If you have recently received the unfortunate news that you have a terminal illness, then ideas for what to do next will be flying around your head. There’s no set path or handbook for how to deal with such devastating news for you, nor your loved ones. The future, which was once so unusual in its lack of predictability, is now seemingly too soon and too finite for comfort.
What you do in the time you have left will not only matter for you but will have consequences for those you’ll leave behind too. Wealth, which was always chased in life, yet just out of reach, will no longer be a priority. Now, you can quietly pass away and let your life insurance keep your financial issues sorted, though you’re no longer around to see to it. But what good will that do for you personally? No amount of money in the world can buy you those memories, experiences, or just extra time to live in, so you may as well live in the time you do have, with funds that you can actually get.
Instead of life insurance, consider utilizing a viatical settlement. These are transactions in which you surrender your life insurance to a third-party investor, who will buy your policy for a lump sum of cash. The amount you receive will be strong, and even though it is not as much as the “death benefit” would have been, it is readily available to spend right away. The third-party, who becomes known as the “beneficiary,” continues to pay the premiums on your former life insurance policy until you pass away (which has to be within two years of the surrender). At this point, they will receive the death benefit payout. To sum up, a viatical settlement is money that would have been paid out as life insurance when you pass away, instead of paid directly to you while you still have a chance to use it.
A viatical settlement provider, the American Life Fund, is noticing an increase in these types of insurances. Often, viaticals is intended to make the final days comfortable and catered for. However, end of life care might not be necessary or might already be bought and paid for, in which case a viatical might seem unnecessary to you. But, there are still ways you can use them to your advantage while enjoying the opportunities they bring. Here are one or two to consider.
It’s a proven fact that giving actually makes you feel healthier and happier. According to various studies, including those carried out by the University of California in 1999, giving releases endorphins, which positively affects your mood and helps to bolster your immune system.
Long Island-based attorney Howard Fensterman, philanthropist and Managing Partner of the law firm of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP. Knows all about charity. When he is not practicing law or following his passion for collecting and studying minerals, Mr. Fensterman applies his law expertise to the boards of The Chabad of Port Washington and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Long Island Chapter. His charity work is explored in more detail on his website, which also gives information on other causes that you can get involved in.
Whilst Howard Fensterman is in the unique position of providing his extensive knowledge to his chosen charities, you don’t have to be an expert to help. If you want to help a cause in some way that goes beyond the obvious donation of some money, then you too can provide your assistance or fund events to make more for charity. Plus, charity is good for you, but it is good for other people. Should you have fallen ill to an ailment for which there is no known cure, it would help to recycle funds back into research so that someday, others don’t have to follow the same fate that you have received.
Of course, after receiving the difficult news that your time may not be as extensive as you had hoped, then who could blame you for wanting to get away from it all for a little while and treat yourself to some R&R. If you have received a substantial sum for your viatical settlement, then it won’t take much encouragement to dream up an epic vacation or two in the time you have left. Lounge on the white sands of sunny beaches, or explore exotic wildlife during a safari. The choices are as endless as your desire to travel well.
The Bucket List
In addition to a vacation, you can go traveling to tick off a few of the plans you always had but couldn’t fit into your schedule. Skydiving, scuba diving, exploring the wilderness, or seeing the Aurora Borealis are just a few ideas for your bucket list, which would ordinarily cost you quite a bit of money, but given your settlement are all the more possible now. Maybe you can even blend ideas and turn your bucket list entry into a charitable event. If you cover the novelty event’s cost, you can give any money raised to your cause.
It may seem like an unusual idea to begin investing if you have little time left on this earth, but this is more for those you may be leaving behind. Whilst your beneficiary will be taking over the life insurance policy and receiving the death benefit payout when you ultimately pass away, you might still have other costs that you should consider clearing before they’re left to the loved ones who survive you. If you haven’t already taken care of your funeral or end-of-life care, then it would be advisable to do so as soon as possible so that other family members don’t end up footing the bill.
That said, you should probably have your Final Will and Testimony all wrapped up too. Whilst you may have initially planned for your inheritors to receive a sum of your estate via your insurance, perhaps you can make their inheritance grow through investments instead. Whilst it’s hard to keep track of where your shares would be best placed, there are some ideas for making alternative investments with In Business Mag. You will already have decent collateral to get started, and alternative investments tend to have slightly less risk but more varied returns. If your inheritor takes over the investment that you started, they can either cash out and receive more than they would have done before the viatical, or they can carry it on and build their investment portfolio.
You can’t take it with you, and there may come the point where no amount of care or treatment in the world is going to offset the inevitable. Yes, it is a good idea to be clever and budget your money to remain as comfortable as possible in the days you have left, but there is no harm nor shame in spending all of the excesses in whatever way you please. Since there are no real limitations on your viatical settlement spending, feel free to You’ve earned it and more, so enjoy it.