Certified Structured Settlement Consultant
When getting a structured settlement, it is usually necessary to get a certified structured settlement consultant. These professionals know all about structured settlements, and they will fight to get the very best settlement in their client's case. Structured pay outs often result following an accident resulting in disability or injury or following a wrongful death. Regardless of the client's needs or circumstances, a structured settlement expert will be able to get a pay out plan that suits their client's budget. Before anyone calls a professional out of the phone book, though, it's important that they explore their options between lump sum and a structured settlement. They will also need to consider if the expert they choose is going to work hardest for them or not. After all, their pay out is only as good as their settlement consultant or expert.
A person who has been injured in an accident recently and is now seeking compensation might want to consider a structured settlement. With it, they will receive that compensation in payments rather than in one lump sum. A certified structured settlement consultant will say that this tends to be a better pay out plan than lump sum for several reasons. First, most structured pay outs are tax free. Also, since pay out is made over time, the money doesn't all disappear at once. Spending is easy to do when one has the money right in front of them. People also feel more generous when they have more money. The client will spend less if they take on a structured pay off. If the party who is due the settlement happens to be a minor, it might be better to have a structured pay out. Minors tend to be less frugal and may want to splurge rather than save for the future. In addition, the structured settlement expert will say that there is less worry about investing or holding your lump sum with a structured pay off. A lump sum can be subject to taxes and investment losses.
Once a potential client has decided that they want a structured settlement, they need to locate the right structured settlement expert. The professional needs to be able to calculate the client's costs and future expenses due to the incident that left them as victim. They need to be professional and reputable. This can be tricky because today so many consultants have a hidden agenda and actually have ties to the insurance industry. Potential clients will need to make sure that their certified structured settlement consultant has no affiliations with insurance companies and have the client as their priority. Make sure the expert doesn't work for liability carriers, doesn't represent the structure annuity carriers and doesn't support either of those types of carriers. Look for a consultant that offers a sworn affidavit stating that they have no ties to the insurance industry. Also, look online for reviews or comments about the companies of interest. Find out if there are any complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau.
One can find a certified structured settlement consultant either locally or through the Internet. There are companies that work exclusively to get their clients' structured settlements. Ask people if they recommend anyone. A potential client can also ask their lawyer to set them up with a good structured settlement expert. They usually have contacts in that area. The client can also look online for consulting firms that handle settlements. Watch out for scams, though. Keep in mind that clients cannot return to a lump sum after they take on a structured pay off. Be especially aware of offers for turning a settlement into cash payments. These can be costly. If a client foresees a time when they think they will need a good portion of their settlement up front, they should go ahead and take the lump sum. Otherwise, they will lose much of their settlement trying to get cash from a company for their settlement. No matter how your structured pay off turns out, though, you much remember that money only feels like a security blanket. True security is found in God. "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch" (Proverbs 11:28).
The best structured settlement expert is the one that the potential client feels most comfortable with. Talk with a few companies. Find out how their settlement process works. Seek out a friendly voice. Getting a settlement might be stressful so clients want a certified settlement consultant who is trustworthy and supportive. If the client chooses to work with a non-local company found on the Internet, they should make sure they are certified and known. A reputable certified structured settlement consultant can get a better structured settlement set up for their client. They will be taken more seriously when negotiations are taking place and will also have loyalty to their clients that is uncompromised.
Life Settlement IndustryThe life settlement industry is a growing, multi-billion dollar business that is considered by some financial experts to be a low risk investment product. However, as a relatively new and maturing market, and one that is considered by some to be controversial, government regulations are still being enacted. Current and proposed state legislation govern these transactions, but as their popularity increases so will governmental oversight. Also known as senior settlements, these investments occur when an elderly life insurance policyholder sells a qualified policy to investors or brokers in exchange for a lump sum of cash. The purchaser then becomes the beneficiary of the policy and receives its value upon the death of the policyholder. Supporters of the life settlement industry make a distinction between this investment and the even more controversial viatical settlements. With viaticals, the insured individual has a terminal illness. Investors can expect to receive a return in a few short years. Though the insured person in a life settlement is elderly, he may not necessarily be in poor health and death may not necessarily be imminent.
It's easy to see why some people find these investments to be distasteful since a return on investment (ROI) isn't realized until someone dies. Yet the sellers of these policies often welcome the lump sum of cash. There are numerous reasons why an insured individual might want to sell a policy. One of the most common is that the premiums can become a financial burden, especially for elderly individuals who are on fixed incomes. However, if the premiums aren't paid, the policy will lapse and the policyholder will lose both the accumulated cash value and the death benefit. Receiving a lump sum of cash in return for changing the beneficiary can be a financial boon. The buyer continues paying the premiums and eventually receives the death benefit. Only certain kinds of policies can be sold within the life settlement industry. Typically, these are whole and universal life policies that have built up cash value, as an investment component, over time. A term insurance policy, though most often recommended by financial experts, does not build up any cash value. When someone who has term insurance passes away, the beneficiary receives only the death benefit. There is no investment component as part of term insurance. This is why the premiums are much less expensive.
As the life settlement industry has grown in recent years, more companies have jumped on the bandwagon. Exchanges have even been formed, similar to the exchanges that transact the trading of commodity futures. Company owners and managers have established relevant business functions such as managing the payment of premiums, tracking and reporting of purchased policies, and the processing of death claims. Some financial experts tout the benefits of investing in these settlements to individual investors. For example, some experts claim that settlements are low-risk because they are backed by reputable and financially stable companies the issuers of the policies. Many of these companies are household names. Additionally, investments in the life settlement industry are not affected by rising interest rates, global economic conditions, natural disasters, or geopolitical events (such as acts of terrorism). Any of these factors can, and do, affect the value of typical investment products such as stocks and bonds. For this reason, settlements may be a legitimate addition to an already well-diversified portfolio.
King Solomon, personifying wisdom, writes: "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver" (Proverbs 8:17-19). Wisdom and prudence require that individuals save money during their employment years so that they have financial security in retirement. Investing choices can mean the difference between comfort and pinching pennies in the future. Someone who is interested in investing in the life settlement industry should carefully consider both the investment companies and the various options. Potential investors should only put their money with established companies with a proven track record of acceptable ROIs. It's preferable to invest with publicly traded companies because they are required by federal law to file specific reports containing accurate financial information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available for public viewing and are a great resource for potential investors.
The life settlement industry offers three basic investment opportunities to individual investors. One is similar to a typical bond and is often referred to as a death bond. Life settlement funds are similar to typical mutual funds in which individuals purchase shares. Finally, individuals can purchase a direct fractional ownership of a particular policy. This third option is the only one that provides the investing individual with direct ownership of an actual policy. There are pros and cons to investing in each of these options which interested individuals should thoroughly research before making a final decision. As the baby boomer generation ages, many will be opting to sell policies, especially when the offered purchase price exceeds the cash surrender value. Before accepting such an offer, though, the policyholder needs to demonstrate wisdom, just like the potential investor. There may be tax consequences to selling a policy or other estate management concerns. Seeking the advice of a reputable tax advisor or financial counselor is always advised before exchanging a policy for cash. The life settlement industry seems to be gaining respectability as it matures and may prove beneficial to both investors and policyholders.