Why You Should Cash Out Your Settlement
Cashing out your structured settlement has the potential to
significantly improve your financial standing, whether it’s by getting your
money situation back on track or by providing the funds to capitalize on a new
Here are some ideas of how people frequently use their cash
- Eliminate debt
- Buy a car
- Buy a house
- Resolve financial problems
- Invest in a business
- Get finances under control
- Pay for college tuition
- Build a nest egg
- Major life events
(adoption, move, etc.)
- Pay for medical care
The best decision is always a personal one, so just because something was a good idea for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for you.
Part of the court approval process is ensuring you’ll
financially benefit from the money, rather than simply use the funds on
something frivolous like a major vacation or large shopping spree.
After serious reflection, however, you may conclude that you
truly could benefit from receiving your structured settlement cash. If that’s
the case, the next step is to understand the process in full so you can plan
3 Easy Steps to Get Cash
Getting upfront funds for your settlement is not a fast
process. It takes quite a bit of planning on your part to ensure that you’re
getting the best value for your annuity and to go through the legal system with
your chosen buyer.
Here’s what you can expect.
Pick a Quote: Don’t
automatically assume all settlement buyers are created equally. There can be
major variances between offers for the same payments, so don’t skip this
crucial step. Also choose diverse companies to receive offers from, rather than
separate brands that are actually owned by the same company.
Get Court Approval: After
you’ve finalized an offer, you’ll need a judge to approve the transaction. You
can either choose your own legal representation or pick a company that helps
you with this part as well.
Receive Your Cash Out
Value: When the court has approved the transaction, the buyer should work
on your behalf to inform the insurance company. After that, you’ll receive your
funds. The timing depends on the company, as does the available payment
Everything You Need to Know About Discount Rates
Understanding the discount rate of your cash out amount is
critical in making sure your decision is a good one. No company is going to pay
the full amount of your future payments. This difference in long-term value
versus cash amount is known as the discount rate. Let’s be clear: you’re the
one providing the discount, not the purchaser.
The reason for this is primarily due to inflation. As time
passes on, goods and services become more expensive, so the value of the dollar
decreases. Decades ago, you could go see a movie for a nickel and now you can
pay $10 or more.
Since the settlement purchaser won’t be repaid for
potentially decades down the road, they won’t technically receive as much money
as they gave you, had they paid the full amount for your annuity. The discount
rate makes up for that discrepancy.
The longer your annuity term lasts, the less you’re likely
to receive for your lump sum. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a
bad deal, it just means you have to be really careful about the deal you
choose. You don’t want to settle for too little. Comparing discount rates
between competing buyers is easily the most important step of the entire
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get the full cash value of your future payments?
No, companies who pay cash for annuity payments subtract a discount rate for the amount of your total future payments. This accounts for inflation that lowers the value of those dollars that you’d receive in future years. Your cash out amount might also be lower because of processing and administrative fees. It’s so important to compare multiple offers from different companies to make sure you’re not getting a bad deal.
Do you have to cash in your entire annuity amount?
No, you can choose to cash in just a portion of your structured settlement annuity so that you can get a lump sum now and still keep getting smaller ongoing payments in the future.
How long does it take to get cash for your structured settlement?
This depends on both the state in which you live and the company you choose to work with. From a legal processing standpoint, you can expect to wait anywhere between one and three months. Then find out how long your company takes to fund your settlement cash out once court approval is received. Some may advertise 24-hour funding, but three to five business days is a more realistic expectation.
Do you have to pay taxes on the funds?
In most cases, no, you do not have to pay taxes on either your settlement payments or the cash out value you receive. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult with a tax professional so you don’t end up owing extra taxes.