Making Your Money Last

My Annual Report

You’ve sent good ideas for articles and shared your own personal finance journeys. I love hearing what’s on your mind.

The September issue marks my 12th one as editor, and I’ve been taking stock of my first year. The primary mission of this magazine is to serve you, the reader. So I’d like to share this informal annual report with you, along with a look ahead.

When I introduced myself in the October 2017 issue, I included my e-mail address and asked you to send feedback and suggestions for articles. And you responded—in droves. In the January issue, we added the e-mail addresses of the writers at the end of each article. In both cases, I wanted to invite you to have direct conversations with us.

Your e-mails have been supportive and polite (with a few challenges, which is exactly what I’d expect from loyal, attentive readers). You’ve sent good ideas for articles—among them Middle Class Families Making It Work in June and Planning for Retirement as a Single Person in July. And you have shared your own personal finance journeys. I love hearing what’s on your mind.

I have used this column to share insights into our editorial philosophy—for example, our promise to stay clear of politics and to keep our editorial content independent from the advertisers. Mostly, I’ve shared my own personal finance stories. I figure you have a right to know the guy who is ultimately responsible for what we print each month.

Our farm team. The toughest challenge of the past year has been adjusting to a shallower bench of writers and editors. Former editor Janet Bodnar retired last July, followed by two senior editors.

Kiplinger operates like a Major League team that draws from its farm system—we nurture and train journalists and usually promote from the ranks. We elevated Anne Smith to investing editor, Sandy Block to senior editor and Fane Wolfer to managing editor. (We did recruit senior editor Eileen Ambrose from AARP.) We’re still looking for another investing writer, but meanwhile we’re filling in with top-notch freelancers.

Because times are tough for the publishing industry, we were unable to replace the staffers we promoted. I’m proud to report that all of our writers, editors and designers (led by art director Stacie Harrison) have stepped up.

As for the content, we are committed to delivering timely, actionable, accurate and unbiased stories. In the coming year, we plan to help you prepare for the (eventual) end of the bull market and navigate the bond market for income. We’ll also steer you through your 2018 tax return and produce special reports on long-term-care insurance and ID theft. (And I hope you enjoy our collection of quick-and-easy financial tips in this issue.)

When I became editor, I had no intention of messing with success. So rather than make radical changes, we tweaked the magazine around the edges. We introduced the Millennial Money column and more Basics articles to extend our reach to younger and less-knowledgeable readers; Janet started writing a new Living in Retirement column; and we added more charts and graphics in more articles.

We are close to launching the podcast I mentioned a year ago; I’ll keep you posted on that. And if you have Alexa, the Amazon digital assistant, you can now hear Kiplinger’s Closing Bell market report each weekday. On the Alexa app, go to “skills and games” and search for “Closing Bell” to add it to your flash briefing. Or you can sign up to get it via old-fashioned e-mail at kiplinger.com/go/invest.

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