Most of us don’t have to worry about whether we should take a lump sum or choose structured settlements. Some of you might not even know what these are. Say you won the lottery…no, say we all won the lottery. How would we get paid? All at one time in a lump sum or over periods of time in structured settlements?
Without knowing much about it lump sum already sounds like the smarter choice. I like investing and one big factor to get this done is to have money. Structured settlements can take years to fully pay you the money you deserve. You shouldn’t have to wait or pay the price for decisions you are not making every month. By choosing to receive a lump sum, you get to decide how you spend or invest your money. You can invest all or most of your settlement today with a lump sum and end up receiving more money in the end because of it. You can put it in a CD or IRA and have it gain interest over a specific period of time. Why would you let the bank control your payments when you can be in control and earn more money while you do it? With a structured settlement the money is yours but it isn’t in your hands yet. You aren’t earning anything off of it but the bank is.
Another bonus of getting a lump sum and investing your money is that if you invest the money wisely, you might even have plenty left over to leave to your heirs. If you invest your money correctly, you could not only take care of yourself, but also other important people in your life. By simply getting annuities, you are limiting your income and monetary gain. Pensions rarely account for inflation in the economy. You can take this into your own hands by investing the money yourself.
The last reason I have for requesting a lump sum is that one of the principal rules of compounding interest is to start early. You can’t do that if it isn’t in your hands yet. Many people have goals of hitting retirement, their “Golden Years” and living off of a percentage of their savings. With a lump sum you can start compounding interest right now instead of way down the road.
The only danger in receiving one lump sum instead of monthly payments would be spending too much of it now and running out of money for the future. This can be managed by setting up your own investment plan. You can keep some of the money available to yourself now in a savings account and put the rest away as an investment. Gain control of your investments today by getting a lump sum. You can even sell your structured settlements.
If you want to take control of your future, this is the best way to do it. Don’t chop up your money and make it less useful. Keep it together, manage it and make it work for you.
Editor’s Note: John is not a registered financial advisor and writes from his personal experience through reading, studying and managing his own finances. All of our financial situations are different and this is just a basic introduction for your own personal knowledge.