Helping widows & caregivers
gain control of their
financial life.


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Our Services

How I Can Help

Kindness Financial Planning is a fee-only fiduciary financial advisor located in Madison, WI serving people virtually across the United States. Elliott Appel founded it to help widows, caregivers, and other people organize, simplify, and figure out what comes next in their lives. 

Organizing, Simplifying, and Prioritizing Icon

Organizing, Simplifying, and Prioritizing

Seeing the entire picture is only the beginning. Do you have accounts in multiple places, a specific way of doing your finances only you know, or perhaps, are you trying to make sense of your financial situation?

I can help you organize everything, suggest ways to simplify, and help you set up a system that puts you in control.

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Tax Planning

Taxes are complicated, right? Not sure if you should do a Roth conversion, how to give to charity in the most tax-efficient way, or how your income affects your Medicare premium?

Every relationship includes an analysis of your past tax returns and projecting your taxes into the future to make better decisions to reduce taxes over not only your lifetime, but your heirs’ lifetimes, too.

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Estate Plan Review

Estate plans can be paralyzing.

Let’s review yours to make sure the important people in your life are in the right roles, you are taking advantage of every opportunity to reduce estate taxes, and it won’t be an unnecessarily burdensome and complicated process for your heirs. Although I do not provide legal advice, I can work with you and your attorney as needed.

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Investment Advice and Management

Do you never want to hear another word of financial jargon? Me too.

We’ll build a portfolio that takes into account how much risk you want to take, income you need, and keep costs and taxes low. You deserve easy to understand explanations of how you are invested and why.

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Insurance Guidance

Insurance is the backbone of a good financial plan.

Whether you have an old life insurance policy you aren’t sure what to do with, a homeowners insurance policy that has not been reviewed in years, or have wondered about umbrella insurance, we’ll talk about it in the context of your financial life and suggest changes when needed.

Case Studies

Life Planning

Note: These case studies are hypothetical, do not involve a Kindness Financial Planning client, and should not be construed as a guarantee.

Getting Older


Olivia and William are getting older. They are in their early 70s and have enjoyed the first part of retirement, but they notice they are not remembering things as well as they once did.

Diagnosed with a Health Issue


Mia and Noah are in their 60s and have been retired for a few years. While Mia has been in charge of the household bills and cash flow, Noah has handled investing, estate planning, and staying up-to-date on their insurance coverages. Noah was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer two weeks ago.

Death of A Spouse


Emily lost Sue two months ago and is now a widow. She has been paralyzed by the financial decisions she faces. She knows she needs to do something with their bank accounts, update their estate plan, and start planning for taxes, but she does not know where to start.

Durable Power of Attorney


Emma’s mom, Claire, is in a memory care facility because she was diagnosed with dementia, and her dad, Matt, passed away a few years ago. Emma is busy with her career, husband, and two kids. She wants to spend the limited time she has with her mom going for walks – not managing her financial life.

7 Step Guide

To Your Financial Health Checkup

What's in the guide?

Are you wondering which areas of your financial life may need a check up?

Subscribe to my newsletter, and I’ll send you the 7 Step Guide to Your Financial Health Checkup. 

I send a weekly update with my thoughts, blog post, podcast, and what I’ve been reading. You can unsubscribe anytime. 

The guide includes over 10 pages of material covering taxes, estate planning, insurance, and more! 

Workbook - 7 Step Guide to Your Financial Health Checkup
Elliott Appel - Founder of Kindness Financial Planning

Welcome To Kindness Financial Planning

Hello, I'm glad you are here.

Welcome, I’m Elliott. After a decade working at a large wealth management firm in Seattle, I decided to launch Kindness Financial Planning to focus on widows, caregivers, and people affected by major health events.

  • Having worked with widows and people recently diagnosed with major illnesses, I know how challenging it can be to make time and mental energy for anything other than the disease at times. I also have personal experience from when my dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in 2016.
  • I meet you where you are, wherever that may be, to listen and understand where you are today. From there, we decide what is urgent and help you organize your financial life to make better decisions to reduce taxes, create understandable, low cost, tax-efficient investment portfolios, and review estate plans to ensure your wishes are honored.
  • As life changes, I’m there with you. Through gratitude and grief, hope and hatred, relief and resentment, acceptance and anger, empathy and emptiness, I’m there to answer questions and help you create what comes next.
  • I’m about educating and putting you in control to make the best decisions for yourself.

10+ Years


Recent Articles


Most frequent questions and answers

Because I care, and I will listen. I can tell you about my professional credentials, what clients have accomplished working with me, and the feeling you could receive from real financial planning, but what is most important is you. I love what I do because I get the opportunity and privilege to become a part of my clients’ lives, discuss topics they don’t discuss with anybody else, and help them discover the right decisions for themselves.

I know firsthand what it is like to go through difficult health events and the power of having an accountability partner with you every step of the way. A major health event requires reviewing the estate plan, insurance coverages, investments, tax planning, and many other areas of life. Going it alone, during an already difficult, grieving time, is challenging. I can’t remove the grief and burden of it, but I can help make it easier.

Generally, humans are not wired to be good investors. I believe in the power of simplicity – diversification and low cost index funds. I am also particularly drawn to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and impact investing, but that does not have to be incorporated into your portfolio if you don’t want it.
I am not the best fit for people who believe in trying to time the market, expect me to wear a suit, or small business owners. Research has shown it’s impossible to consistently time markets. Except for weddings, funerals, and other special events, my suit days are over. If you are a small business owner, I’m happy to refer you to another planner who has more experience suited to your needs.
Yes and no. For the ongoing financial planning and investment management service, I do have a $500,000 minimum. For the hourly financial planning and limited scope financial planning, I do not.

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