Transitions are hard. When I watched my Mom navigate Alzheimers and then transition to being single it made me want to protect her. I wanted to make sure others understood why it’s important to have someone outside your family to help.
My father passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010. My Mom was dealing with a prolonged illness and grief that was hard to explain to people. My own personal experience helps me to understand how grief comes in all forms and is extremely different for all people.
Growing up a farmer’s daughter just south of Corvallis, Oregon, I learned the value of hard work and perseverance. I attended school in Corvallis and graduated from Oregon State University with a Natural Resources Economics Degree and minors in business and statistics. After college I worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a statistician in California and Colorado. In 1996 my husband and I returned to Corvallis to help with the family farm. In 2000, my entrepreneurial spirit helped me realize my dream of owning my own retail business, as a florist.
My background and experience in running that retail business and being involved with the sale of our family’s business gave me a unique perspective in family-owned businesses. I also realized that running a retail business was not my dream career. With the help of my financial advisor, I decided financial planning was what I really wanted to do. I started out in a large broker business but decided I wanted to help people plan for life; not just sell investments.
So I took a huge leap of faith and opened Clarity Wealth Development in 2010 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ in 2012. I knew this was a great way to provide value and it turns out I was right. As a CFP® I have a fiduciary duty to my clients, a higher standard than most advisors. Being a fiduciary means putting my clients interests first at all times.
That courage to go out on my own came in handy when I became a cancer survivor. I understand the complexity of financial planning during a serious illness. In late 2012 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, stage IIIB. This was a stressful time for my family, my clients and myself. However, this did give me valuable insight as a financial planner for those unexpected life changing moments.
I am more determined than ever to provide the best service to my clients. I find joy in my family and especially my husband of 30 years. We also have two wonderful dogs, Bailey a yellow Labrador and Bella a Great Pyrenees mix. We enjoy traveling together and being active in our local community.
Kay Dee is a member of the National Association of Professional Financial Advisors, XY Planning Network and a CFP® professional.