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Take Control of Your Life
Cashing in your annuity or structured settlement payments can put you on your way to living the life you’ve always wanted. After all, selling payments can provide a sudden pile of cash, and after paying some bills, what better to do with the rest of the money than invest in you?
While the idea sounds simple, investing in yourself can be financially damaging if decisions are made in haste. Prior to splurging on that long-awaited vacation, consult with a finance professional on your options and whether or not you have some room to “play” with your new lump sum. Spending cash from your annuity or structured settlement can help to improve your quality of life, but it’s important to prepare for financial emergencies and plan for hefty income taxes.
Commit to Managing Your Health
A big part of financially investing in the future is bringing value to your quality of life — including your health. Take the time to catch up on doctor visits. Medical visits can be expensive, but a new influx of cash can alleviate financial strain for a number of providers — such as optometrists, urologists and general care practitioners — or prescription treatments. If you already have a diagnosis, you should prioritize using your annuity or structured settlement money toward receiving the treatment you need.
Spending new cash to improve your physical health is a great way to invest in yourself, too, whether that includes spending money on healthier food options, joining a gym, or hiring a personal trainer. After all, working out regularly can help both your waistline and your wallet.
One study shows that employed people who exercise three or more times a week earn 9 percent more than those who don’t, according a study by the Journal of Labor Research. Having some cash to purchase new exercise equipment for your house — or joining a gym — could be just the ticket for you to live longer and feel better. There are other benefits, too. Resistance training just twice a week makes it easier to filter spoken responses during conversation according to a study from the National Institutes of Health.
Build On Your Education
Furthering your education does not have to be a distant dream. If you’ve always wanted to attend college or complete a secondary degree, use your annuity savings to help bypass student loans. Don’t let negative headlines about student debt dissuade you – getting your college degree is still an investment that pays off. Not only are wages better for college graduates, so are the career prospects.
Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that money invested in education on the individual level has on average a 15 percent return on investment. Also, the pay gap between high school graduates and college graduates has increased dramatically in the past 30 years, with the average college graduate earning nearly $18,000 more than high school graduates in 2012.
Traditional education routes aren’t the only way to brush up on what’s going on in your field. Educational opportunities also include technical and trade schools. Even if you’re not considering returning to school, you can use a financial windfall to simply read more.
Investing in a personal library could help you improve a skill that could lead to something more. Noted speaker and author Earl Nightingale said that one hour a day of reading up on your industry for three years could put you at the top of your field in knowledge – and after five years you could become a national expert.
Before you get started, research which career fields you might be interested in and see how lucrative they are. You may not even need a formal education. In some cases, you can attend smaller workshops and conferences to learn and begin networking. Attending a conference within your field or within an industry you’re interested in can leave you feeling more informed and energized.
Grow in Personal Relationships
Humans are social creatures, so it’s also important to budget time to nurture relationships with friends and family. If you’re looking but haven’t met that special someone yet, consider purchasing an online dating service, or enlisting the help of a professional matchmaker.
If you’re feeling out of touch with family or friends, consider budgeting funds for a weekend trip with old friends or a large family reunion.
2 Cited Research Articles
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- Betterment. (2013, September 20). How to invest a windfall and earn a 'happiness annuity'. Retrieved from https://www.betterment.com/resources/how-to-invest-a-windfall/
- Martin, R. (2014, March 24). Investing for life: What to do when you receive a windfall. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-to-do-when-you-receive-a-windfall/