The recession’s first heroes? They could be CPAs

Recession It's easy enough to point fingers and place blame as the recession rolls on. Hindsight, as my dad used to say, is 20-20.

The real challenge is in trying to figure out who will emerge as the heroes of the recession.

It'll be a while before we figure that one out, but a few clues are surfacing among the headlines:

A recent survey by Robert Half Management Resources finds that 52 percent of CFOs are reconsidering their retirement plans in the wake of the economic downturn. “Employers may reap unexpected benefits from experienced workers who delay retirement, as their deep knowledge and skills will remain available to the firm,” said Robert Half Executive Director Paul McDonald, rose-colored glasses firmly in place.

Financial planners say more than one-third of their older clients are considering postponing retirement due to the economy, according to an AICPA survey. “What this suggests," says AICPA Vice President James Metzler, "is that 70 is the new 65.”

Some analysts say that retirement isn't what it once was, that many employees are finding no need to quit working at some arbitrary age, especially if they find their work rewarding. And certainly that has something to do with these survey results.

I'm guessing a more likely culprit these days, though, is the fact that retirement-age workers are finding their nest eggs reduced by 20, 30, even 40 percent and suddenly realize they can't afford to retire.

And here's where the heroes of the recession emerge.

I'm convinced some of the first superstars of this economic catastrophe are going to be CPAs who can help their financial-planning clients navigate these rough waters and drop anchor on the other side in relatively sound financial shape. A professional who can do that will be a friend, indeed.

How are you helping your clients plan for an increasingly uncertain future? Let us know, then check out these related resources:


Bill Sheridan