"Our clients may have to consider bringing in renters for a while," Gilgen says. "People cannot overlook these types of possibilities. But I also have one client who looked around his house, and anything he had not touched in 12 months, he put it on the Internet and sold it and now he is helping others do the same. He has developed a nice little business. So you may have to encourage clients to be creative."

In addition to increasing cash reserves, Blaydes advises using asset allocation in equities to diversify as much as possible, "so some investments will zig when others zag." He also recommends laddered bonds because bonds will not lose value as they mature, and if investments are made each year, the maturity dates will come yearly also.

"I even also have some clients who do not need to delay luxury purchases, but they are doing it anyway, because it just does not feel right to them to be extravagant now," Blaydes says.

Poor economic times affect all levels of wealth and one couple who are clients of Robert K. Haley, founder and president of Advanced Wealth Management in Portland, Ore., have found themselves cutting expenses even though they had just sold a $5 million business before they asked Haley's firm to advise them.

"I told them in the beginning to focus on living off of net income and dividends from their investments and they would have money for the rest of their lives," Haley says. "Their income was down about 25% for a while, so they bought fewer gifts and traveled less. They feel these adjustments are temporary, but they will always have income to live on. Some years it just will be a little less than others."

Haley adjusts his clients' holdings to harvest tax losses and uses stop-losses to decrease their risk of losing income. During the current economic chaos, Haley says he has not lost any clients and he has even picked up some new ones who are wary of doing their own investing.

"I recommend clients invest for dividends and interest and live off the net income after maintenance fees and transaction costs, rather than the more traditional approach of withdrawing a percentage each year," he says. "Taking a fixed percentage works in good years but not in bad ones. Our way they always have income, just a little less in bad years."

Sometimes, it's not just the clients who need help but the advisors as well, and some professionals have switched their focus to coaching advisors on how to deal with their own financial problems before they try advising clients.

"The recent years have been an 'extinction event' for the financial industry, and advisors are looking to get out of the industry completely," says Mark Matson, CEO of Matson Money in Cincinnati, Ohio, a practice management and advisor consultancy firm. "It is hard for an advisor to help a client if his or her income is shrinking and the advisor is worried about his own fate. When the advisor can develop peace of mind, he can then communicate ways to help the client."

Matson has 300 advisors using his firm's coaching platform. The firm handles the money management for them and has $2.36 billion in assets under management, an amount that is growing, despite the economy.