Table of contents: VOL. 34, NO. 8 - August 1, 2005
COVER STORY
Some towns have it all--great schools, a thriving job market, safe streets, plenty to do. The best offer one thing more: a reason to go home again. (more)

Features
Six seductive new convertibles are hitting showrooms this year, and they're safer, roomier and more affordable than ever. One of them might fit your budget--and maybe your whole family. (more)
Is there a big fat college bill in your future? And you're not investing in a 529 plan? Time to get reacquainted with the state-sponsored tax-free account that may be your most powerful savings tool. (more)
Her obsession strained her marriage and left her family with more than $50,000 in debt. Now Kristine Rogers has a plan to get her life back on track. (more)
Take our test to learn how to stop making the same old money mistakes (more)
home
Then: ugh. Now: a happening hacienda. (more)
As home prices soar, you'd be nuts not to ask the question. But do the math and you'll probably decide not to abandon ship. (more)
Remember: He works for the bank, not you. Here's what you can do to ensure a fair and honest estimate. (more)
how i did it
I set aside 11% of my take-home for relatives left behind in Cuba. Just like my mother used to do.BY MARTIN LOPEZ, 37, LOS ANGELESAS TOLD TO DAVID HOCHMAN (more)
invest
Market forecasters have steered you wrong all year, but so what? With a smart plan and the right mutual funds, you control your own fate. (more)
Don't be fooled by his famous ambiguity. Greenspan is making a strong case for buying growth stocks now. (more)



plan

Don't let all the news about data loss scare you away from the convenience of online banking. Here's how to keep your info--and money--safe. (more)
Here's a novel approach to living within your means: Spend 30% of your money on whimsy (more)
First comes love, then comes...real estate speculation? (more)
Grace periods are down, minimums are up, and fees are getting stiffer too. But you don't have to let lenders' tougher terms raise your costs. (more)
Think you're going to start a second career after you graduate from the one you've got? Don't count on it. (more)
spend
One lost writer. Five new GPS devices. A thousand acres of wilderness. And it's getting dark. (more)
Are the new mixed breeds really canine perfection? Or just mutts with funny names? (more)
What's the best way to score a waterfront hotel room? Put the hotel in the water. (more)
start


The odds are increasing that it could hit you. Better get serious. (more)
Your kid wants a new game. Make sure you won't have to buy an upgrade in order to play it. (more)
RECENT ISSUES
FEATURES
To chart a course to your financial goals, it's essential to know your starting point. Take this quiz to see where you are, then follow some simple steps and strategies for getting to the next landmark. |more|
Our recommended list of mutual funds and ETFs is streamlined to make your decision-making simpler. |more|
After five frustrating years, the economy is ready to burst out. |more|
Love the culture and excitement of urban life, but loathe the congestion and cost? One of these 'second cities' could be your first-choice retirement spot. |more|