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A passion for empowering individuals to better understand and take control of their financial futures is a key motivator for Kathleen. As a Financial Advisor at Crescendo Wealth Management, LLC, Kathleen Oberneder brings more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Kathleen started her career as a Speech Language Pathologist working in a hospital in North Carolina after she finished Graduate School. She found that evaluating and treating individuals who suffered from neurological disorders, or injuries actually correlated well with the financial services industry. “Money and Health are two things that are very important to individuals, and both can be confusing and intimidating enough where people are not making the decisions and taking the actions they need to protect themselves.”
In the late 90’s there were changes in health care that led Kathleen to pursue a career change into the financial services industry. In 2001, she joined Principal Financial Group in their Retirement Sales and Service office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her job as a Communication Specialist was to travel the Carolina’s providing group and one on one education meetings for retirement plan clients delivering education on savings and investment strategies for plan types which included Defined Contribution(401(k)), Defined Benefit, Non- Qualified, and Employee Stock Ownership Plans. This role seemed like a perfect fit from her background in health care in that she was taking complicated concepts and information and communicating them in a more simplistic manner for employees to better understand. “Both medical and financial jargon can be difficult to understand”. She advanced within the company during her 9 years at Principal to an Education Strategist position where she worked directly with company leadership in developing and implementing retirement plan communication programs.
Kathleen took two years off in 2010, when she had her third daughter Emily. Emily was born with Down syndrome which impacted Kathleen both personally and professionally. After Emily’s birth she went looking for answers as to how she would plan for Emily’s future financially and how this would differ from all that she knew about planning for children who did not have special needs. During this time of research and discovery, she joined Northwestern Mutual from 2012 to 2014 as an Associate Financial Representative. It was here that she learned about risk protection and insurance planning. Kathleen had always wanted to be a Financial Advisor, but wanted the ability to serve as a consultant as much as an investment advisor representative. This led her to Crescendo where she now works as a Wealth Management Advisor. Crescendo is a full service financial planning firm working with individuals in a holistic manner to develop and implement financial goals.
Kathleen has focused her practice on working with families who have loved ones with Special Needs. This has allowed her to use her years of experience of providing financial education to assist families who are similar to her own to help them plan for their future and that of their special needs loved one. She is a strong advocate for the Special Needs Community and has created a Special Needs Advisory Board in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin which includes professionals and leaders in the community who represent various private and public organizations who provide services to special needs individuals. She is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to Special Needs Financial Planning, including the new 529 ABLE Savings Accounts.
In 2017, Kathleen received the Chartered Special Needs Consultant Designation, ChSNC ® through the American College of Financial Services. ChSNC ® designees are equipped with the specialized skills needed to help parents and caregivers plan for the future with honesty, ethics and compassion.
She lives in Mequon, Wisconsin with her husband, Dan and three daughters. Kathleen and her husband were Co-founders of GiGi’s Playhouse – Milwaukee, a Down Syndrome Achievement Center. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, practicing yoga, reading, entertaining, traveling, and learning.
Kathleen is a registered representative with JW Cole Financial., which holds her Securities Registrations Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law), Series 65 (Investment Advisor Representative) and Wisconsin Life and Health Insurance License. She is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders. She received her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
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