3 Questions to Ask if You’re Receiving a Settlement or Attorney Fees
To get where you want to go, you need to know the destination. Identifying your needs and establishing goals will help you determine how to best handle your settlement funds or attorney contingency fees.
Question #1: What are My Current Needs?
Take stock of where you are today. The past few years have been challenging for many, with pandemic-related business and job losses, health issues, and more. Perhaps you have lost your spouse or suffered an injury that has affected your ability to earn a living. Here are some questions to help you identify your present needs:
- Do I need a regular source of guaranteed income?
- Do I have any outstanding medical debts or other debts that need to be paid?
- Do I have any immediate health needs that require an extra financial cushion?
- Am I currently receiving needs-based government benefits (e.g., Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, etc.)? If so, do I want to maintain eligibility for these benefits?
- What percentage of my settlement or contingency fees am I comfortable setting aside for the future?
Question #2: What are My Short-Term Needs and Goals?
Once you have determined your immediate needs, take a look at the next 2-5 years. What types of changes do you know will occur? Are there any specific goals you want to hit? Be sure to consider the impact your settlement funds or attorney fees will have on your family, your taxable income, and any relevant needs-based or entitlement benefits.
- Do I anticipate any new financial needs within the next 2-5 years (e.g., daycare, college, assisted living, etc.)?
- Do I anticipate health needs that may require additional medication, medical equipment, surgeries, or therapies?
- Will I become Medicare-eligible in the near future?
- Do I plan to retire soon?
- Do I plan to make a significant purchase (e.g., house, big vacation, etc.)?
Question #3: What are My Long-Term Needs and Goals?
Now that you’ve covered your current and short-term needs, it’s time to look at the future. What steps do you need to take to ensure your financial security? What type of financial legacy do you want to leave for your loved ones? Be as detailed as possible so that you can create a realistic picture of the funds you’ll need to meet your needs and goals.
- What size retirement nest egg do I want to have?
- Do I anticipate any large purchases in the future (e.g., new home, vacation home, etc.)?
- Do I plan to move to a lower cost of living area or location without a state income tax?
- How do I plan to pay for healthcare once I am of retirement age?
- Do I want to set aside any money for my children or grandchildren to have when they turn 18?
Contact Your Sage Consultant to Begin Planning Today
Sage works with a wide range of financial, benefit, and legal professionals to get you the answers you need. For more information about your settlement and attorney fee deferral options, contact your Sage consultant today.