Every bear market feels like the end of the world. As a plaintiff attorney, a bear market looming on the horizon may leave you scrambling to protect your clients, keep your firm’s finances in order and trying to manage your own retirement nest egg, but the reality is we’ve been here before and we’ll be here again.
Surviving a volatile financial market comes down to one thing: diversification. If your clients have been taking their settlements in cash or you have been accepting your contingency fees in a cash lump sum, it’s time to get educated on alternatives and rethink your game plan.
Challenges Facing Claimants
Injured claimants face a variety of obstacles when settling a case, regardless of the state of the economy and regardless if they are trying to protect their retirement or they are just starting to invest. Claimants accepting lump sum cash settlements during volatile financial times are even more susceptible to:
- Family and “friends” asking for money
- Predatory financial “advisors”
- Emotional spending
- Poor investment choices
- Loss of needs-based government benefits.
Structured Settlement Annuities: Long Term Safety & Security
A structured settlement annuity provides what no other financial product can promise: a guaranteed1 safety net during difficult financial times. Kiplinger’s agrees. In a recent article, the personal finance site listed annuities as one of the top five tools to make retirement savings last. By utilizing structured settlement annuities as a reliable revenue stream to cover basic living expenses, the remainder of a portfolio can be diversified to include more aggressive investments. Even the structured settlement annuity payments can be reinvested down the line to offset current low-interest rates.
Diversification Options for Plaintiff Attorneys and Claimants
By working with your trusted Sage settlement consultant, you and your clients have access to a range of financial vehicles that can help create a diverse portfolio that balances safety and growth potential.
- Structured Settlement Annuity: Flexible payment design, guaranteed1 payments, no overhead or annual fees
- Deferred Income Annuity (DIA): Payments starting after 12 months, guaranteed and lifetime payments, no underwriting
- Fixed Indexed Annuity (FIA): Lump sums, lifetime or annuitization (period certain & life) with a guarantee of principal and upside tied to an index (S&P 500 or similar)
- Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity (MYGA): Fixed-rate and guaranteed payments for a specific term, guarantee a return of principal
- Settlements Plus™: For the injured plaintiff looking for tax-free income and market-based returns, and the ability to use their own financial advisor
- Fee Structure Plus®: For any contingency fee attorney looking for tax-deferral, market-based returns, and the ability to use their own financial advisor
- Investment Accounts: Low-cost platforms offering financial education and investment management services
- Special Needs Trusts, Pooled Trusts, Minors’ Trusts, Settlement Preservation Trusts and more: Depending on the claimant’s age, individual needs, income, and level of disability, options are available to preserve settlement proceeds while providing for life’s necessities
Contact Sage Settlement Consulting Today
The verdict? Don’t panic and don’t let fear get the best of you and your clients. By taking a proactive approach, you can face any financial downturn with confidence in your financial choices. Contact Kimberly Overby today to learn more.
1 Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying abilities of the issuing insurance company.
When making important financial decisions, such as those arising from a lawsuit or settlement, it’s often assumed that a financial advisor can provide the best guidance. While that may be true in certain circumstances, effectively safeguarding a settlement requires the specialized expertise of a Settlement Consultant.
Here are 3 reasons why your client NEEDS a settlement consultant.
Reason #1: Specialized Knowledge
A settlement consultant’s training goes beyond traditional wealth management strategies. It also encompasses experience with providing solutions specific to the financial intricacies of injured claimants and plaintiff attorneys, to include structured settlements and attorney fee deferral products.
In particular, settlement consultants are familiar with roadblocks that can prevent a smooth settlement resolution. From helping prevent the loss of government benefits to knowing whom to consult when a lien report is inaccurate, a settlement consultant has specialized experience needed to provide the most comprehensive level of service during and after settlement negotiations.
Reason #2: Holistic Approach
Not only are an injured claimant’s financial needs unique and different than those of a non-injury victim, but there is also an emotional aspect to settlement planning that a settlement consultant is better equipped to navigate. When someone has experienced a traumatic injury or the death of a loved one, their wrong can never be made right regardless of the amount of money they receive through a settlement. Newfound wealth can often feel like more of a burden than a blessing — especially if the windfall came as a result of a loved one’s death. A settlement consultant is an advocate for the injury victim and can help navigate emotional storms while keeping claimants focused on goals and a well-thought-out plan that provides for financial stability.
Whereas the typical financial client may be focused on investments that can provide for retirement savings or funding extensive vacations, injured claimants must deal with economic complications as a result of an accident, and planning for the costs of their future medical treatment. The cost of prescription drugs, prosthetics and home modifications; eligibility for needs-based government benefits; replacing lost income; and trying to adjust to a new reality are all elements that must be considered in an effective settlement plan.
Settlement consultants work daily with injured claimants and their family members, and they understand how to provide detailed, expert guidance while offering empathy and emotional support.
Reason #3: Team-Based Solutions
Different than the typical solo approach often associated with advice provided by a financial advisor, the best settlement consultants recognize the strengths that other experts offer in the settlement process and will choose the right professional partner to quarterback every component of settlement resolution for the claimant. Reputable settlement consulting firms have access to a broad range of tax, government benefit, lien resolution, estate planning, trust services, and wealth management experts that can help the claimant create a seamless plan for his/her financial future. Moreover, settlement consultants are not captive agents, guaranteeing that they will only consider the best interests of the claimant when recommending products and services.
Contact Kimberly Overby Today
Sage is proud to be the largest plaintiff-oriented settlement planning firm in the nation. With offices from coast to coast and a national network of experts, we have the resources you need to ensure that your clients are receiving the best advice. Contact Kimberly Overby today to learn more.