When I started writing Family Profile for MoneySense 15 years ago, I had one goal: to make reading about real-life struggles with money as interesting as the sports pages. Of course, I never dreamed such a column would become so popular. I’m lucky enough to know what syndicated columnist Ann Landers meant when she said, “I would rather have my column on a thousand refrigerator doors than win a Pulitzer Prize.”
Since taking on this assignment, I’ve written more than 100 Family Profiles. I truly hope the advice our trusted experts have shared with MoneySense readers has inspired them to look at their finances in empowering ways. From Louise, a strip club waitress who in 1999 was desperately seeking advice on buying a home, to Maria, a recent widow from Beaverlodge, Alta., who needed help retooling her retirement nest egg, there’s never been a dull moment.
If you’ve enjoyed reading these columns as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them, then join me in a walk down memory lane. I contacted six notable families to see what advice worked and where they stand today.—Illustrations by Amedeo De Palma