I attended my first FPA Retreat in 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Hyatt Regency Resort. I haven’t missed one since! I had been in a financial planning role since 1999 and attended many investment strategy and wealth management conferences prior to earning my CFP® designation in 2011 and joining the Financial Planning Association. I was eager and curious to attend an event that was designed for CFP® professionals. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I know that I didn’t expect what I experienced at my first Retreat.

To say Retreat is an experience would be accurate, but it falls short of articulating the unique qualities that Retreat represents to me. The Retreat experience creates an environment through its content, session formats and attendees that pushes us out of our comfort zones to grow as individuals, professionals and as a profession. Although “retreat” is defined as an act of moving back or withdrawing to a quiet or secluded place, I would caution you on this expectation if you attend your first Retreat in 2019.

While Retreat is designed to be taken at your own pace (a choose-your-own-schedule kind of adventure) I think it would be misleading to expect a quiet or calm atmosphere. I have heard many describe the content and conversations to be invigorating, igniting, inspiring, etc. Retreat allows me to rekindle my passion for planning and withdraw from the day-to-day frustrations of our work. Retreat also refuels my tank, giving me the drive to explore new thinking, and it reconnects me with those who love this work and profession as much as I do.

To transform lives through the power of financial planning isn’t easy work; we need energy, passion, commitment, and a community of researchers, teachers, peers and strategic partners who are serious about our profession and our clients. You will find all of this and more at Retreat.