Almost everyone in the world worries about money, and rightfully so; as the world’s population grows exponentially and the average human lifespan increases concurrently, more and more people have good enough reasons to fear living longer than the money with which they have to support themselves.
With that, certain people end up with more money than they might reasonably know what to do with. While this isn’t an article on the 1% or the top of the Forbes list (some of those people actually do know what to do with their money), some people are the recipients of lottery payments, large settlements from court cases and inheritances. In fact, the average payout for a structured settlement is a whopping $324,000. That’s a lot of cash for structured settlements, and in this case, the debate is not whether or not the individual is deserving of this money, but whether or not they know what to do with it.
While some people may take the trends of today as a reason to stuff cash deep inside their mattresses, others have taken the opposite route in buying an annuity with a lump sum. Essentially the equivalent of the pension funds of yester-years, creating such an annuity has several benefits: on one hand, individuals can take their money and turn it into a ready monthly check with a constant rate, while on the other hand, individuals who would like more of their money for larger or longer-term purchases have the ability to access that money when they need it sooner rather than later. With that said, here are 3 reasons why you should consider annuities instead of holding on to your structured settlement:
- It’s Easy to Fall Into Debt. In fact, times are getting a little harder for the average American family; over the past 12 years, the average cost of living has increased by 29 percent, while the average household income has increased by only 26 percent. As an effect, Americans are slowly falling into more debt, with about 20% of Americans labeling themselves as going through ‘debt hardship’ and 26% of Americans admitting that they aren’t paying their bills on time. In actuality, those numbers are even higher, as only 37.4% of credit card holders actually pay their bills on time each month. But no big deal, right? I mean, everyone can get around to paying their bills eventually, right? This leads into our next point:
- You’re Probably in More Debt Than You Think. And this isn’t just because you have been underestimating or haven’t been keeping proper track of your debt (although that’s a big part of it: as of 2013, lender-reported debt of credit card holders was 155% higher than that reported by buyers), mostly it’s because those little debts you owe keep adding up. In fact, the average household bears almost $130,000 in debt, with over $15,000 of that due to credit card debt, specifically. And moreover, as this debt piles up, many people go to the first line of help they can think of: more credit cards. The average American consumer holds an average of 3.5 credit cards in their wallets and purses, and these little plastic rectangles only increase the load of debt weighing on their shoulders as the months go by. But luckily:
- Selling Your Structured Settlement Isn’t as Disorienting as You Might Think. One of the reasons why buying an annuity with a lump sum is encouraged is because it gives people piece of mind. In fact, 92% of claimants who choose this option later report being satisfied with their decision to sell their structured settlements. With over 37,000 Americans using money from structured settlements every year, plus the amount of debt touched on above, this is a Grade-A reason for switching over to a more comforting option.
Have you considered buying an annuity with a lump sum, or do have you already experienced buying an annuity with a lump sum and want to share your outcomes with others? Please feel free to leave your thoughts, questions and stories in the comments below!