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Josh Carter, MBA, CSSC
865 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
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Structure Strategies

Still Hunting, Fishing
30 Years Later

Jimbo loved to ride his motorcycle almost as much as he liked hunting and fishing. At 20 years old, he and a friend were on their way out West on their motorcycles to do some late-season duck hunting in Montana. A late-morning fog obscured a jackknifed semi, which both riders swerved to avoid. Jimbo missed the semi but lost control of his bike and crashed into a guardrail, severing his right leg below the knee.

During settlement negotiations, there was a lot of discussion about Jimbo’s age and the cost of future medical expenses and prosthetics. A structure was created to provide Jimbo with a lump sum every five years for prosthetics that would keep pace with his active lifestyle. Jimbo went on to pursue his passion for the great outdoors and eventually started a successful hunting and guiding service in Alaska. “I’m glad I saved that money,” he said, “because I never had to worry about my prosthetic leg. And I even had a little extra money to start my guiding service.”


(Note: Structure Strategies is based on actual case histories, but the names and images of the people involved have been changed to protect their privacy.)

The Difference: Living Well Versus Living in a State of Perpetual Worry

Retiree Satisfaction RatesRetiree satisfaction rates increase when income is annuitized. Click to expand.

Guaranteed income in the form of an annuity is as old as the Roman Empire, where “annuas” were issued to make sure people didn’t run out of money. Later (MUCH later), a 2005 article in the Wall Street Journal jump-started a growing body of evidence that CERTAINTY is good for you. The secret to a happy retirement, wrote staff reporter Jonathan Clements, are “friends, neighbors and a fixed annuity.”

Clements cited research by Keith Bender, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, saying that retirees “who receive traditional company pensions are happier than those who have to rely solely on the savings they have amassed in 401(k) and similar retirement-savings plans. Seniors, it seems, like the sense of security that comes with guaranteed, predictable income.”

If you don’t have a pension (which went the way of the buffalo long ago in America), buy yourself income, said Clements, “by stashing part of your nest egg in an immediate-fixed annuity that pays lifetime income.”

The connection at this juncture to those considering what to do with money from an injury settlement should be clear, but if not, stay tuned. People with a higher percentage of annuitized income are happier on nearly every measure, according to these studies:

Now meet Teresa Ghilarducci, an evangelist for new ways of achieving retirement security. A professor of economics for 25 years at the University of Notre Dame, Ghilarducci joined the New School for Social Research in 2008 to focus all her considerable energies on heading off the growing retirement crisis in the U.S. Her research has found that financial insecurity causes higher levels of anxiety, which fuels a vicious cycle of stress, cognitive decline, and worsening health. Meanwhile, those who choose to annuitize some part of their retirement savings are happier and far less concerned about the future.  

“Senior happiness and security also stem from how one’s retirement income is delivered,” she emphasized, “meaning whether one has a pension versus a lump sum of savings can determine their well-being.”

retired couple beach

Structured Settlements Provide the Ultimate Financial Security

Nothing could be more important than knowing a check will be in the bank every month for those facing an upended life of emotional and financial chaos after a serious injury. No worries about a roller-coaster stock market; no worries about how to best manage investments; no worries about “helpful advice” from well-meaning friends and family. Those who opt for investing some of their settlement funds into a structured annuity also enjoy tax advantages that are not available to the public.

And that, dear readers, adds up to PEACE OF MIND!