8 PROFESSIONALS WHO CAN SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
If you need to lighten your work -- or stress -- load, let someone else do the heavy lifting.
If you need to lighten your work -- or stress -- load, let someone else do the heavy lifting. We have chosen eight professionals who can help make your life a little easier. Visit kiplinger.com/simplify for phone numbers and Web sites to help you find local professionals. The slide show navigation begins on your right.
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, or a combination of the two. Cost: $100 to $300 per hour (fee-only).
If you have a simple return but don't want to do it yourself, try H&R Block or another commercial preparer. Need more guidance throughout the year or have a complicated tax situation? Consider a CPA. Cost: H&R Block patrons pay an average of $170; a CPA could charge from $150 to $500, depending on your situation.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.