Going through a lawsuit can be an awful experience, especially if it’s on the back of personal tragedy. Once you’ve gotten to the end and you’ve finally won your case, you may find yourself with access to a lot more cash than you’re used to. For many people, this can be overwhelming, especially since nearly 76% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. If you’ve recently won a settlement in a lawsuit, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Try Not to Tell a Lot of People
Sometimes it can be difficult to prevent people from finding out that you’ve won a lot of money. In some states, lottery winners are required to make their name public; in the case of lawsuits, there is often accompanying press published on it. If possible, though, keep your news quiet. Otherwise, you might find a lot of “forgotten friends” looking for handouts.
It’s a good idea to look ahead at purchases you may want to finance; this can prevent you from spending impulsively right now on things you don’t need. If you need $400,000 five years from now to buy a new house, will you be prepared? What about retirement? U.S. News recommends hiring a tax account — both to plan for your financial future, and to make sure you’re not getting in trouble with the IRS.
What About Quick Cash Options?
About 65% of people indicate they would rather receive a lump sum payment rather than structured payments, which are very common in lawsuits. Wanting settlement cash now isn’t a surprising desire given the costs many Americans are dealing with — the average 2015 graduate will end up having to pay back $35,000 in student loans. A quick cash option might require paying some fees, but it ultimately allows you to escape years of building interest on your existing school or medical loans. Luckily, many companies offer cash for your settlement now, allowing you to to decide when your money will be the most useful.
If getting a lump sum for your settlement could help eliminate debt for your household, it’s worth considering as an option. Why feel hampered by your debt when you don’t need to be?