Every year millions of Americans will receive structured settlement annuity payments. A few lucky winners will receive big paydays from the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, while others will settle for personal injury, wrongful death, or insurance claims.
By the end of 2013, there were more than 34 million individual deferred annuity contracts in place, adding up to $2.5 trillion. Some people will choose to sell an annuity for fast cash. So what are the structured settlement annuity benefits that stop others from selling?
A structured settlement usually offers annual payments that are exempt from income taxes and even capital gains tax. And since most experts agree that tax rates will eventually rise, an income tax exemption will be the envy of one percenters everywhere.
Furthermore, continued eligibility for federal assistance programs is one of the biggest structured settlement annuity benefits. For Americans who depend on assistance programs, a structured settlement can disqualify them from programs they need to get by. Setting up a trust with annuity payments can avoid this issue.
So why do so many people choose to sell structured settlement payments? The most common answer: fast cash. Many people can’t afford to wait for money that is rightfully theirs.
The hard truth is that more than 40% of U.S. families spend more cash in a year than they make in income.
- On average, Americans owe $12,000 in student loans, $8,000 on car loans, and about $70,000 on mortgage loans.
- Most U.S. adults owe $3,761 of revolving credit each year.
- In total, 64 million Americans (35% of the population) said they were unable to pay bills in 2014, with medical bills being the most common complaint.
- According to The Rutter Group, 90% of accident victims use all the money from their claim within five years.
For many Americans, selling a structured settlement provides the cash they need to finally get out of a financial hole. For others, a cash payment can provide the upfront capital needed to finally buy their dream home. Most lenders require a cash down payment of up to 20% of the house price. And since the average home price in 2010 was more than $270,000, it’s easy to see why some Americans can’t wait for annual payments.
Ultimately, every American is in a totally unique situation. If you’re the recipient of a structured settlement annuity, research all your options before making any big financial decisions.