Your Options When You Win a Lawsuit: The Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement

Your Options When You Win a Lawsuit: The Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement

When you win a structured settlement, you receive your payout over time rather than in one large lump sum. Some plaintiffs are more concerned with receiving a desirable outcome to their case and don’t give much thought as to how they receive their payout.But it’s important to understand the difference between structured settlements and lump sums so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances.Here are a few of the pros and cons of forgoing a lump sum in favor of a structured settlement.

Pro: Potentially Lower Tax Liability

Awarded funds may be subject to taxes, depending on whether the money is awarded due to punitive damages or as compensation for sickness or injuries.According to the U.S. Tax Code, structured settlements due to personal injury are considered tax-free with very few exceptions. Working with a CPA can help you determine exactly how much you’d pay in taxes in either scenario.

Con: Waiting for Payday

In a lump-sum scenario, you receive the entire settlement in a single check. If you choose to structure your settlement, you will receive a fraction of that amount over a determined period of time.For example, if you win $100,000, then you could opt to receive $20,000 every year for five years.

However, not receiving all of your money upfront may put a strain on your finances. For example, if you have an older car you want to replace or you have a child entering college, you may find it more beneficial to take the lump sum and ease your financial burden.

Pro: Easier to Manage

Many people who win large sums of money often end up losing almost all of it due to poor money management skills. There are countless stories of lottery winners that end up spending on their money on lavish items with no knowledge on how to protect their wealth.

Smaller sums of money that are earned over time are much easier to manage, much like receiving a regular paycheck. Because you’re limited as to how much money you receive at a given time, you may be less tempted to enjoy frivolous purchases.This alone can be an effective way to build and protect wealth for the long term.

Con: Limits Investment Options

If you’re planning on using your winnings to set yourself up for the rest of your life, investing can provide a viable option. Receiving smaller payments over time gives you less to invest.In addition,  a structured settlement won’t allow your investment to grow as quickly, which means you could be leaving money on the table.

Should You Opt for a Structured Settlement?

A structured settlement makes financial sense when you want to limit your tax liability, don’t have major expenses to pay for, or don’t have the means to manage a large sum of money.However, only you can decide which method will benefit you the most. Do your due diligence so that you can maximize your financial gains with confidence.For all things money management, head back to our blog.


Coping With Debt: Help Is Available

Owing money for a mortgage may seem like a normal part of life for many people. but being buried under a mountain of debt or falling behind on credit card payments can quickly become overwhelming. If you are struggling with debt you cannot manage, know that there are ways to get help and pay your balances. Consider these options that may help you cope with your situation.

Contact Creditors

Reach out to lenders to see if they can work with you to lower payment or interest rates, reverse fees, or even structure a repayment plan. If your balances are primarily secured, you may have better luck taking this route, since banks are not generally looking to enter the tangible property market.

Debt Resolution

If you honestly believe that your balances are too high for you to repay them, then debt resolution can be an option. It involves negotiating with creditors to accept a lower total payment on certain types of balances in exchange for a set payment schedule or single, lump-sum amount.

This can be done on your own, but it often involves using a third-party company, like Rescue One Financial, that specializes in this type of situation.

Financial Counselors

There are plenty of financial and credit counselors who can help you understand your finances and help get them back under control. No matter how you choose to tackle your current debt burden, talking to a counselor can help you stay out of the same situation in the future. Choose a reputable agency that you feel comfortable working with.

Even if you have a solid income and work hard to make ends meet, one wrong move or sudden illness can cast doubt on your financial security and make paying bills difficult. Use the resources available to you to find the best way to get out from under your growing debt before it becomes any bigger.

When You Should Start Saving for Retirement & Why

Are you wondering when you should start saving for retirement? The answer is simple; as soon as you possibly can! If you are just starting out in the workforce, you may not feel the need to save. But the truth is; the sooner you begin putting money away, the sooner you can retire! Ideally, you should start saving in your 20’s. Today we are going to learn why it’s important to start saving for retirement right now!

Retire Sooner Rather Than Later

Let’s face it, no one wants to work forever. In fact, many people wish they could retire in their 50’s. If you want to retire early, it’s wise to start saving while you’re young. By doing so, you will be enjoying retirement much sooner than most. While it is tempting to spend your money on trips or nice cars, you would greatly benefit in the future if you put that money away. When you retire, you will have plenty of money to spend on luxury items, and the time to enjoy them.

Put Away More Money

The sooner you start saving for retirement the more money you will have. By having more money when you retire, you will have a better quality of life. Not only will you have the cash to pay for necessities, you will also have plenty of money for leisure. A 25-year-old who saves $5,000 annually, will have at least 1 million dollars by the age of 65. Saving early will give you a nest egg that you can truly enjoy!

How to Cover Emergencies

In life, things can happen unexpectedly. Emergencies can happen at any moment. Most of the time tragedies are expensive. Having money in a retirement fund will help you to cover anything that may come up. While it is never a good idea to take money out of your retirement fund, it will be there if you really need it. An alternative to raiding your retirement fund is getting a personal loan from companies like A personal loan will allow you to cover expenses, and you can pay the money back in small installments over a 90 day period.

Your Money Will Compound

When you begin putting money into a retirement account it will start to grow. Most retirement accounts draw interest. This allows your money to earn additional income over time. Over the years as your money grows it will continue to compound. Shop around for the best interest rate.

In Conclusion

As you can see saving for retirement in your 20’s is a great idea! The sooner you start saving, the quicker you will be able to retire.

4 Different Types of Investments Every Beginner Should Know About

Reducing taxable income, saving for retirement, and earning higher returns are some reasons why you should invest your money. You might have been considering building a portfolio, but don’t know how. The first step is learning as much as you can about the different types of investments available.

Believe it or not, choosing the right investments is easier than you think once you define your strategy. Maybe you want to grow your wealth or save for your retirement. Either way, making sound investments is the best way to achieve these goals.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are 4 types of investments you should consider to grow your wealth.

  1. Stocks

When you choose this investment, you’ll buy shares, therefore, owning a small portion of the underlying company. The value of shares will shift depending on the company’s financials and the economy.

Public companies sell their shares on a stock exchange. Stocks are a great way to obtain high returns, but these come with a volatility risk that doesn’t make them ideal for retirement investments.

  1. Mutual Funds

When you choose to invest in a mutual fund, it’s as if you’re buying securities in several companies at the same time. Mutual fund managers handpick the most promising securities such as bonds, short-term debt, and stocks. The managers of these investments focus on achieving a certain goal by holding, selling, and buying a pool of investments.

An example is how managers of S&P 500 index funds focus on trying to mimic the performance of the S&P 500 index. Mutual fund managers sell the pooled investments after a certain period to return profits to mutual fund investors.

  1. Bonds

Bonds are investments where you buy debt issued by a company, state, municipality, or government. While this security is often recommended as a retirement investment, these safe harbors possess a volatility risk that can impact its value due to its correlation with interest rates.

Depending on the bond you buy, you may receive a fixed, floating, or variable interest income on your investment. Besides the potential income, you should also consider the bond’s credit rating and maturity date to determine if it’s a sound investment.

  1. Real Estate Investments

You may think buying a property is the only way to invest in real estate, but that’s far from the truth. If you don’t want to become a landlord, you may consider investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT).

When you buy a REIT, you buy a share in a real estate portfolio. The holding company manages the underlying properties to generate income for the trust’s investors.

Will Making Different Types of Investments Help You Grow Your Wealth?

Diversity is the key to build a strong investment portfolio. Learning the basics about the different types of investments is the first step to develop the right strategy to achieve your investment goals. Before you start investing, you should do your research to learn as much as you can about your potential investments.

While you can do it all on your own, you should consider consulting a financial advisor. An expert can help you develop the best investment strategy to build your wealth. Your financial advisor will also keep an eye on your investments and alert you when it may be time to sell your investment.

Did you find this article interesting? Check out the rest of our site for more insightful articles.

5 Promising Cryptocurrencies That Might Make Big Moves in 2020

Like any investment, the cryptocurrency market has its ups and downs. However, the market recovered in 2019 and shows signs of huge growth potential for 2020. You can get the most out of this capitalization if you invest in promising cryptocurrencies.

You may think only experts can figure out how to make the right plays when investing in crypto, but that’s far from the truth. It all comes down to doing your research and learning as much as you can about the market.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are the top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch in 2020.

1. Bitcoin

With its ups and downs, Bitcoin remains one of the most popular crypto investments. This popularity will make it the crypto investment with the largest capitalization in the market.

This cryptocurrency experienced a massive decline in value last November. However, Bitcoin’s market capitalization will help it rise in the market in 2020.

2. Litecoin

While Litecoin isn’t as big as Bitcoin or Ethereum, it represents a good opportunity to capitalize on its market potential. If you choose to invest in this cryptocurrency, you won’t risk a lot since it’s one of the cheapest investments on our list.

Buying low isn’t the only advantage of Litecoin. This crypto investment has the potential to become a global transaction network making it a great addition to any portfolio.

3. NEO

The price and versatility of NEO make it a crypto investment with high growth potential. This cryptocurrency combines real and digital assets. Its features have placed this investment under the Chinese government’s radar making it even more appealing to investors.

If China decides to invest in this cryptocurrency, NEO will turn into a major player in the crypto market. It may even become the most profitable cryptocurrency in 2020.

4. Ethereum

Ethereum’s popularity might have it at the top of your list. While its price is on the higher end, this crypto investment showcases growth potential for 2020.

The demand for its smart contracts may increase its value. However, the lack of recognition of Ethereum as an altcoin may impact its growth potential. While Ethereum may look like a safe bet, you should monitor it closely before taking the plunge next year.

5. Ripple

This cryptocurrency may be the cheapest option on our list, but it has been making headlines due to its technology. Companies such as Western Union and Visa are considering using Ripple’s technology to speed international payments. If the banking industry embraces this technology, the value of this crypto investment will skyrocket.

While growing your crypto portfolio is the ultimate goal, you should also keep in mind any potential tax liability. You should consider getting a simple crypto tax software to make sure you meet your tax obligations.

Will Investing in Promising Cryptocurrencies Make a Difference?

Making the best crypto investments is a science that comes down to learning about the market and monitoring the most promising cryptocurrencies. However, it will depend on your strategy and investment objective.

While it may be difficult at first, you’ll learn to time the market as you keep making investments. Use our cryptocurrencies watch list as your guide to plan your investments for 2020. Keep in mind not all crypto investments will fit your strategy so you should adjust your plan according to your investment purpose.

Did you find this article useful? Check out the rest of our site for more interesting articles.

A Comprehensive Guide to Homeowners Insurance Coverage

To file or not to file?

When you don’t know how your homeowners insurance coverage works, it can cost you big time financially. Every year about 20% of all home insurance claims related to water damage. Yet, that doesn’t mean these claims payout.

Instead, homeowners often find out that because the water damage was a result of negligence, they have to pay themselves. On top of having to cover the damages, the homeowner might have to deal with a rise in their insurance rates.

Even when a water damage claim doesn’t payout, it’ll still exist on your claims history. A bad claims history can make your insurance rates can skyrocket and your provider may choose to non-renew your coverages.

Knowing what your policy covers, and when to file a claim, is the best way to protect your financial future. Read on to learn everything you need to know about home insurance coverage.

Understanding Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Your homeowner’s insurance coverage will protect your house, belongings, and finances. Each specific policy will have its list of coverages and coverage limits. These coverages are what will pay to repair or replace things in your home, as well as your belongings.

It’s important that you fully understand when your homeowner coverages will apply, and when they aren’t eligible. Your policy binder will have a list of Perils, that has to happen for your insurance policy to activate.

A peril is a type of event, like a fire or robbery, that can cause damage to your house or belongings. Here’s a list of Perils that home insurance policy’s usually cover:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Lighting
  • Windstorms
  • Hail
  • Explosion
  • Vandalism
  • Malicious mischief
  • Damage from a car
  • Damage from an aircraft
  • Falling objects
  • Water damage
  • Ice, snow, sleet damage
  • Theft

Typically earthquakes and floods will require you to have a separate policy. Sometimes homeowners become confused when it comes to determining whether something qualifies as water damage or flood damage.

Luckily you can use a claim service, to help walk you through the insurance claims process. To make sure your house is fully protected, it’s always a good idea to have both a flood and home insurance policy active at all times. The only exception would be if you’re not in a flood-prone area.

Also, if you live in a state that’s prone to hurricanes, make sure you have a reasonable hurricane deductible. While hurricane damages are typically covered on home insurance policies, they often come with high deductibles.

While high deductibles are great for low monthly premiums, they can make it difficult to recover after a major storm. Since hurricanes are unpredictable beasts, make sure your deductible is low enough for you to pay it at a moment’s notice.

No Insurance Payouts for Negligence

When damage occurs to your house and it’s a result of your negligence, it’s unlikely your insurance will cover it. For example, let’s say you replace the wiring in your living room, and it causes a fire. Your insurance policy won’t pay for the damages since if you’d hired an electrician to perform the work, the damages may not have happened.

The same holds if you experience a loss as a result of a preventable theft. If you left your house with your front door open or didn’t lock the door, the insurance company isn’t on the hook to pay. It’s up to you as a homeowner to fulfill your responsibilities to make sure your house is reasonably secure.

Home Insurance Coverages

On top of knowing when your insurance policy will become active, you should also know what it’ll pay for. Here’s a shortlist of the different types of home insurance coverage:

  • Dwelling protection
  • Other structures
  • Personal property
  • Liability

The most standard of all homeowner’s insurance coverages is your dwelling protection. The dwelling coverage is the protection that will help pay for the structure of your home. This includes your house’s foundation, walls, and roof. The dwelling protection can also cover structures that attach to the home, like an attached carport, or garage.

Next, we have the other structures coverage. The other structures coverage will protect any structures on your property that aren’t attached to your house. For example, a shed in your back yard would qualify as the other structure and would fall under this coverage. If you live in an apartment building some countries have just one insurance policy for the whole building, there is an Australian checklist of things that are included here.

Moving on, we have the coverage for your personal property. All of your furniture, electronics, and other personal items fall under this coverage.

Keep in mind however that there are specific categories for the property your policy will cover, and limits for each category. For example, there’s a strict limit for the amount of jewelry or paper money policy that will replace. You can always look into purchasing additional coverages, or extended coverage if you feel your current policy limits aren’t enough.

Finally, liability protection will help pay for the medical costs of someone getting hurt on your property. You have to be at fault for the individual’s injuries and they can’t be a member of your household, for liability coverage to apply.

Don’t Compare Policies

Each individual policy has coverages and costs that are carefully calculated on a per house and per person situation. Your house’s age, material, and history will all play a part in determining the coverage you’re eligible for. The same holds for you as a person.

Your age, career, and financial history will directly impact what you pay for home insurance. If you want to find ways to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance coverage, go directly to your insurance company and ask for help.

Even if they can’t get you a lower price, they can at least clearly explain why you’re paying the price you are. When it comes to financial success, knowledge is the ultimate power. See what our money experts have to say in our Finance section today!

4 Jobs that Allow You to Make Your Own Schedule

Sometimes you don’t want a typical 9-5 job. Even with modern HR departments and their fancy—and admittedly highly effective—HR platforms, you might not want to deal with the stress of the classic hiring process. All those phone calls, interviews, and drug tests. 

You would like the freedom to pursue your own passions and your life outside of work, but also want work that is fulfilling. Maybe you pursue another passion part-time and need job flexibility. No worries, there are many different kinds of work that allow you to create a schedule outside of the standard work-day that works for you. 

Here is a list of 4 jobs that allow you to make your own schedule. 

Freelance Writer

If you have strong writing skills, and a background in marketing or another specific field, you may want to consider being a freelance writer. Many marketing companies look for a content writer to help them write articles for their clients. Most articles are 500-700 words, and marketing companies typically pay per article. Or, you could even ghostwrite. People often look for others to help write articles, blogs, memoirs, or other content. 

Freelance writing is wonderful because you can write at any time, at any place so long as you meet the deadline. You can look up writing gigs on Craigslist under the writing category to find a gig that best suits your creative and financial needs. 

Eyelash Technician

If you are interested in aesthetics and helping people look their best, you might consider training to be an eyelash technician through an eyelash extension course. Many courses offer eyelash technician courses online, or in-person. Search for some eyelash technician classes near you. Typically, in-person courses will be available in most big cities. 

However, if there are no available in-person courses, considering looking at eyelash technician certification online. You have plenty of options for helping others feel their personal best. This is also true for those who are extremely detail-oriented and enjoy scheduling their own lives. 

Private Tutor

Consider private tutoring if you feel confident in a certain academic subject, music, and the like. You can become a private tutor through some kind of studio or academy, or you can freelance private tutor. The hours are extremely flexible, as you get to decide when, and how, you work. Try reaching out to people with children still in school, who need help in a particular subject such as history or math. Or, consider your own personal talents and see what niche markets there may be to educate others–all for pay. 

Dog Walker

If you have a love for animals and light exercise, why not consider being a dog walker? You can look at dog walking companies to see if there are any availabilities in getting a job. Dog walking is extremely fun if you particularly love dogs, and want to get some casual exercise in your day. If you don’t want to go through a company, reach out to friends and family who may work during the day, and need someone to check in on their pooch to make sure they get adequate exercise. You can make your own schedule, and find out what approach works best for you. 

These are just a few options to work while having freedom in your life. Look at these jobs that allow you to make your own schedule, and find whatever works best for you! 

4 High Risk Investments That Could Pay off Big in 2020

Do you regularly invest in stocks? If so, you know you are trading risk for the possibility of rewards. While this is true, there are some stocks that have higher risks – and the possibility of higher rewards – than others.

If you are interested in high risk investments, you probably want to make the safest, high risk investments possible. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best options to consider in 2020.

  1. TEVA – Teva Pharmaceutical

This company isn’t having that great of a year. It’s down over 44 percent and still falling.

The issue is that Teva has limited growth and significant debt. It’s primary drug, Copaxone, used for treating multiple sclerosis, is facing competition from generic versions of the same medicine, such as Mylan.

Bankruptcy for Teva isn’t a near-term scenario; however, the trajectory the company is on now shows it may occur in the future. Put simply, TEVA is the classic case of “buy when there’s blood in the streets.” There are several reasons that TEVA is considered one of the great, yet risky, stocks to consider buying in 2020.

Even though there’s been pressure on generic drugs, it isn’t going to last forever. The company has already begun to sell assets to clean up its balance sheet. This has helped de-risk the story a bit.

While it’s a risky path, if TEVA is able to gain 20% (or more) by reaching a higher multiple, it can remove the possibility of bankruptcy – and result in potentially significant gains.

  1. Trulieve Cannabis

There’s no question that investing in the cannabis industry is a risk. After all it’s illegal at the federal level in the United States. However, if you are an aggressive investor, you may want to consider looking at Trulieve Cannabis for a few reasons.

This company is considered a rarity among cannabis stocks because it’s already profitable. In the second quarter, Trulieve reported record-high earnings and revenue.

Also, the company is focused on Florida’s medical cannabis market. The state offers a great opportunity for those in the medical cannabis industry because many people are moving to the state when they retire. Also, at this point in their life, individuals are much more likely to suffer from conditions that require cannabis use.

Even more, it’s predicted that the state of Florida may legalize the use of recreational cannabis, with there being an amendment set to appear on the 2020 ballot for this purpose. Trulieve is supporting these efforts, which means the industries present in the state poses the possibility of significant growth and returns.

Even if the efforts above aren’t successful, there’s plenty of room for this company to grow in this market. You may even want to consider shorting a stock for this purpose. While it’s risky, the possibility of significant returns is huge – especially if the Florida amendment is successful.

  1. SFL – Ship Finance International

When it comes to investor capital, the shipping space has long been considered a “Bermuda Triangle.” However, with Ship Finance International they may be the exception to this rule.

There is probably going to be some near-term volatility and the dividend for Ship finance may be at risk, it’s still a good stock to consider if you are in a position to handle the risk.

When it comes to the shipping industry, this is still considered one of the best potential moves to make. The industry, along with a leveraged balance sheet, both demonstrate this risk, along with the potential rewards.

If Ship Finance can make it through the tumultuous waters it faces in the next few months, there’s the possibility of a significant return for shareholders.

  1. Baozun

According to some metrics, Baozun doesn’t really look as high risk as far as growth stocks go. The company is trading at approximately 30 times the year’s expected earnings, and it’s managed to grow an adjusted net income of 65 percent and 46 percent in the first and second quarters of the year.

It’s not as if things are going bad for this Chinese e-commerce service provider on the revenue side. Sales have been up throughout the year.

Baozun also has an above-average risk profile when it comes to creating a list of stocks that are worth building a portfolio around. That’s not because the business doesn’t have longevity, however, there are several factors that go into a company’s stock price and performance.

Even though the company has posted profits and sales in the second quarter that came in ahead of the expectations for the market, the stock for Baozun fell double digits after the second-quarter earnings results. Also, the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has resulted in another turn for the worse.

While the trade situation has put Baozun as a risky short-term play right now, the underlying business is still sound. As a result, it makes a smart move for long-term investment purposes.

The Best High Risk Investments to Make

When it comes to smart, high risk investments, there are more than a few opportunities to consider. The list here gives you an idea of what stocks to look at going in 2020 that provides the biggest opportunity for a return.

When it comes to money, investing, and protecting your wealth, we have you covered. Be sure to check out our blog often to see what other types of helpful information and insight about your financial situation can be found.