It finally happened: The first Baby Boomer applied for Social Security this week. Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, a former teacher who was born at one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946, applied for Social Security benefits over the Internet, starting what is likely to be an avalanche of applications for retirement benefits.

Accountants have long foreseen this day and already done plenty of business advising Boomer clients on how to prepare for retirement. But now that the Boomer generation is actually beginning to retire, will those carefully laid plans bear fruit? That's the question Boomers will be facing along with their accountants. If the nest egg looks like it's not going to last long enough, clients will be forced to rely on an increasingly precarious-looking Social Security system.

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