Personal Financial Planning

Seventy-nine percent of CPA financial planners have at least one baby boomer client who has delayed retirement because of the economy, according to an AICPA survey. Asked how many extra years those boomer clients expect to work, 32.3% of CPA financial planners said one to three years; 39.3% said four to six years; 9.8% said seven to 10 years; and 3.7% said more than 10 years.


“Boomers have been scarred by the economic turmoil of the past few years and face complex challenges going forward,” said Clark M. Blackman II, chair of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee. “While more optimistic about the markets, many boomers remain uncertain about the U.S. economy and their own situations as they contend with job loss—their own and their children’s—lower home values and rising education costs.”


This year is a significant milestone for the baby boomer generation, the time when the first of them turn 65 and begin to retire. Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, number 77 million and represent about 37% of the nation’s total population age 16 or older, according to government statistics.


Financial concerns are also prompting changes in education decisions. Half of CPA financial planners surveyed said that compared with five years ago, more of their clients’ children are opting for state universities or community colleges over private schools because of cost. Among other survey findings noted in the press release:


  • 48% of CPA financial planners said their typical client is somewhat or very pessimistic about the U.S. economy amid gaping budget deficits and high unemployment.
  • 51% of CPA financial planners said at least one client was turned down for a mortgage or refinance in the past year. The most common reasons: lower home values and higher underwriting standards.
  • 44% of CPA financial planners said their average client emerged from the recession with increased net worth and 17% saw their net worth stay the same.


The online survey, conducted between Jan. 12 and Feb. 1 among members of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning practice section, drew 372 responses. The confidence rate is 95%, with a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.


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