Structured settlements and annuities are very specific financial products. But they can be set up in a variety of ways. Typically, they will come into your life in a certain way (though there are exceptions). In the case of a structured settlement, you will usually have been on your way to court, in the position of plaintiff.


In order to get you to go along your way without pursuing further legal action, the defendant’s lawyers may try to settle with you out of court. Rather than giving you a lump sum, they’ll set up a structure settlement, payments scheduled to be released monthly or weekly (or whatever) until the whole balance of your settlement is paid.

Sometimes lawyers really push for the structured settlement, when they really shouldn’t, leaving people like you bound to a payment trickle that doesn’t really serve their needs. There is a lot of fraud in the structured settlement game, meaning that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may not receive all the funds due you.

In the case of annuities, you are typically in the drivers’ seat much more than you are in the case of structured settlements. Annuities are typically tied to your retirement. They are funds that you have set aside, to grow and to be divvied out to your (and your spouse, if you have one) throughout your retirement years. Annuities can be set up so that they last as long as you do, or they can be set to expire on a specific date. This is all well and good. So what’s the problem?

In both cases, structured settlements and annuities, things might not go like projected. You may have needs that far exceed what you imagined. Life is especially rocky following time in court, and in retirement. These are precisely the times when you find yourself with a structured settlement or annuity. In the case of the former, you might have gone without work for a long time. You might have been injured, hence your appearance as plaintiff. You might be unable to work even now.

Oftentimes, people with structured settlements find themselves without work, unable to pay their rent/mortgages and daily bills. The same is true for retirees with annuities. In you have a sudden medical emergency, you can’t hope to cover your day-to-day necessities with the payouts of a regular annuity. All might go well with your plans. But what if it doesn’t.

If this sounds like you, it may be time to sell your structured settlement or annuity. There are many companies out there who will buy your payments for pennies on the dollar, but you don’t want to go with them. This is one situation where it literally pays to shop around. I can recommend one good website that’s a great place to start, but you shouldn’t accept a deal until you talk to at least five of these companies. Look for good reviews on the internet and ask friends for recommendations. When a company buys your structured payouts, you’ll get one lump sum to cover whatever you need covered. You’ll have to run it by a state court, but if you’re in need they’ll usually sign off on it. That’s about it. Good luck, and I hope your situation resolves in your favor.