Wade Pfau leaves full-time role in academia

The influential financial planner and researcher announced his decision on social media

Wade Pfau, an authority on retirement planning tools and reverse mortgages, will step down from his full-time role as a professor of retirement income at the American College of Financial Services.

“For the past 19.5 years, the primary hat I wore was as a full-time professor,” Pfau said in a LinkedIn post. “That’s a very bond-like source of income. In stepping down from a full-time role in academics, I now head off into the unknown of stock-like income. But I’m very excited about what we’ve been able to build at [Retirement Income Style Awareness (RISA)] to help individuals identify the appropriate retirement strategy to consider as a starting point.”

Wade Pfau, founder of and influential reverse mortgage researcher.
Wade Pfau

For most of the past decade, Pfau has served as the American College’s professor of retirement income and also served as director of the school’s Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) program.

“Helping promote education around thinking holistically about retirement and understanding how new retirement risks contribute to justifying multiple approaches to managing retirement goals has been an important part of my career,” Pfau said.

While he will remain associated with the American College on a more limited basis, Pfau plans on continuing his retirement research work at his company RISA, LLC as well as through the Retirement Researcher website, as a principal at McLean Asset Management and through his affiliation with the Academy for Home Equity in Financial Planning.

“I still have a more limited professor of practice role at the American College, but I stepped down from a full-time position to be able to devote more time to developing the Retirement Income Style Awareness, which I view as the first step in choosing how to build a retirement income plan as individuals approach retirement,” Pfau told RMD in a statement.

Despite leaving his full-time role as a professor, education will remain a priority including for reverse mortgages, he said.

“Providing education on retirement income planning will be an important part of this role, and that includes a continued focus on the role of reverse mortgages in helping to manage retirement risks,” he said. “I released a 2023 update for my reverse mortgage book in late January, and I do anticipate continuing with annual updates and keeping current on reverse mortgage issues.”

Reverse mortgage professionals view Pfau as a financial planner authority on implementing the product into a comprehensive retirement plan. He began speaking at events hosted by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) in 2016, most recently speaking at its 2022 Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta last November.

Pfau has written three editions of his dedicated book on the topic of reverse mortgages and retirement planning, speaking about the third edition in a 2022 episode of The RMD Podcast.

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