Did You Just Win the Lottery? Celebrate, Then Plan Ahead

Buying an annuity with a lump sum

What to do when you win the lottery? First of all, of course, you should celebrate! Break out the champagne, throw a party, start looking at brochures for a cruise or your dream home. But quite early on, maybe even in the first week or so, you should make a financial plan. It might seem like a lot of money, even more than you think you could ever spend in your lifetime. You’d be surprised at how fast it goes. One of the first things you should also consider is if you should sell your structured settlements.

Plan your financial future
Of course, you’ll fine-tune your plan as you move ahead, and get advice from financial experts. But if you plan ahead and decide how you’re going to use the money – to buy or build your dream house, to take a round the world cruise, to start a business or to pay off your debts – you’ll have a secure financial future for yourself and your family.

Should you get cash for your settlement?
A lot of people prefer to sell lottery payments in exchange for a lump sum, getting the full amount all at one go instead waiting for it to be paid out over a long period of time. This could be as long as thirty years, and many people feel that it is too long a time to wait for your money.
For instance, the Mega Millions lottery is paid out over 30 years! There is one immediate payment, which is followed by annual payments for 29 years. The annual payments increase by 5% each year. And the Powerball payout schedule is spread out over 30 years, with annual payments that increase over time. However if you choose to get cash for your lottery payments, you can receive your money all in one lump sum.

Lump sum or annuity?
Which one is right for you? That depends on what you want to do with the money. If you want the security of having annual payments year after year for a long time, annuity might work well for you. This applies if you’re already comfortably settled in life, with your own house, car and career.
However, if you’re just starting out and need to put a down payment on a house, or pay off student loans or medical bills; or if you’re looking to start your own business or to pay for college, it might make sense to sell your structured settlements. With your money in your hands to use to your best advantage, you have control over your financial future.

Should you sell your structured settlements? Among those who made this choice, 92% report that they are satisfied with the decision. If you decide to sell your structured settlements, take your time, research the various companies that offer this choice, and then go ahead and use your money to invest in your dreams.

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