4 times you need a financial planner — even if you’re good with money

wealthy couple umbrellaEven if you’re well heeled and responsible with your cash, there are times you could use the expertise of a financial planner.Alan Crowhurst / Stringe / Getty Images

DIY is all the rage, but there are situations when you should call in a professional — like when you’re rewiring a bathroom or reworking your investment portfolio.

If you’re dealing with the former, call an electrician. Please. And when it comes to managing your money, you might want a financial planner on the job.

What does a financial planner do?

A financial planner looks at the big picture when it comes to your money and develops a comprehensive plan to address your needs and long-term goals. Ideally, he or she can advise you on investments, insurance, estate planning, and taxes, among other things.

Your planner might be paid hourly, on a project basis, via a monthly retainer or with a percentage of any investments he or she manages on your behalf.

Do you need a financial planner?

If your finances are relatively simple and your money questions can be answered with a Google search, save your money and skip the financial advisor. You don’t need to pay someone to tell you to keep contributing to your employer’s 401(k).

“Do you need a surgeon to put on a Band-Aid? Do you need a mechanic to put air in your tires?” asks Pedro Silva, a financial advisor in Massachusetts. “The complexity of the situation should dictate how much help [you] need.”

Below are four potentially complex money situations that might warrant a financial planner.

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