The most exciting day of each month for me, as a child, was the day Jack and Jill magazine arrived in our mailbox. I'd disappear into my bedroom, where I'd spend hours reading stories, doing puzzles, and immersing myself in a world created exclusively—or so it seemed—for me.
As I grew up, the magazines I read changed as I changed—McCall's (recipes to make with Mom, and Betsy McCall paper dolls!), Tiger Beat (my brothers read Mad), Cosmo, Working Woman—but my reason for reading them didn't: They spoke to exactly where I was in my life. They engaged me, inspired me, made me think. And they always gave me something to look forward to.
That's what we want this magazine to do for you. Our goal is to help you feel your best—physically, financially, mentally, spiritually. To encourage you not simply to dream but to fulfill those dreams.
In that spirit, with this issue we are introducing a more contemporary, colorful design—with new multimedia elements—that reflects the passion, energy, and positive attitude of our readers. Here's what you can look forward to:
A spotlight on value: Our new You First page highlights five ways you can enrich your life right now, by pointing you to seasonal deals plus meaningful leisure pursuits that show you value isn't always about money.
Congratulations to Clara Gunn, the winner of AARP The Magazine's Inspiration Vacation contest (brought to you by Beaches Resorts and The Sandals Foundation). For her work distributing food to the needy, Clare won a trip to Jamaica, where she worked with students at the Boscobel Primary School.
Easy-to-find Info: We've put your favorite topics in distinct sections—news, health, money, travel, and personal growth—that address what matters most to you: feeling great, saving money, finding purpose, and having fun.
Exciting new columnists: In addition to our popular consumer watchdog Ron Burley and value-travel strategist Peter Greenberg, we welcome six new contributors: Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of "The Dr. Oz Show"; money expert Liz Weston; Mindless Eating author Brian Wansink, Ph.D., who heads up the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab; modern-manners maven Peggy Post; Jane Pauley, who hosts a monthly segment on the "Today" show called "Your Life Calling"; and Chris Gardner, whose inspirational life story was the basis for the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness."
Stories from and about you: Leading off our new The Best of Your Life department—about family, friends, food, and personal fulfillment—will be our Imagine If page, with true tales from readers who have dared to achieve their lifelong dreams.
And it doesn't stop there. I'd like to chat with you regularly, across the digital garden hedge. So pour a cup of coffee and go to aarp.org/magtalk to share your thoughts about the magazine, your lives, your hopes and challenges. I'll meet you there—and I can't wait to know you better.