Category Archives: Goals

Executive Coaching May Increase Women’s Wealth: Interview With Jean Stafford

Posted in Career Management, Financial Planning, Goals, Human Capital on by .

(**See special offer at the end of this posting for a free executive coaching session!)

To grow wealth and reach your financial goals it is important to recognize that your largest asset is your ability to earn a living.  Yet, many of us invest very little time or money on career development on a regular basis.  As holistic financial planners we make it a point to talk to our clients about their career satisfaction and explore how they can find meaning, maximize earnings, and experience greater success with less stress.  In many cases we encourage clients to seek executive coaching as a way of moving forward.

We spoke to Jean Stafford, The Executive Coach for Women, in McLean, VA about the challenges working women confront and how she helps women in her coaching practice.

Carolyn and Beth:  What are your clients saying when they contact you?

Jean:  Many of my clients are mid-career professionals struggling with feelings of “is this all there is?”  They have accomplished what they originally set out to accomplish and now what?

  • They feel that what is important to them is getting lost in what they have to do every day.
  • Their efforts to move forward don’t seem to be working.
  • They know they can be more successful but something is in the way.

In addition, many clients struggle with issues with bosses, the predominantly male work culture, career transition and perceived age discrimination.

Carolyn and Beth:  What is the biggest thing that you work on with clients?

Jean:  I find that most of the women who come to me have little experience in asking for what they want.  Often they have trouble even thinking about what they want.  They have prioritized everything and everyone over themselves.  So it’s no wonder then that most women struggle with articulating their value proposition. And there are not a lot of role models for them to look at; coaching provides real value in this area.  I really believe that you are your own competitive advantage.

Carolyn and Beth:  What are some top tips for women?

Jean:  1. Know what you want.  2.  Let other people know you are capable – understand and be able to articulate your value proposition- why you should be put on that project. 3.  If you are having trouble with your boss, remember that if you can change your behavior you can change the relationship.

Carolyn and Beth:  Do men have the same issues as women in the workplace?

Jean:  Research shows that women and men show up at work in significantly different ways. For one thing, women measure success in terms of relationships.  This leads them to give credit to others, downplay their accomplishments, care what others think of them.  Men, on the other hand measure success in terms of accomplishing things. So they compete for visibility and talk about their achievements.  That’s why it is doubly important for women to be effective communicators about their unique value propositions.

Carolyn and Beth: Thank you Jean!

At Ithaka Financial Planning, we believe executive coaching can be a very smart investment.  To start investing today, Ithaka Financial has arranged with Jean Stafford to offer readers of this blog a free, 90-minute coaching session valued at $375. But hurry – there are only 10 slots available for this very special opportunity!

Book Your Complimentary and Confidential
 90-minute Coaching Session NOW!

Find out why so many of the world’s most successful women have used executive coaching – even though they often keep it a secret.  Contact us at to arrange your free coaching session.

For more information about Jean Stafford, The Executive Coach for Women go to:





4 Easy Ways to Plan Your Retirement Voyage

Posted in Financial Planning, Goals, Retirement Planning, Tips on by .

You often hear that people spend more time planning a trip than they do planning for retirement.  Why not bring the vacation mindset to your financial life?  Here are 4 ways to make your retirement planning more successful and more fun.

  1. Use the power of time – By booking a beach house or plane tickets early in the season, you save money and have many more choices on timing and locations.   The same concept applies to retirement planning.  Those who take the voyage seriously by starting to save early typically have more flexibility, more money, freedom, and fun in retirement.
  2. Decide how you will spend your days – Will your beach stay be about relaxation, exploration, adventure, or a mixture of all three? Similarly in retirement, how will you spend your days? Will you unwind, pursue your passion, care for family or even work part-time?  Understanding the type of retirement you desire increases your chances of achieving your dream.
  3. Take stock of what you have before you go – Do you have everything you need for your trip?  Do you have the right clothes, bathing suits, suntan lotion, beach chairs, etc.?  Likewise for retirement, is your portfolio fully diversified?  Do you have a sufficient amount of large, mid, and small cap stocks.  Do you have adequate exposure to international stocks and bonds?  Does your asset allocation match your tolerance for risk? Are you saving enough?
  4. Remember it’s about the journey not the destination – Many times people will say that it is more fun planning the vacation than going on the trip.  This true for retirement as well.  It’s not about getting to the end of our working lives. It’s about enjoying the journey of life that gets us to retirement.  A life filled with memories, twists, turns, and laughter along the way.

So plan for your ideal retirement, prepare for the ups and downs of life, and focus on enjoying the journey!