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Do I need a financial adviser?

The answer is a resounding maybe.

Because qualified planners are trained to deal with myriad personal financial topics, they can help you set financial goals and priorities, then recommend specific steps to meet them. This means they may give advice on how you should allocate your investments, what kind of insurance you really need and explain how certain moves may affect your taxes or estate.

It's then up to you to decide if you want to follow that advice. A good planner will also recommend when you need more specialized help, say, working with a trusts and estates attorney who can help protect assets in a family businesses.

But if you're more of a do-it-yourselfer, there are resources galore to help you. For example, Money's asset allocation calculator and retirement planning calculator can help you set up an investment plan that will put you well on your way toward a secure retirement.

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