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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!

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By Hiba Giacoletto, Wiser Humans

It has been six months since the end of my 11-year marriage and I wanted to share my personal experience of getting through the past six months in the hope this might help others, too.

I have room for it all
I learned that I could feel deep sadness about the end of this chapter, this identity, this relationship - AND ALSO excitement, gratitude, anxiety, doubt and regret all at once. In the past I would have denied some of these emotions as not being ‘real’ because I thought they couldn’t co-exist. And yet they can, and even more: They always do when we are honest with ourselves.

I learned that I had room for all of these emotions, that I didn’t need to reduce my emotional experience to ‘just’ grieving. That it was OK to feel whatever I was feeling - that I could hold all these experiences at once.

Grief ain’t linear
One of the most important experiences I had was realizing just how un-linear emotions are. One minute I would be feeling OK, and then BAM - a painful pang of remembering would show up. Or just when I thought I was reaching the end of it, a new realization that of this is really over would bring on a whole new stage of grieving. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

It all felt more like waves than a linear progression of feeling better. Again, being OK with this, even expecting it, made all the difference.

Peaceful turmoil
I have not cried or grieved as much in my life as I have in the past months. And yet, there has also been a sense of peacefulness because I was not fighting my emotions. I was neither trying to repress them nor allowing them to explode all over the place. As much as possible, I was simply allowing them to be, to hang out.

I noticed that inner peace is not about not having emotions or difficulties in life and being permanently zen. That isn’t realistic. It isn't real life. Instead, it is about bringing an OK-ness with whatever we are experiencing in all its messiness.

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By Audrey Flynn, Forth Capital

Planning for your retirement can often be a very complex process and for many it is very important to seek expert advice. Retirement Planning is crucial, with life expectancy increasing and the birth rate in the west falling, and now is the time to plan for your future.  Most governments can no longer guarantee funding of their citizens’ retirement and, as a consequence, they are regularly increasing retirement age and finding ways to heavily tax pension withdrawals.  As healthcare and lifestyles improve, people are living longer meaning that lucrative final salary pension schemes have become too expensive for most companies to fund.

The process of retirement planning is relatively straightforward in principal. Ideally, you want to make sure that you have enough income and assets to live the lifestyle that you want. What makes retirement planning more difficult is determining how that lifestyle should be and what it will cost you.  Then there is the challenge of dealing with the many variables that go into the process and the pace at which they change, specifically knowing if and when you can retire.

On 9 May Forth Capital are hosting a seminar in Geneva on Low-Cost Investment Strategies for International Investors.

Actively managed UK equity funds on average delivered a return of 11.2 per cent last year, just under 6 percentage points lower than the 17.1 per cent return enjoyed by the UK equity index calculated by S&P. In the same period our Forth Capital Next Generation Morningstar Growth Fund delivered 28.5 return.

If you haven’t made the move to passive strategies – do it now.  Forth Capital have created five strategies exclusively for our clients that are highly suited for Retirement Savers, and we have already created nearly 10 million GBP in profit for our clients in the last 12 months. This seminar is an ideal opportunity for English speakers in Geneva and frontaliers to learn more about this opportunity.

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By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

It’s that time of year again when exams dominate the horizon of many young people. For them, the next few weeks are synonymous with stress and hard work. Keeping a cool head, sticking to a well-organised revision schedule and taking time out to relax are key to a balanced approach. Read our top tips for exam success here:

Start revision sooner rather than later.
Don’t put off exam preparation until you really feel the pressure or your teachers and parents start nagging. By planning ahead and reviewing the materials as you go along, the weeks leading up the exams will be a lot easier. Your confidence will be boosted and you’ll be starting from a good place.

Develop study groups.
Your teachers may offer after school study groups covering particular topics or you may choose to set up such a group with your peers. Working together with friends, in person or via What’s App, can be a useful way to revise and test each other, as long as you clearly define boundaries (so you don’t end up simply chatting!).

Constantly review.
This learning strategy applies to the whole school year and not just to examination time. Whenever you learn something new, go over it at home in the following days to ensure that you have fully understood it. If not, ask you teacher for clarification. If you do this on a regular basis, you won’t come across huge chunks of material which you feel unsure about.

Take notes.
The act of writing notes helps us retain information. Notes are essential to revision. Make them as visual as you need, using spider diagrams, mind-maps and workflows in different colours. Whether you use glorious technicolour or simply black and white, clear, condensed notes should provide effective knowledge triggers in all subject areas.

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By Micaela Crespo, Expat Lifehacks

Yes, I’ve come to terms with the fact that we cannot rely on our families to take care of simple logistic tasks. We can’t count on our expat friends and connections in our host country, since they’re probably in the same situation than us. I therefore use planning, automation and delegation to take care of these things.

And yet, I always make a small group of friends every time we move to a new place.

And that’s because there are two things that I’ll never be able to obtain from systems and planning: peace of mind and human connection.

When I became a working expat mum in the UK with dad travelling 2 weeks a month, the nights were terrifying. I would dwell in bed reeling over the things that could happen while I was alone. What would I do if anything happened during the night?

When I told a friend I made about my fears, she automatically offered to be my emergency contact and told me I could call her at any time.

This was priceless to me. I had recovered my peace of mind, and I could now sleep again. I felt less alone.

I never had to call her in the middle of the night – fortunately – but I am still extremely grateful for her availability and friendship. Other mums offered the same over time, when I told them what my life looked like.

This gave me a deep sense of human connection and community, even outside of my birth country and family.

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By Sunita Sehmi, Walk The Talk

Pinky Lilani CBE DL was born in Calcutta and came to the UK after her marriage.

She is the founder and chairman of ’The Asian Women of Achievement Awards’, ‘The Women of the Future Award’, ‘The Ambassadors’ Programme’ and ‘The Global Empowerment Award’.

As the Founder and Chairman of the annual Asian Women of Achievement Awards, Pinky’s accolades have celebrated the tremendous contribution of Asian women to British business and public life for the past 18 years!  Pinky is also the creator of the Women of the Future portfolio - Britain’s most exciting programme for successful young women. It is Pinky’s vision that through these initiatives, women can help each other through building relationships and nurturing the talents of the next generation.

Pinky’s other business, Spice Magic, involves cookery lessons as part of corporate team building. She discovered a passion and soon published a cookbook, Spice Magic, which endeavours to decipher the intricacy of Indian food. Furthermore, Pinky holds cookery classes, she has also consulted for brands such as Sharwood’s and contributes to the development of sauces for Tesco and other supermarkets. From her self-taught experience, the creation of her book and her much-loved cookery demos she built her company 'Spice Magic’.