERE to
Begin the EPC Journey!
Overview of the Pro-Seminars - Elder Planning Counselor
Designation (EPC) Program partnership via Distance Learning
your future by achieving the Elder Planning Counselor
Designation. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge
designed by Canadians for Canadian professionals. If you are
currently interacting with or plan to interact with Canada’s
largest, growing population segment, the 55-plus crowd, then
you will greatly benefit by achieving the EPC mark.
know and understand the issues and alternatives that are
important and unique to Elder life in Canada. An EPC
respects elder circumstances and confidentiality. They
provide guidance and assistance in financial, emotional,
spiritual and health issues with the elder’s best interests
in mind. An EPC creates solutions that acknowledge the
Elder’s particular concerns and challenges. They
inconspicuously accommodate any age-appropriate physical
challenges and impairments that the elder may have to ensure
that their needs are met.
The Pro-Seminars “EPC”
Designation Distance Learning Program
EPC Designation distance learning program will be
distributed by Pro-Seminars and the designation will be
granted by the Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning
now can achieve your EPC Designation the same way you would
study and receive the CLU, CFP, or RHU financial
designations...by completing segments at your own pace. (6
method of attaining your EPC Designation is designed for
completion on a self-study basis.
successfully passing each segment (via a test pertaining to
that segment) you will be granted an EPC Certificate of
Completion attesting to the fact that you have completed one
step in the process towards the final EPC Designation.
all four segments are successfully completed, you will have
the opportunity to take the Proctored EPC Final
Qualification examination. Upon achieving 70%, you will be
granted the Elder Planning Counselor Designation and from
that point forward, you may use the EPC mark signifying the
completion of all the requirements necessary to become a
member of Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning Studies.
Pro-Seminars EPC Module
format is simple and easy to follow. The EPC program is
broken down into four segments, with each segment getting
you one step closer to earning the highly coveted EPC
Designation at your own pace. We suggest 6 months to
complete the process.
Pro-Seminars EPC Designation
student can take either EPC Modules 1, 2 or 3 in any order.
However, EPC Module 4 MUST be taken last as this segment
contains important information that will put the EPC
Designation in perspective as to what is expected from you
as you hold yourself out as an EPC Designation holder.
$395.00 + GST/HST for each segment paid in advance of
What Does the Student Receive?
student will receive the current EPC Desk Reference
Module(s) that they enrolled for along with the
comprehensive EPC Student Workbook. In addition, a copy of
the EPC Designation PowerPoints as delivered by the CIEPS
Faculty pertaining to the material covered in the various
Although we are flexible, we recommend that the EPC students
complete each segment within six months of registering.
After each chapter in the EPC Student Workbook there are a
series of review questions that pertain to the information
contained in each chapter. These questions do not need to
be turned in. They are designed to better prepare the
student for the EPC Final Qualification examination.
EPC Module Exams
Students must write their exam for each completed EPC Module
within six months of registering. When they are ready to
write their exam, they will notify us, and a proctored
location will be arranged between the proctor and the
student to allow the completion of the exam for each
segment. The student must attain 70% to move on to the next
segment. If the student does not pass, they will be offered
another opportunity to re-write at an additional cost of $50
one rewrite will be allowed within 60 days of the original
exam writing. Upon successful passing of the segment, the
student will be granted a Certificate of Achievement for the
Final EPC Qualification
After the fourth segment is completed, the student will be
offered the opportunity to write the proctored EPC Final
Qualification exam at an additional cost of $150 + GST/HST
for their Province of residence.
attaining a passing grade of at least 70%, the student will
be granted the EPC mark by Canadian Initiative for Elder
Planning Studies (CIEPS) and entitled to all benefits that
the EPC Designation provides.
the student does not pass, they will be offered another
opportunity to re-write the EPC Final Qualification
Examination at an additional cost of $100 + GST/HST for
their Province of residence. The student will have 90 days
to rewrite the exam.
THE ELDER PLANNING COUNSELOR PROGRAM CURRICULUM
Module 1 – Aging & Health Issues
Situation Critical – Our population is Aging
Principles, Progression & Effects of Aging
Understanding Chronic Conditions
Dementia & Our Aging Society
Nutrition & Fitness
2 – Social & Psychological Issues
Long Term Care Issues
Caregiving in Canada
End-Of-Life Planning Issues
Bereavement – Grief and the Healing Process
Module 3 – Financial Issues
Social Security & Medicare Programs
Retirement Planning & Investing
Generating Retirement Income
Travelling or Moving Abroad
Income Tax Planning
Module 4 – Communication and Other Timely Issues
The Social Aspects of Aging
Communicating with Elders
Marketing to Elders
Elder Fraud and Financial Exploitation
Elders and Ethics
Putting It All into Perspective
MODULE 1 OVERVIEW – Aging & Health Issues
Chapter 1 – Situation
Critical – Our Population is Aging!
chapter focuses on our changing society. To do this, it is
necessary to review demographics and other significant
factors that have contributed directly to Canada’s aging
EPC will learn about elders in respect of their needs,
wants, and concerns. This newly acquired knowledge will
assist the professional in planning for the future.
EPC will be required to understand life cycle changes and
various factors and situations that an elder experience
while going through life.
EPC will study how such factors as age, gender, race, and
ethnic background greatly influence elder behaviours and
attitudes when interacting with professionals.
When an advisor knows this information, they will be
in a better position to offer the right solutions for their
prospects and clients.
Chapter 2 – Principles,
Progressions & the Effects of Aging
main goal for the EPC is to become acquainted with the
physical, social, and psychological aspects of aging, along
with any challenges that are created by age-related changes
in the human body.
By understanding the age-related and non-age-related
changes and challenges, an EPC is better qualified to
professionally serve the elder client or prospect. By
working together with the elder, their best needs are met
when determining which financial and estate plans to follow.
Chapter 3 –
Understanding Chronic Conditions in Elders
EPC will witness the full implications that chronic
conditions will have on the elder and their families. They
will also study how severe illnesses can alter the elder’s
lifestyle and their ability to maintain a fully
addition, the EPC should be familiar with the members of the
elder’s health care team, and, in addition, what each of
those individual’s responsibilities are. Although this
chapter uses many medical terms and situations, it is not
necessary for the EPC to have the same knowledge as a
medical doctor. Remember that one not in the medical
profession, should not suggest any medical advice to a
client or prospect.
Knowing the symptoms and having the awareness of some of the
medical conditions and ailments that take their toll on our
aging society could greatly enhance the way in which the EPC
interacts and carries on business with an elder.
Knowing this information and how to convey it can
lead to offering insurance products such as Long-Term Care
and Critical Illness to the advisors’ clients and
Chapter 4 – Dementia &
Our Aging Society
EPC will be in a better position to understand and recognize
the various kinds of dementia, especially Alzheimer Disease
(AD). As there are many implications of dementia, the
student should know how it pertains to their work with
elders and their families.
the EPC student concludes this chapter, they will be able to
define dementia, explain some of the causes of dementia, and
describe some of the different types of dementia. They will
have acquired knowledge about Alzheimer Disease.
will also be versed in the planning and management of
dementia and be comfortable dealing with the various
caregiving issues surrounding it.
When the advisor knows this information, and how to
position it with their clients and prospects, it will lead
to offering insurance products such as Long-Term Care and
Critical Illness to solve any future challenges.
Chapter 5 – Nutrition
completion of this chapter, the EPC will be more familiar
with nutrition, healthful lifestyle, and longevity in
relation to elders. Factors that contribute to an unhealthy
life and shorter lifespan will also be discussed to further
explain, and emphasize, the importance of health as we age.
EPC will gain insight into the overall process of aging by
considering the human body and the elements that affect it
over time. Having a foundation of information with which to
assess an elder’s health profile, the EPC will be able to
recognize areas requiring attention and suggest possible
lifestyle changes in relation to nutrition and fitness.
awareness to the fact that a healthful lifestyle can both
prevent and improve the impact of age-related conditions,
the EPC will be able to help themselves, and others, to live
better. Understanding the role nutrition and fitness play in
preventing such conditions as Alzheimer disease,
osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and others, is the
key in making life-changing choices for health.
Students will cover aging theories, anti-aging strategies,
nutrition, digestion, causes of poor nutrition, elder
nutritional requirements, how to determine elder health,
supplements, diet and disease, exercise, and fitness.
Leading a healthy lifestyle can lead to preferential
insurance rates when it comes to Life & Accident Insurance
products that the advisor can offer.
MODULE 2 OVERVIEW – Social and Psychological Issues
Chapter 1 – Long Term
is common knowledge that taking care of oneself financially
for long term care in the future is a major issue. Our aging
elders are no different in this regard. Course attendees
will be in a better position to provide advice to the elders
they interact with when dealing with the various risks that
are, and will be, associated with their change in
four areas that the EPC will study are:
WHY Long-Term care is such an issue, now and in the
HOW is society going to fund their Long-Term care when
the need arises?
WHAT is the role of Long-Term Care insurance in an aging
This chapter will help the financial advisor
determine the need and position Long-Term Care products.
Chapter 2 – Housing
EPC will be in a better position to describe the many
housing options that are available for the elder. The EPC,
when faced with helping the elder, can help recommend the
proper alternative based on the elder’s needs and wants.
EPC should become familiar with the fact that as people age,
their health begins to deteriorate. When this happens, the
need to find suitable housing or living arrangements becomes
evident. Either making changes to their existing home or
looking for a new dwelling could fill this need. A nursing
home could also be the solution. The EPC will learn what to
look for when the elder or their family chooses an assisted
living or nursing home.
chapter will walk the EPC through the various stages of why
elders want to stay in their own homes. The decision to
relocate can be a traumatic one, increasing the need for
support from many different areas.
EPC will look at the various types of housing arrangements
available to the elder today. Some different types of
government assistance programs will be discussed to offer
alternatives to the funding process.
Knowing this information will allow the advisor
to have the conversation about Retirement, Long-Term or
Nursing home insurance coverages for their clients and
Chapter 3 – Caregiving
EPCs should become familiar with the many types of
caregiving resources available. They should understand many
of the hurdles that our elders face, as informal caregivers
meet their continuing need for assistance from many
students will look at and review the many issues surrounding
caregiving. Some of the topics covered will deal with what
is required to be a caregiver, how to be a good caregiver,
and what the difficulties and demands of caregiving really
entail. The many phases and duties of providing care to a
recipient will be addressed. Caregiving stress and elder
abuse issues will be discussed in detail.
any position, one must be aware of the satisfaction that
comes with knowing that the job was done right. To this
extent, the EPC will also become aware of the rewards that
Chapter 4 – End-Of-Life
Planning Issues for the Elder
professionals, EPCs should become familiar with the major
issues that a critically ill elder is facing. It is not
necessary to be fully conversant with these issues, but
rather to know where to refer the elder and their family for
any further legal information pertaining to their choice or
choices. If the elder cannot speak for himself, then who
will look after his desires? Will it be the EPC? Will it be
the elder’s family?
EPC will look at healthcare and family issues as people near
death. They will look at the quality of life that can lead
the elder and their families to make crucial decisions.
Hospice and palliative care play an important role in the
aging process. As such, you will be required to know the
basic information about each and how they can enhance an
elder’s final time on this earth. The EPC will look at the
planning issues beyond the legal and medical procedures to
meet their elder client’s needs and wishes.
Chapter 5 – Funeral
EPC will become familiar with the various options when
advising elder clients about funeral home choices. The main
point in this chapter is to know where to go when it comes
time to plan for the final journey.
completion of this chapter, the EPC will be able to provide
an overview regarding the offerings that a funeral home can
provide to the individual, either before or after death. The
EPC will also know what type of assistance is available to
assist the elderly when the time comes to look at planning a
This chapter is a definite lead in for the
advisor to discuss final expense and “funeral” insurance
Chapter 6 – Bereavement
– Grief and the Healing Process
People all experience and deal with changes and losses in
their lives every day. This is a natural part of being. As
you get older, the chances of losing things in your life are
very real. The EPC will study and learn how to help elders
who are going through various stages of the grieving process
because of the aging process, and the fact that someday
everyone must experience grief.
chapter will prepare the EPC for dealing with loss and grief
with the elder and their family. All the variables will be
studied with the intent of providing an overview on how to
adjust for the healing process.
EPC will learn about the experience of loss. They will look
at the total grieving process and study the five stages that
humans go through after a loss has occurred.
the EPC finds their way through this chapter on grief
experiences, they will discover that there is no right or
wrong way to do the work of mourning. There is only the
individual’s way, and they must discover it for themselves.
There is no magic formula, no short cut, and no easy way
out. Grief is as if the person is inside a long, winding
tunnel whose entrance is closed behind them, and the only
way out is to head through it and out the other side.
thorough study of this chapter will better enable the EPC to
provide effective interaction with their grieving elder
clients and families.
“Grief will make a new person out of you, if it doesn't kill
you in the making."
A quote by Stephanie Ericsson,
Companion through the Darkness.
MODULE 3 DESCRIPTION – Financial Issues
Chapter 1 – Social
Security & Medicare Programs
Approximately one half of the income of Canadians aged 65
and over comes from Old Age Security and Canada or Quebec
Pension plan benefits. A solid understanding of these
programs is beneficial to anyone who works closely with
Maintaining their health is the number one priority for most
Canadian elders. As a result, no other group has a greater
interest in the sustainability of Canada's publicly funded
health care system. This chapter is designed to provide you
with an overview of the system with particular attention
paid to some of the challenges facing publicly funded
When the advisor discusses these social benefits
with their clients and prospects, a further planning for the
future need can be established and the advisor can recommend
further products to fill any gaps in the clients and
prospects future financial goals.
Chapter 2 – Retirement
Planning & Investing
long and fruitful retirement is not just the product of good
health - careful financial planning is also necessary.
Making the right investments; managing debt; making the
income tax system work in your favour; and ensuring that
appropriate insurance coverage is in place are all a part of
Inevitable cutbacks in government programs combined with
increasing longevity make financial planning - at a personal
level - increasingly important. Unfortunately, many elders
and pre-elders have very limited understanding of the most
basic of financial planning principles - and even more have
simply failed to plan.
For advisors who are interested in future elder
issues, this can lead to opportunities to provide additional
retirement and investment planning suggestions/plans to
supplement what the client or prospect currently has in
Chapter 3 – Generating
primary focus of the previous chapter was on how to
accumulate wealth for retirement purposes. In this chapter
we turn our attention to the various sources of retirement
income and how they can be effectively managed.
There was a time when many Canadians retired right at age
65—whether they wanted to or not. It was a full-stop kind of
retirement: you worked for the same company for most of your
career, they threw you a party on your last day, and the
next morning you woke up to a life of hobbies and doting on
grandkids. Government benefits and traditional employer
pensions kicked in immediately and they were often
sufficient to take care of you, even if you had no other
most Canadians the above version of retirement is pretty
Defined benefit pension plans are dying out, except in the
public sector. And the government is starting to scale back
seniors’ benefits such as Old Age Security, which will
eventually start at age 67 instead of 65. Increasingly,
retirement income will depend on how much a person has saved
and how he manages his own money.
Unfortunately, just as Canadians are being forced to rely on
their own resources in retirement, they are being hit with
low interest rates and uncertain stock markets. All this
helps to make retirement more precarious.
In the chapter, the advisor will gain knowledge
in the various retirement income vechlies that are offered
in the marketplace for their aging clients and prospects.
Chapter 4 – Legacy
key principle in legacy planning is that you cannot
eliminate the big mistakes in an estate plan until you have
identified them. Every elder should stage a financial fire
drill with the assistance of the Elder Planning Counselor
community. The same caution should be exercised with estate
planning as with financial planning—if you are not a
financial services professional, work with someone who is,
or stay away from this area completely.
chapter will investigate the process of planning the
accumulation, conservation, and distribution of an estate in
the manner that most efficiently and effectively
accomplishes the elder’s personal tax and non-tax
completing this chapter, the EPC will acquire the ability to
gather accurate, comprehensive, and useful information that
is efficiently developed using a data gathering system.
The advisor will study the major areas of estate
planning such as: lack of liquidity, improper disposition of
assets, inflation, inadequate income, or capital at
retirement / death / disability, stabilization, and
maximization of the value of assets, excessive transfer
costs, and special problems.
Chapter 5 – Travelling
or Moving Abroad
Canadians comprise a mobile society. They look for travel
experiences; adventure, warmer climates, employment
opportunities and a sunny retirement in areas they perceive
have a lower cost of living. Some decide to move out of the
country to avoid, or at least reduce, the amount of income
tax they pay. Others find out that they have become
residents of another country by accident, facing substantial
Canadian elders spend time out of the country, particularly
in the United States, during the winter months. These
snowbirds may plan on moving to the U.S. permanently or look
forward to spending certain months of the year south of the
border as an integral part of their retirement plans and
lifestyle. In either case, their time spent in the USA may
cause them to be deemed as residents of the U.S. for income
tax, estate tax, or both.
Conversely, they may no longer be deemed to be residents of
Canada, and put at risk government benefits, income tax
breaks, deductions, and credits. Those wanting to take
advantage of lower income tax rates in another country may
find that the CRA still considers them to be residents of
Canada for income tax purposes. In a worst-case scenario,
they may be deemed to be residents of both countries.
Many advisors working with elders do not ask or
adequately consider the impact on plans, programs, and
lifestyles for elders retiring or spending retirement time
in the USA Elders, and the advisors working with them, owe
it to themselves to be cognizant of the ramifications of
being deemed a US resident. They should also be aware of the
similarities and differences in the issues, options, and
benefits discussed in previous chapters affecting Elders.
Though Canadians may spend a lot of retirement time
in other countries, this chapter will focus on some of the
major topics as they relate to the current tax implications
and time spent in the US.
Chapter 6 – Income Tax
objective for the EPC in personal income tax planning is to
minimize or defer income tax payable for the elder. This
requires a general understanding of Canada’s Income Tax Act,
and rulings put forth by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA),
along with other events, such as tax rulings in the courts.
EPC will be able to recommend various tax saving strategies
that will keep the elder’s goals front and centre, thereby
maximizing any spendable income.
Again, for this chapter, caution should be exercised. If you
are not in a profession that will allow you to provide
complete and accurate tax information, please let the
experts handle it.
completion of this segment, the EPC will be able to
understand which income sources constitute earned income,
and which ones do not. You will study tax deductions and tax
credits, and how they will affect your clients’ and
prospects’ net income.
chapter will look at how indexing can affect an individual’s
tax situation. You will be able to tell the difference
between being an employee of a company and being
complex taxation of Life Insurance will be studied in a way
that makes it simple to understand.
The advisor will gain a working knowledge of
Capital Gains, Capital Losses, Deductions, Credits, and
other various terminologies pertaining to taxation and how
they will affect their aging clients and prospects.
MODULE 4 DESCRIPTION – Communication & Other Timely
Chapter 1 – The Social
Aspects of Aging
EPC will learn and describe how the various age cohorts will
play a major part in the future shaping of Canada’s aging
population, by affecting the social and economic experiences
of the elder that will shape how Canada ages.
EPC will work more effectively with their elder clients and
prospects by using the knowledge that they have acquired in
their study of Gerontology, Aging Theories, Family
Structures, Changes and Losses in Later Life, and Future
This is a natural lead in for the advisor to
discuss the various family dynamics that can lead to the
present and future need for insurance and investment
products of all types.
Chapter 2 –
Communicating with Elders
chapter will assist you in developing communications that
will resonate with the elder market. Elders are unique. They
think differently than younger adults. They face a variety
of emotional, social, and sensory challenges. And they are
more difficult to communicate with - on a whole variety of
following material will give you a lot of perspective on the
many challenges associated with communicating with elders …
as well as some of the most effective strategies and
approaches that can be employed to reach them.
of all, all of the evidence seems to suggest that
communications that are designed to effectively capture the
attention of the elder market - will work well with anyone.
Good elder communication strategies are simply … good
communication strategies. Once you have hit the mark in the
elder market, there is no need to waste a lot of time for no
Getting better at communicating with elders will
assist the advisor when they are interacting and trying to
solve problems and challenges for their clients and
Chapter 3 – Marketing to
chapter will be of significant interest to anyone who wants
to "connect" with elders in a meaningful way - whether it be
for commercial purposes or otherwise.
While the elder population is clearly diverse, elders do
share a set of common interests, outlooks, and values.
This chapter focuses on these similarities and how they
impact and colour the way in which elders react to
Understanding how elders react to and process
information is helpful for the advisor who wants to deliver
effective and compelling messages to this market segment
when they are suggestion various solutions to the problems
that are discovered in the planning process.
Chapter 4 – Elder Fraud
& Financial Exploitation
it comes to financial exploitation, an elder’s greatest
enemy can be a family member, close friend, or trusted
professional – the very people he or she should be able to
count on. This chapter will give you a primer on how elders
are exploited, who the perpetrators are, and how you can
help to protect our elder population.
course, elders can also fall prey to outsiders. Con artists
like to focus their attention on the most vulnerable members
of a society. Elders who are isolated socially, who have
financial challenges, or whose health is failing make
excellent targets. This chapter will also provide you with
an abundance of information on elder fraud and some
suggestions on how to defend against it.
Often, the best defense an elder can have against fraud is
to simply live by the following motto: “If it sounds too
good to be true, it probably is!”
This chapter is self-explanatory for the
advisor. Doing the “right job” for their aging clients and
prospects is the only way to do the job!
Chapter 5 – Elders and
chapter will provide you with a broad overview on the
origins of ethics – as well as some detailed discussions on
such topics as ethical decision making, elder ethical issues
and business ethics.
Ethics and codes of ethics are largely concerned with
protecting the weakest members of society. Without ethics
and codes of ethics, it would be relatively easy for the
strong and the able to take advantage of the poor, the
disabled, the cognitively challenged - and the elderly! For
the elderly, a discussion of ethics is not merely an
academic exercise - it is vital to their well-being. They
need to know that the people they encounter with regularity
(e.g., medical professionals, accountants, lawyers,
salesmen, financial planners, etc.) are going to act with
their best interests in mind.
The advisor will study ethics and how it applies
to their aging clients and prospects, keeping in mind that
best practices should be front and center during all
Chapter 6 – Putting It
All into Perspective
Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning Studies (CIEPS) has
endeavored to provide you, the student with some knowledge
that will not only provide some invaluable insight into the
elder population, but also enhance your relationship within
your community and the people with whom you do business.
time that you have spent to achieve your Elder Planning
Counselor designation will ultimately be part of your
value-added proposition that you can pass on to the elders
that you interact with.
designation is about people helping people. It is about
helping you to proactively position your practices or
businesses to make them even more ‘elder friendly.’ The EPC
designation program that you have just completed has used
some traditional approaches and strategies as we studied in
our aging society, and the impact that it will have on our
with this said you have just begun an ongoing process—one
that will require you to keep on top of changing times and
Elders are different. They have a unique set of issues,
concerns, and values that need to be understood and
appreciated as a total package. They also hold a special
place in our society.
are an invaluable source of experience and knowledge for
every younger generation. And they are the heart of the
family and the foundation of your communities.