Your biggest money mistakes -- and how to avoid them

Taking a DIY approach to money management

You probably take your car to a certified mechanic when it needs a tune-up, so why not work with an expert when it comes to managing the cash flow it takes to pay for auto repairs?

"You have to ask yourself whether you have the time, skill and will to handle your finances," says TIAA-CREF's Joe Wilson. "If not, it’s probably best to hire an expert."

Smart move: Hire a financial planner.

Whether you’re single and just starting to save or married with a significant nest egg, it’s important to work with an expert who specializes in working with clients in similar situations.

There are experts who handle financial needs ranging from working with creditors to managing investment portfolios.

Start your search by asking for referrals. The National Association of Personal Financial Planners also has links to certified financial planners. Some planners are paid on commissions while others are salaried or work on a fee basis, so ask before you hire. The type of compensation they receive will impact how much you pay and could have an effect on their advice, Wilson says.

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