Structured settlements are very common today. You’ll find them in the insurance world, in personal injury and product injury cases, and even with lottery winners. While lump sum payments are still made, structured settlements are the most common option, whether you’re speaking of legal settlements or a lottery payout. How do structured settlements work? What do you need to know about them?
What Is a Structured Settlement?
The first thing to do is understand exactly what a structured settlement is. They’re pretty simple. In essence, a structured settlement takes a specific amount of money awarded to you (through whatever means), and breaks it up into periodic payments. These payments are sent to you over a specified period of time, until the entire amount is paid out.
Benefits of Structured Settlements
When looking to understand how structured settlements work, it’s important to know the benefits offered here. While it’s true that you won’t have all of your money upfront, there are some advantages. For instance, it won’t be possible to spend the money frivolously – this happens more often than you might think. It ensures that you have money coming in that you can count on for some time to come. It also ensures that you don’t have to pay taxes on those installments (when structured correctly).
Cons of Structured Settlements
When looking at how structured settlements work, you’ll certainly find a few drawbacks to the situation. The single largest drawback is that you don’t have access to all of your money, nor can you change the payment situation once it has been set. Therefore, if your living situation changes or you encounter serious financial problems down the road, there’s very little benefit to your payment plan. In fact, it can be very frustrating to know that you have a considerable amount of money due you that could make a very real difference in your life but not be able to get at it.
For anyone frustrated with how structured settlements work, there are ways around the situation. For instance, there are companies that will buy your payments for a lump sum. You won’t get 100% of the money coming to you, but you’ll receive it all at one time. Moreover, you can use that money for anything you might need, from paying off creditors to renovating your home. If you choose to sell structured settlement payments, make sure you carefully vet each buyer to find the best choice.