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credit & debt

When to Outsource Your Life

Financial Adviser: A financial planner can help ease the burden of saving for retirement or college, or managing investments.

As the CFO and COO of your household, the day may come when you'll need to borrow a few tricks from your super-size counterparts on Wall Street -- if you haven't already.

Outsourcing lets you keep important tasks moving forward without tying you down. Let's take a look at the options suggested by Kiplinger's editors:

Hiring a Pro

How to find a pro near you who can lighten your workload.

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  • Financial Adviser: A financial planner can help ease the burden of saving for retirement or college, or managing investments. Choose an adviser who is paid a set fee or who works on commission. Cost: $100 to $300 per hour (fee-only). National Association of Personal Finance Advisors, (847-483-5400)
  • Tax Preparer: If you have a simple return but don't want to do it yourself, try  HR Block preparer (800-472-5625) or another commercial preparer. Need more guidance throughout the year or have a complicated tax situation? Consider a CPA. Cost: HR Block patrons pay an average of $170; a CPA could charge from $150 to $500, depending on your situation.
  • Travel Agent: An agent provides one-stop shopping for your next escape and can be especially valuable if you are venturing to a faraway destination. Cost: about $30 per person for a domestic trip, or $60 if you're heading overseas or have an intricate itinerary (there may be no fee to book a cruise). Contact: American Society of Travel Agents
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  • Medical Bills: A claims assistant can review your medical bills and organize paperwork as well as file, track and challenge your insurance claims. Cost: $60 to $120 per hour. Contact: Manager Alliance of Claims Assistant Professionals, (888-394-5163)
  • Elderly Caregiver: When you can't be there, a caregiver can assist with daily tasks and errands, monitor medications and medical care, and provide companionship. Cost: $16 to $20 per hour. Contact:Home Instead Senior Care, (888-484-5759)
  • Independent Insurance Agent: These brokers sell insurance from multiple carriers, so they can shop for the best policy. And they will help when you need to file a claim. Commissions on policies are typically the same as when you buy directly from the company. Contact:Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America,(800-221-7917)
  • College Admissions Consultant: A consultant can identify schools tailored to your student's interests, enforce deadlines, and supervise (but not write) applications and essays. Cost: $175 per hour on average, or about $3,800 for a two-year coaching program. Contact: Independent Educational Consultants Association, (703-591-4850)
  • Professional Organizer: This pro can tame your pack-rat tendencies, maximize closet space, help prepare boxes for a move or set up a system for filing paperwork. Cost: $40 to $200 per hour, or by flat fee per project. Contact:National Association of Professional Organizers, (856-380-6828)

RELATED CONTENT:Simplify Your LifeWhen to Hire a Tax ProGetting the Best Financial Advice

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