Structured Settlement – Definitions, Do’s and Don’ts
What is a Structured Settlement? A Structured Settlement is a Settlement in which you receive “Structured” payments on a regular basis. In other words, it is a payment plan, in which, instead of getting a large lump sum, you receive smaller payments in increments. These increments go on weekly, monthly or yearly cycles. These settlements are often known as a win-win situation because the payer needs to come up with a lot less money up-front and the payee has a steady stream of income coming in at all times. This process can also be described as Annuity.
When are structured settlements used? Structured Settlements are often, but not limited to, these common situations:
1. Lottery Winnings – Often times, in the Lottery, you can opt to receive numerous smaller payments in exchange for a single larger payment.
2. Malpractice Cases – In situations where a family member is lost or left crippled due to medical malpractice, the party may be entitled to a structured settlement over the span of the victim’s life or as a grievance payment. These payments don’t fix things, however, they are meant to make living a little bit easier for the victims and families.
3. Insurance Cases – In many insurance cases, this form of settlement is used. This is because it is easier to make smaller payments over a longer period of time as well as the damage left behind may be better dealt with over time.
Understanding these concepts are important in the process of properly handling your income. It is important also to understand how money works over periods of time. Over long periods of time the value of the dollar is likely to decrease. This means if one was to receive, for example, $1000 a month for 20 years, that $1000 dollars could only be worth $500 at the end of the term. This is one reason some people decide to sell their structured settlement for a large lump sum.
One people decide to sell their structured settlement there are numerous reasons behind it. The first reason may be that, due to their immediate needs, they need a larger amount of money right away. A good example of this would be when buying a new car or home. Another reason people decide to sell is because they would like to invest it into something that gains equity over time and actually grows in value rather than decreases. Some people want to fight the cost of inflation and take the monthly payments and re-invest. This is the wiser choice of the two most of the time.
When selling your structured settlement or selling Annuity, it is almost always advised that you do your homework first. Don’t sell to the highest bidder right off the bat. Before hand you should read up on what your options are. Seek the help of a broker, a financial advisor and a legal professional first. By doing this, you can protect yourself from scam artist to defend yourself from transactions lacking in integrity. It is always smarter to take the safest route possible. Selling Annuity can be dangerous so it is always wise to make slow and steady steps.