If you’ve been in a car accident or experienced a personal injury, oftentimes, a lawsuit is the only thing that will help you cover your medical bills and get your life back in order. A personal injury attorney can help you win compensation for your obligations if you have a justified case because someone injured you based on negligent, reckless, or intentional acts.
Once you win a settlement, you must first cover any outstanding expenses related to your injury and/or accident. According to Boise attorney Craig Swapp, these expenses are not small.
“The effects of a catastrophic injury can completely upheave your life,” he says. “Not only will you be stuck dealing with the physical damage done, but you’ll likely be impacted financially when you need to take time off of work to focus on your recovery.”
Usually, there’s quite a bit of money left over after you’ve met all of your obligations. This money is designed to pay for pain and suffering or an altered lifestyle if you’ve been permanently disabled.
Rather than going on a spending spree with the leftovers, invest it. Here are a few ways you can do that:
Buy Real Estate
Many settlement winners have discovered great wealth in real estate investments. There are many options including rental properties, fix-and-flips, commercial properties, vacation homes, wholesaling, and more.
Real estate is a great place for first-time investors to start because it’s a more stable market with plenty of growth opportunities. Research these investment opportunities and your current market thoroughly before considering an investment.
If you’re not quite ready for the ups and downs of owning commercial or residential real estate investments, you might just buy a house. Home ownership is a great way to learn about real estate investing while putting your money towards something greater than a rent payment.
Be smart about this investment, advises Layon Cox, Financial Advisor for Pathways Financial Partners. “A house is important, but don’t over extend yourself,” he tells WiseBread. “Buy something in your price range with a monthly mortgage payment you can afford.”
Make small investments here and there to improve the value of your property. When it’s time to sell, you’ll make a profit from your efforts that you can save or put towards future investments.
Use Investment Apps
There are financial planners and advisors who, for a fee, will happily explain the ins and outs of investing and help you get started. Meeting with one is a smart move, but if you’re hesitant to go this route, check out the many investment apps available for the average consumer.
There are literally thousands of these, so read reviews and research carefully to find the best ones. You don’t want to fall victim to a scammer or lose money because of a poorly planned app.
Here are some of the top-rated investment apps to consider:
- TD Ameritrade Mobile
These apps won’t necessarily replace opportunities you’ll have for physical investments, but they can help you get started and become more comfortable investing.
A Little Bit of Everything
Don’t limit yourself when achieving your financial goals.
“A windfall can help realize experiences that will enrich a client’s life forever,” Missouri financial expert William Stack of Stack Financial Services told U.S. News. “So, I feel it is important to talk about those things and find a way to realize some of those dreams while supporting their lifestyle, both now and in retirement.”
There are many ways to chase your dreams while taking care of the practical side of things. He recommends dabbling in multiple avenues in some instances. “For smaller windfalls, we generally recommend some splurging, some reduction of debts, and strengthening of [investments to increase] future income levels,” he says.
On the more practical side of things, you’ll want to pay debts and save for retirement. A 401(k) or CD might be best for increasing interest on these accounts. You might also try real estate, stocks, bonds, and other forms of investing with your leftovers. Diversifying your investment portfolio is an excellent way to make your fortune.
If you’re not sure exactly how to proceed, don’t worry. There are experts out there who were made to help you increase your earnings and prepare for a better financial future.
After the difficult time you’ve been through over the last few years, you deserve it!