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Dear Client, We hope you’ve been enjoying summer with family and friends and are ready for fall! Summer was busy here at SWAN Capital with our radio show and monthly wine events. We’re excited about the events we have coming up during the fourth quarter: -October Wine Expierence -November Wine Expierence For the fall issue of the Perspectives Newsletter, we’ve explored some topics that we think may be of interest to our clients. In particular, we examine in-depth the issue of longevity risk, or the danger of outliving retirement assets, that many Americans face in an environment of volatile markets, rising healthcare costs, and longer lifespans. While we believe that this new economic landscape may drastically change the nature of retirement for many Americans, we share a number of strategies that may help take some of the uncertainty away from retirement planning. In this issue we’ll be covering: America’s Retirement Crisis: Strategies to Help Avoid Outliving Your Assets


A Guide to Basic Estate Planning Documents


Facebook Security: Protecting Yourself on Facebook


Five Ways to Raise Money for Your Favorite Charity


Getting A Good Night's Sleep


We sincerely hope that you find this newsletter interesting, informative, and educational. We’re constantly seeking out new ways to educate our clients about important issues and provide them with insight into the economic events behind market movements. We are always interested in hearing your feedback about our newsletter. If you have any ideas you’d like to share with us or have questions you’d like answered in one of our issues, please let us know. If you have any family or friends who would enjoy receiving their own copy, please give us their information, and we will be happy to add them to our growing list of subscribers. As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve you. On behalf of all of us at SWAN Capital thank you and best wishes for this fall season.

Warm Regards,


FACING THREATS TO RETIREMENT PROSPERITY America is facing a serious retirement crisis: Many Americans are not confident that they will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement, and many retirees face longevity risk, or the danger of outliving their life savings. The 2008-2009 economic downturn drastically changed the financial landscape and caused profound shifts in the way that many Americans view their retirement. Despite being the largest, wealthiest, and most influential generation of Americans, baby boomers are facing one of the most serious retirement challenges in history. A combination of declining income, increased longevity, and high costs means that an increasing number of Americans may face the possibility of outliving their assets. One economic study estimates that approximately 46 percent of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets, many of them lacking even home equity and relying largely on Social Security benefits to meet their expenses. 1 Most shockingly, many of the households surveyed in the study entered retirement in good financial health; factors such as unexpected health expenses, market losses, and increased lifestyle expenses combined to erode their financial security. The purpose of this report is to explore a critical issue facing American retirees today and highlight some strategies that may help you avoid outliving your assets.

UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM THE EFFECTS OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS The economic downturn drastically changed the financial circumstances of many. According to a study presented at the 2013 Financial Security Summit, Americans aged 75 and older lost one-third of their financial assets and one-sixth of their total net worth during the period of 2007-2010. 2 While household balance sheets have somewhat recovered in the years since, retirees and pre-retirees have much less time to make up lost ground. Evidence also suggests that older retirees are struggling to make ends meet. Although most Americans have been able to sharply pay down credit card debt since 2007, credit card debt among elderly retirees has actually risen. From 2007 to 2010, an AARP study found that the percentage of Americans 75 and older with credit card debt rose from 18.8 percent to 21.7 percent, while the rate fell in every other age group. 3 This means that more than one-fifth of elderly Americans may be relying on credit cards to cover everyday expenses. Living so close to the financial edge can have devastating consequences; seniors who find themselves in this position may not be able to withstand financial shocks such as expensive medical treatments not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, or other unexpected events such as the need to replace a car or a household appliance. UNDERESTIMATING RETIREMENT LIVING EXPENSES An accurate estimate of your post-retirement living expenses is critical to credibly projecting how large your EXPECTED VS. ACTUAL EXPENSE REDUCTION

MEAN TOTAL WEALTH QUARTILE Source: Michael Hurd and Susann Rohwedder. "The Retirement Consumption Puzzle." Rand labor and population working paper, April 2008. Survey of 385 retirees, ages 50 to 70. Mean total wealth, including housing.


nest egg needs to be to ensure a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, accurately estimating these expenses can be challenging, and retirees who depend too much on optimistic estimates of their future expenses may find themselves facing a shortfall. Many retirement expense calculators confidently predict that retirees will spend as much as 20 percent less in retirement than they do currently. However, changes in spending do not always happen the way people expect. A 2008 study found that, on average, most retirees did not significantly reduce their expenses after retirement. Retirees having a median total net worth of $104,000 were able to reduce their expenses by the greatest amount, 13.8 percent; however, those in the wealthiest quartile (having a median net worth of approx. $1 million) actually increased their post-retirement spending by 7 percent.4 While it’s possible to reduce retirement expenses by adapting your lifestyle to your circumstances, it’s always best when those changes come by choice, not by lack of options. Healthcare costs are one of the major contributors to increased living expenses after retirement. The rapid increase in medical costs over recent years have caused considerable angst to retirees since, as people age, their healthcare expenses tend to rise. More than one-half (54 percent) of respondents to a 2012 Health Confidence survey reported that access to health insurance was extremely important to making a decision to retire and 53 percent of respondents planned to work longer than they would like to continue receiving health insurance through work. 5

*Source: "Cumulative increases in health insurance premiums, workers' contributions to premiums, inflation, and workers' earnings, 1999-2012." Kaiser Family and Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), March 2013.

American retirees have good reason to worry about rising healthcare costs during retirement. According to data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation in the chart below, inflation increased by approximately 3 percent each year during the period of 1999 to 2012, eroding purchasing power by 39 percent, cumulatively. During the same period, wages increased by nearly 50 percent. However, healthcare insurance premiums increased by a staggering 172 percent, far outstripping wage increases over time, meaning that retirees lacking in healthcare coverage may struggle to cover the rising costs of their medical care. 6 LIVING LONGER IN RETIREMENT Life expectancies for both men and women have steadily increased over time. In 1945, American men lived an average of 62.9 years, while American women lived an average of 68.4 years. By 2010, average life expectancies had increased to 75.4 and 80.0 years, respectively. 7 Since Americans are living considerably longer than before, most can expect to spend longer in retirement. Actuarial studies suggest that a 65-year-old American woman has a 50 percent probability of living until age 86, meaning that, if she retires at age 65, she will likely spend 21 years in retirement. A 65-year-old American man has about a 50 percent probability of living to age 82, meaning he will spend approximately 17 years in retirement.

According to the Social Security Administration, one out of every four 65-year-olds will live past the age of 90 and one out of 10 will live past the age of 95.8 Many retirement plans were not designed with the possibility of living more than two decades in retirement in mind, and may not last the investor’s lifetime.


Longer lifespans may also increase the effect that healthcare costs may have on living expenses, and many retirees face the issue of paying for assisted living facilities or retirement communities when independent living is no longer possible.

STRATEGIES TO MITIGATE LONGEVITY RISK There’s no doubt that Americans are facing a retirement crisis; now that we’ve covered some of the factors that are contributing to this nationwide issue, let’s discuss some strategies that can help protect your retirement lifestyle and may help ensure that your assets last as long as you need them to.


Overall Inflation


47% 38% 11% 8%




*Source: Life Tables For the U.S. Security Administration 1900-2010 - Actuarial Study No. 120


CLARIFY YOUR RETIREMENT NEEDS: 1. Do you know how much income you will need each month during retirement? 2. What sources of guaranteed income do you already have? 3. How much do you already have saved for retirement? 4. How long could you afford to live in retirement if your investments grow 4 percent annually? 5 percent? 6 percent? 5. Have you discussed your concerns with a financial professional?

CONSIDER DELAYING RETIREMENT OR STARTING A SECOND CAREER An increasing number of Americans are postponing retirement. Many choose to extend their working lives for a number of reasons, including allowing their investments to recover value, increasing their retirement savings, taking advantage of health insurance coverage, or waiting for a spouse to retire. Some simply aren’t ready to give up a fulfilling career. A 2011 Allianz survey found that an increasing number of Americans were shifting their expected retirement age as compared with a year earlier. 9 Some Americans who are ready to retire from their primary profession choose to take on part time work or begin a second career. While financial considerations can make part time work look attractive, many retirees enjoy the camaraderie or want to stay active and productive while still having plenty of time for family, hobbies, or travel. According to a recent survey by the MetLife Foundation, as many as 8.4 million Americans between the ages of 44 and 70 have already launched “encore careers,” or jobs that combine income with passion or social impact. Among those surveyed that were not already working a second career, nearly half are interested in finding meaningful work. On the whole, those in encore careers find their work fulfilling and worth doing. More than 80 percent of respondents say that they get either a “tremendous amount” or “quite a bit” of satisfaction from their careers. 10


An increasing body of research suggests that Americans are reinventing retirement and viewing it more as a phase of rejuvenation and recreation than as a period of complete rest. DELAY TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS One of the most important decisions facing a retiring worker is when to start taking Social Security benefits. While the dependable income can relieve the anxiety of losing a steady paycheck, there are some valuable arguments in favor of delaying benefits. Normal Retirement Age (also known as full retirement age or NRA) is when you’re eligible to receive your full Social Security benefits. It used to be 65 for everyone, but current laws mean that for those born after 1938, normal retirement age is some point between 65 and 67. While the right age to start taking benefits depends on a retiree’s individual circumstances, in general, delaying benefits is usually a better choice for most people for the following reasons: • Delaying Social Security means you get increased benefits each year, reducing your risk of running out of money later in life. If you start taking benefits after your NRA at age 70, you will typically get a credit. For example, if you were born in 1944 your NRA is 66. However, if you decide to take your benefits at age 68, waiting the extra two years you could get a credit of 8 percent per year. That would mean your

monthly benefit check will be 16 percent higher than what you would have received at age 66. This will give you more stable income even if you spend through other retirement savings. This is just a basic example, and it’s important to work with a professional who understands your personal financial circumstances before making decisions about when to take Social Security. • Each future cost of living adjustment (COLA) will be bigger. Social Security benefits increase each year to keep up with inflation. Your COLA will increase by a percentage of the current payout each year, meaning that delaying your benefits will give each adjustment a higher dollar value. Social Security benefit strategies can get complex. Before making any decisions, be sure to consult with a tax planner or other financial professional who can help you make the right decision for your needs. Please feel free to contact us if you would like assistance with determining what is best for your situation. FIGHT THE EFFECTS OF INFLATION Inflation is insidious and can eat away at the purchasing power of your money over time. Retirees are disproportionately affected by the effects of rising prices because they are paying higher prices for food, housing, and other expenses while often living on a fixed income. Medical bills are also typically higher in retirement due to increased health needs and higher insurance premiums. Even relatively low inflation can significantly impact a retiree’s purchasing power over time. The hypothetical example below shows that $50,000 would be worth just over $30,000 in 25 years, even assuming a very low inflation rate of 2 percent. Historically, the average annual inflation rate in the U.S. has been 3.22 percent, though it jumped as high as 18 percent in 1918 YEARS AFTER RETIREMENT START DATE

4 3

This is a hypothetical example calculated using assumed rates of inflation of 2%, 3%, and 4% to illustrate the effects of inflation on purchasing power over time. The U.S. long-term average annual inflation rate is 3.22% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Actual inflation may be more or less and will vary. This example does not include the effects of taxes, fees, or potential portfolio growth and should only be used for illustrative purposes.


and fell into negative digits during several periods in the last century. 11 Having a portfolio that’s positioned to help fight inflation is critical. Traditionally, as workers have neared retirement age, they have gradually reduced their exposure to risk and favored more conservative investments that prioritize income and wealth preservation over growth. However, a too-conservative investment strategy can be as dangerous as a too-aggressive one since it exposes your portfolio to the corrosive effects of inflation and may limit your retirement assets’ ability to grow over time, thus increasing the risk that you’ll outlive your assets. A well-diversified portfolio that includes an appropriate mix of stocks, bonds, and other investment types according to your personal needs and goals may help you seek the growth you need in a way that lets you sleep better at night. 12 Before making any investment decisions, it’s important to understand how factors such as your own personal financial circumstances, risk tolerance, and time horizon affect your choices. A financial professional can work with you to develop an investing strategy that’s right for your needs, goals, and financial situation. PLAN FOR RISING HEALTHCARE COSTS Longer life spans, rising medical costs, declining medical coverage, and funding shortfalls for Medicare and Medicaid mean retirees face a serious challenge in managing their healthcare costs in retirement. According to a Fidelity report, a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2013 will need an estimated $220,000 in savings just to cover healthcare costs during their retirement. Some estimates put healthcare inflation at 6 percent a year, and if future trends continue, healthcare will be retirees’ second-largest expense after housing. 13 In order to understand and plan for your healthcare expenses in retirement, consider the following strategies: • Earmark a portion of your retirement savings specifically for healthcare expenses. Take advantage of tax-favored vehicles such as Health Savings Accounts. • Understand your health insurance options after retirement. While most retiring workers will lose their employer-sponsored coverage, some firms still offer retirement health care coverage. • Understand how Medicare fits into your health coverage.


• Be a smart healthcare shopper. When visiting a healthcare provider, be prepared with information about existing conditions and any symptoms you are experiencing; ask questions about a diagnosis and prescribed medications to be sure you understand all alternatives and outcomes; know what you’re paying for so that you fully understand your out-of-pocket costs for any treatment plans.

CONCLUSIONS & NEXT STEPS The average 65 year old can expect to live 20 years or more in retirement, so it is critical to prepare so you can maintain a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Living a long life has its considerable benefits, but it can create uncertainty and stress around how much money retirees will need to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. Out of fear of financial ruin, many retirees unnecessarily adopt frugal lifestyles that cause them to miss out on

the best parts of retirement. Others miscalculate the true cost of retirement and overspend, depleting their savings too soon. Many retirees have been taught the rule of thumb that retirement assets can be made to last 30 years if investors withdraw 4 to 4.5 percent of the original value each year. Unfortunately, this old adage was developed in the 1990s when average bond returns were more than 2 percent over inflation, and that withdrawal rate may not work when inflation-adjusted interest rates are close to zero for long periods of time. So, if you can’t safely withdraw at least 4 percent a year from your portfolio, what can you do? There are a number of alternative approaches that a retirement specialist can explore with you that may help ensure that your money lasts as long as you do. The issues we’ve presented in this report are complex, and it’s critical to make the right decisions before and during retirement. While every investor’s circumstances are different and there are no guarantees of success, we aim to help our clients take some of the uncertainty out of retirement planning and work with them to develop a suitable financial strategy for their unique retirement circumstances.

These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.


“Reclaiming the Future. Allianz Survey. 2010-2011. Accessed August 7, 2013. aspx?articleID=56 2

Allianz Life Insurance Company of America (Allianz) conducted a nationwide survey of 3,257 American adults, aged 44-75. The online survey was conducted in May 2010. A 2011 smaller-scale survey revisited key survey questions to determine how respondents surveyed in 2010 feel about key retirement issues one year later 3

“A crisis for the very old: They're outliving their assets.” Accessed August 11, 2013. “A crisis for the very old: They're outliving their assets.” Accessed August 11, 2013. 4

“A crisis for the very old: They're outliving their assets.” Accessed August 11, 2013. 5

“The Retirement Re-Set Study. SunAmerica/Harris Interactive Poll 2011-2012. Accessed August 10, 2013. 6

"The Retirement Consumption Puzzle." Rand Labor and Population working paper, April 2008. Accessed August 12, 2013. http://www.nber. org/papers/w13929.pdf?new_window=1 Footnotes, disclosures, and sources: Opinions, estimates, forecasts and statements of financial market trends that are based on current market conditions constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice. This material is for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.


“Views on Health Coverage and Retirement: Findings from the 2012 Health Confidence Survey.” Employee Benefit Research Institute. Accessed August 11, 2013. cfm?fa=notesDisp&content_id=5157 8

"Cumulative Increases in Health Insurance Premiums, Workers' Constributions to Premiums, Inflation, and Workers' Earnings, 1999-2011." Kaiser Family and Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), September 2011). Accessed August 11, 2013. 9

"Reclaiming the Future Study: One Year Later." Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. 2011 10

Opinions expressed are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Life Tables for the U.S. Social Security Administration 1900-2010 - Actuarial Study no. 120. Accessed August 13, 2013. oact/NOTES/pdf_studies/study120.pdf

Past performance does not guarantee future results.


Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.

Social Security Administration Life Expectancy Calculator. Accessed August 12, 2013. 12

“Encore Career Survey.” MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures. Accessed August 12, 2013. Encore_Survey.pdf 13

Historical Inflation Rates. Accessed August 13, 2013. http://www.


A Guide to

Basic Estate Planning Documents

Making provisions for your own decline and eventual passing is a task you may find unpleasant and wish to avoid. While this is understandable, such avoidance can cause a great deal of pain and confusion for your heirs. With that in mind, here is a guide to the basic documents most people should have prepared. If your estate is large, or you wish to limit your bequests in various ways, you may also want to set up a living trust. In that event, you will definitely want to consult an attorney. Note that different states may combine some of these documents into one form or call them by different names, but the essential concepts are the same:


THE WILL. This document tells your heirs how you want your property distributed after your death. It not only names your heirs, but tells what should happen in the event your heirs predecease you. It appoints an executor to carry out your wishes. It may also contain burial or cremation instructions. Each state has its own will form, designed to correspond to its laws. Witnesses are required, and any evidence of tampering can invalidate the will or call it into question. Even something as innocuous as a removed staple can be a problem. If you have any doubt at all about your ability to prepare this document, have an attorney do it for you.


THE LIVING WILL. This is not a will per se but a document that tells loved ones what you want done in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. Typically you can specify that you want all efforts made to sustain your life in all circumstances, that you want extraordinary efforts made only if there is a chance of a full recovery, or that you want no extraordinary measures taken to prolong your life. This document can save your family a great deal of hassle and heartache in the event that you suffer an irreversible decline.


THE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE. This document appoints an agent to make health care decisions for you in the event


that you are incapable of making them for yourself. This person might decide on nursing home care or home health care or might execute a “do not resuscitate” order in the event that heart failure is imminent. It is therefore important that you choose someone you trust completely.


T H E P OW E R O F A T T O R N E Y FOR FINANCES. This document allows your agent to access your bank accounts in order to pay your bills. You can limit or expand his or her powers to allow your agent to make investments, move accounts, and make gifts. Once again, the agent has considerable power, so you must trust the person you choose. (In some states, a Durable General Power of Attorney is used to cover this same ground. Be sure you consult an attorney if you are unclear about what powers you are granting.) Note that in the event you do not have the latter two documents, your heirs might be forced to obtain a court order having you declared incompetent. This is an extraordinary burden you can spare your loved ones by making your wishes clear in advance. Some institutions may refuse to accept powers of attorney, which can limit their usefulness. Legislative efforts are underway to remedy this situation. OTHER USEFUL DOCUMENTS: The “transfer on death” form. This allows you to avoid having assets go through probate by instructing a bank or other financial institution to transfer assets to your heirs upon your death, according to the formula you specify. It is typically available for stocks, bonds, and bank accounts, but some states also allow a transfer on death for real estate and vehicles. By doing a little simple planning, you can make sure your wishes are carried out after your death and your loved ones’ burdens are eased. An attorney can give you further information that is specific to your state.

* SII (or ICA) does not provide tax or legal advice

facebook security: Protecting Yourself on Facebook

Many believe that they are secure when browsing or using Facebook. However, what you don't know can hurt you. Basic security is essential when using Facebook, and knowing what to look for, how to set up your security settings, and how to make sure you are as secure as possible can help you to safely use Facebook. Basic Facebook Security On the top right of your main Facebook screen, where you can post and see your activity feed, you will see a gear symbol. Click on that and a drop-down menu appears. If you click on account settings, two sections at the top left in the menu will be visible. The first is indicated by a gears logo which states "General." The second is "Security," indicated with a badge or shield logo.

Secure Browsing - This section should say "Secure browsing is currently enabled." Usually this is already enabled, but you'll want to make sure that it is.

Login Notifications - You need to know when someone logs into your account. This setting is extremely important because the sooner you know that someone has logged in to your account, the sooner you can address the situation. However, this setting is usually set to "Disabled." Be sure to click the "Edit" button to the right in this section and change it to "Enabled."

Login Approvals - Normally, you log in to Facebook from one or two browsers. Facebook is able to detect the places from which you log in frequently and the login approvals setting can minimize the chance that someone else can log in. Login approvals allow you to set up a security code that must be entered in order for access to be gained when logging on from an unrecognized device. This is set to "not required" automatically, but setting one up is a good idea. Use a different password than the one you use to log in to Facebook.

Security Settings Many security measures are not put into place until you purposefully go in and set them up or activate them. Check these settings and make sure you are as secure as possible. •

Security Questions - Security questions are not set up when you first sign up for Facebook. Setting up your security questions not only helps you if you get locked out of your account, but helps to protect you from fraudulent logins. When you view your security settings, if you see a message next to the area for the security question setup that says, "Setting a security question will help us identify you," you don't have one set up yet. Click the "Edit" button to the right of this message to set up your security question.


Code Generator - This is always set to "Enabled." It is more for mobile use than anything else.

App Passwords - If you have login approvals setup, certain Facebook apps that cannot receive security codes may lock you out. To avoid this problem, you can set up passwords for apps with crucial information like Skype, Xbox, and so on.

Trusted Contacts - If you ever have trouble accessing your Facebook account, your trusted friends, or those in your trusted contacts, can securely help you. This is completely optional, and you should be absolutely sure the person or people listed here are trustworthy. If you have any doubt at all as to whether friends or contacts are trustworthy, it is best to leave this setting as is.

Recognized Devices - Devices from which you log in often, such as your phone, will show up here. You will not be notified of any logins from these devices. If you want to be notified of all logins from all devices, no matter what, in case you lose your phone or device or you are hacked, simply click "Edit" then "Remove" by the devices listed.

Active Sessions - Always click on this from time to time to see what it shows. This will tell you the dates, locations, and devices where you have logins. If you don't recognize a device or location, click "End Activity" to the right.

Privacy While not directly a security matter, setting up your privacy settings is very important. These settings, when properly set up, can help protect you from being exposed to those you don't want to see your activity or information. Privacy Settings The privacy settings are indicated by a padlock icon below the Security Settings icon. The following items are part of your privacy settings:


Who Can See My Stuff? - This area shows you who can see various things. You can decide who you wish to share your information and activity with here.

Who Can See Your Future Posts? - You can set this to public, friends, only me, lists you have of friends, or custom. Anything you post from the time you change your settings onward will only be seen by those you specify.

Review All Posts and Things You're Tagged In - This allows you to review your activity log and delete what you don't want to be shown.

Limit the Audience for Posts You've Shared with Friends of Friends or Public? - This section, which is indicated with a question, asks if you want to limit your past posts so others can't search through them.

Who Can Look Me Up? - These sections let you decide who can find you by searching for you with your information, like your email address or phone number.

Who Can Look You Up Using the Email Address or Phone Number You Provided? - You can choose everyone, friends of friends, or friends for this setting. Whoever you choose, those people can search for you using your information. It is usually set to "everyone" immediately. You will have to set it to another setting if you want to minimize who can find you.

Do You Want Other Search Engines to Link to Your Timeline? - This is a simple setting that requires you to select "yes" or "no." It is automatically set to "yes." If you don't want your information to be found via search engines, set this to “no.”

You do have much control over what is seen and shared on Facebook. However, you should always keep in mind that Facebook is, by nature, a public venue and it is always possible for people to find information about you that you might believe is private. You should not assume any right to privacy, not because that right doesn't exist, but merely because you never know what can be seen. Be sure to set up all privacy options available in such a way that you are as protected as possible.






Charity golf tournaments can help you to raise a lot of money, but in order to arrange all the necessary donations and players, it is a good idea to form a committee with other people who want to help your chosen cause. You may find that local businesses are interested in donating appropriate tournament prizes in exchange for their name being clearly displayed on your adverts and signs. Meanwhile, you can also get some general advice from most golf courses with good reputations, as they will probably be used to helping with the organization of charity events and will know what works well. Usually, charity golf tournaments involve around eighteen groups of four golfers, each starting on different holes so that the tournament takes less time. As a result, a charity tournament necessitates hiring a whole golf course, so you will need to charge an entry fee that more than covers the costs of organizing your event. In addition, you can raise some extra funds by organizing a raffle and by selling snacks.

HOLD A CHARITY AUCTION: Firstly, find a good place to hold your auction, picking a time and date that is likely to attract plenty of bidders. Next, decide exactly what you want to auction. One of the most popular auctioning styles involves accumulating small but attractive items from supporters of the charity, but if you want to be a bit more adventurous you can choose to hold an ‘auction of promises’ that is based around people bidding for the time or skills of particular people. If you can find lots of volunteers, you can auction things such as piano lessons, gardening skills, and dog walking. In addition to holding the auction at a good time, make sure that you publicize your event around your town. For example, display flyers in local stores and hand them out on the street.

SELL DELICIOUS TREATS AT A BAKE SALE: Bake sales provide an extremely productive and fun way to raise money for charity. If you get together with a few other people who support your favorite charity, you can make huge numbers of different types of cookies, muffins, and frosted cupcakes. Baked goods are surprisingly cheap to make when you buy your supplies in bulk, so you stand to make a large profit. Another particularly good reason to choose a bake sale is that the success of the event does not actually depend on people supporting your particular charity. While some people who buy your cakes will do so because they see you are working to support a good cause, others will just want a tasty snack. In order to hold a successful bake sale, follow the advice given above regarding auctions. In other words, make sure you hand out flyers, put up posters, and sell your goods in a busy area that many people will pass through.

ORGANIZE A DOG WASHING EVENT: Charity dog washes are an excellent way to collect funds, and they are especially perfect if you happen to be supporting an organization that tries to prevent animal cruelty or rehome unwanted pets. Speak to the representatives of some local veterinary practices and find out which employees might want to participate in your event, as some of them may be keen to provide additional grooming services and (for example) dental checks. On the day, provide plenty of snacks, drinks, and pet supplies (such as collars, leads, and treats), and then donate the proceeds of these sales to your charity as well.

HOLD A GARAGE SALE: Garage sales are another classic way to make money for charity, and they continue to be popular because they provide you with an easy way to get rid of unwanted items at the same time as raising cash for a good cause. Books, clothing, jewelry, furniture, and toys are particularly easy to sell at garage sales, and if you spread your sale over two days you can start to reduce the prices if you find it hard to shift certain items.


Getting ANight's Sleep Good Change Your Exercise Routine.

You've heard it said, "There aren't enough hours in the day." Hyper-productivity at the cost of all else is becoming an epidemic, and the inevitable trade-off is that most people aren't coming anywhere close to the 7 to 9 hours of sleep recommended by sleep experts. The consequences of sleep deprivation range from short-term, such as the inability to make smart choices on a daily basis, to serious long-term health risks such as heart problems, diabetes, obesity, and a shortened lifespan. Fortunately, sleep deprivation can often be successfully remedied by making the right changes in your daily routine.

Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule.

Setting regular times for getting into bed and waking up in the morning is a good first step to promoting sleep welfare. Try not to fall into the habit of disturbing this routine on weekends. Going to bed early and getting up early has been demonstrated to have greater health benefits in the long run.

Take Short Naps.

The benefits of a short siesta have been well documented by sleep specialists (the key here is short). Taking just a few minutes for an afternoon snooze can be greatly helpful in combating sleep deprivation, and it becomes easier to fall asleep quicker with a little bit of practice. On the other hand, long naps (over half an hour) can be detrimental for chronic insomniacs. Ten to twenty minutes is an ideal length.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeinated Beverages.

While that nightcap might seem like a good way to take the edge off a stressful day, alcohol interferes with the REM sleep stage and can leave you feeling even more exhausted the next morning. Additionally, other diuretic beverages such as cola and coffee cause frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom.


Exercise has many benefits, and getting a good night's rest is one of them. However, sleep specialists recommend avoiding exertion right before bed because exercise causes your body temperature to rise and prevents the release of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. Early morning or afternoon is the ideal time for a trip to the gym.

Don't Watch Television Before Bed.

Watching stimulating TV programs or playing computer games before bed can hinder the natural production of melatonin as well as cause restless dreams throughout the night. Instead, try winding down with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.

Create a Sleep-friendly Environment.

Use heavy drapes, particularly in the summer when the sun sets later and rises earlier. Closing the window every night before bed can be helpful in filtering out bothersome noise. Adjusting the temperature in the bedroom might be necessary to avoid waking up feeling too hot or too cold. Finding just the right comforter and pillow can make all the difference – often, waking up with a headache is an indicator that you're using the wrong pillow.

Watch What You Eat.

Eating too much before bed, particularly high-fat foods, can detract from a good night's rest. Likewise, eating too little can be just as much of a distraction. Small amounts of food and drink, such as a glass of milk or a sandwich, can be helpful in offsetting nighttime hunger. Fish, bananas, and other foods containing vitamin B6, an important ingredient in the production of serotonin, are especially recommended. Establishing just the right routine can take some time, as old habits are difficult to break. But don't give up – the rewards of learning how to get a good night's sleep will last a lifetime.

2013 SWAN Capital Fall Newsletter