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Family Finances

Most Popular Kiplinger Guidance of 2009

Don't fall behind. Prosper from Kiplinger's most valuable guidance of 2009, as measured by the number of your fellow readers already benefiting from it all.

As Kiplinger’s Personal Finance senior editor Bob Frick explains in the Be a Better Investor article that kicked off our series on investor psychology, “herd behavior” often makes us think something is safer than it really is because everyone else is doing it. And “regret” causes those who can’t stand being left out to jump in. Both stimuli had a hand in the housing bubble that has played such a central role in the lingering economic downturn.

But in this case, our countdown of the year’s most popular Kiplinger features, neither herd behavior nor regret is a bad thing. Follow the herd to states offering the best tax breaks to retirees, or to cities offering genuine job growth, or to colleges delivering the best education for your buck? We sure think so – that’s the point of our intensive research. Regret missing out on year-end tax tips or our list of stocks that pay rising dividends? You should if you did.

So, as you make your financial plans for 2010, start here with the exclusive, practical guidance so many of your fellow readers already are acting on. You won’t regret it.

The 10 Most Popular Features on, 2009


Retiree Tax Heavens & Hells, 2009-10
Start with our Tax-Friendly Places to Retire article to better understand how to compare the tax burdens of various localities, then dive into our collection of maps to see the most- and least-friendly states for different types of taxes.

Calculator: Adjust Your Tax Withholding
If you expect to receive a refund on your 2009 tax bill, use our calculator to see how much you can add to your paycheck -- starting next payday.

Tool: Find the Best City for You
Our 2009 best-cities list celebrated cities with stable employment and new career opportunities. But maybe there's another city out there that's best for you. Answer eight simple questions in our tool to find out.

Quiz: Is It Tax-Deductible?
See if you can tell which write-offs are legit -- and which ones won't pass muster with the tax man.

Tool: Sort and Compare Top Public Colleges
Sort our annual rankings of the best values in public colleges by various cost and quality measures to find the best match for you.

Quiz: Is It Worth the Upfront Cost?
Should you invest a bit more on the front end to protect against bigger costs in the long run? Or just pocket the money and hope for the best?

Tool: Sort and Compare Top Private Colleges
Sort our annual rankings of the best values in private colleges by various cosy and quality measures to find the best match for you.

The Most Overlooked Tax Deductions
Years ago, the fellow who ran the IRS told Kiplinger's that he figured millions of taxpayers overpaid their taxes every year by overlooking just one of these 19 money-savers.

Quiz: Should You Buy a Home?
With prices dropping and the government offering incentives to home buyers, now might be a good time for you to buy. First, test your knowledge of the rules of smart home-buying.

Quiz: Jump-Start Your Retirement
Think you know how to revive your retirement plan? Test your retirement-planning savvy here.

The 10 Most Popular Articles from Kiplinger's Personal Finance, 2009

Investments That Let You Sleep Tight
We identify nine low-risk stock and bond funds, plus three of the market's steadiest stocks.

Resist the Urge to Cash Out
After suffering through the great bear market, a Kiplinger reader can't help but wonder if he's doing the right things to maximize his retirement savings.

10 Financial Myths Busted
We feed conventional wisdom into the shredder.

7 Stocks That Pay Rising Dividends
We show how a dividend-growth strategy pays off -- and which companies meet our criteria of strong balance sheets, robust free cash flow and a high return on equity.

7 Lessons From the Meltdown
The financial crisis can make us all better investors.

The Best of Everything 2009
Our annual guide to the best credit and banking deals, mutual funds, used cars and much more.

Tax Moves That Save Big Bucks
Cash in on juicy tax breaks that can slash your 2009 tax bill.

Be a Better Investor
Learn to outsmart your emotions, cut your fees, keep it simple -- and, in the end, reap better returns.

7 Ways Your Money Will Never Be the Same
Brace yourself for more-volatile markets, tighter credit and a revamped retirement system.

Blame for the Bubble
Editor in Chief Knight Kiplinger shares one professor's take on how we got into this mess.