Structured Settlement Talk:  Too Old for Financial Security?

Structured Settlement Talk: Too Old for Financial Security?

Think Again, My Mellowing Friend!

I recently participated in a mediation where the plaintiff attorney denied his client an opportunity to structure her settlement because his client was “too old.”

She was 59.

While 59 years of age may have been considered “too old” to think about lifetime financial security in another era (like, maybe 1743), all professionals involved in the personal injury tort process — defense and plaintiff attorneys, claims representatives, judges, mediators, etc. — should consider the following before making generalizations about the appropriateness of a structured settlement for people with perhaps a touch of grey:

I. Playing the Percentages

Authors Eric Tyson and Bob Carlson cite “Underestimating Life Expectancy” as one of the eleven mistakes to avoid when planning your retirement in their new book “Personal Finance For Seniors For Dummies.” According to Tyson,

“A retirement of 20 years will be routine for those retiring in their early to mid-60s today. A significant number will be retired for 30 years and longer. Some may even spend more time in retirement than they did working.”

Age 59 may be too old to think about starting a professional career in ballet but anyone who thinks this is too old for a structured settlement is missing a great opportunity. Who among us couldn’t benefit from guaranteed, tax-advantaged cash flow that can never be outlived?

II. Centenarians Unite!

The U. S. Census Bureau projected recently that, by the year 2020, 7.3 million Americans alive will be aged 85 or older. The fastest growing segment of this fast-growing demographic? Centenarians! The ranks of those living to be 100 years old is growing 7% per year and will number nearly a quarter million within the decade.

I’m still a few years away from hitting this particular milestone myself but I’m guessing it would be a whole lot more fun having money when you turn 100 than being without. Lifetime annuities provide secure, guaranteed cash flow on a tax-advantaged basis.

III. More On Longevity

Finally, in case you missed it, I highlighted a number of other statistics that make a compelling case for choosing a lifetime annuity in an earlier newsletter. Before leaving, be sure to:

Click HERE to check out our newsletter “Live Longer . . .. Buy Annuities.”

I continue to be amazed at how many people incorrectly assume that structured settlements are only appropriate for kids. What a shame. What a wasted opportunity!

Summary
There may very well be legitimate reasons why a structured settlement is not an appropriate choice for someone anticipating a personal injury settlement. But before rejecting it out of hand for all the wrong reasons, practitioners are encouraged to consider the wealth of empirical data available to help them make an informed choice for their unique situation.

We can help you! Whether you’re a plaintiff attorney looking to augment your retirement or a claims professional seeking to recreate a plaintiff’s future work-life cash flow needs, please call anytime to let us help you decide if a lifetime annuity is appropriate.

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