Individuals 65 and older or someone being faced with an expensive medical illness who is in need of a large sum of money, you have an option that may be better for you than seeking a personal loan. If you have a life insurance policy, you may want to consider selling it to a third party to receive the money you need.

As an elderly person, you may be faced with bills you cannot afford. You may be retired, to tired or unwilling to go back to work at your age, and not able to pay your living expenses. In other cases you may just not need your policy anymore, such as if you no longer have a beneficiary.

As a terminally ill individual, even if you don’t want to treat the illness because the prognosis is poor, you still will want the rest of your days to be bearable and pain-free, which may require costly procedures or medications. Those in this position are often on a fixed income and unable to afford the portion of the bills that their insurance may not cover. On top of all this, you may come to a point where you are unable or too uncomfortable to care for yourself and live completely on your own.

What are viatical and life settlements?

A viatical is where someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness decides to sell their life insurance policy to a company who will take over the beneficiary status and payments on the policy in exchange for a lump sum payment. A life settlement is essentially the same thing, except that it involves an elderly person, who may be completely healthy.

If you would like to consider a viatical or life settlement, you may want to find out how much you will can receive for cashing in your policy. Many companies that purchase such policies will give close to the face value of the policy, but the exact percentage will vary.

What are the benefits of a viatical or life settlement?

There are many benefits that a viatical or life settlement can afford a retired person or someone that has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

While you are still healthy enough, you can spend time joining in activities with your peers and you won’t have to do other things, such as cook meals. As your condition progresses you may become less able to do many things on your own. When this time comes you will already be at a place where you can receive daily help and where you have already formed a relationship with the staff.

What are the drawbacks of a viatical or life settlement?

Although viatical and life settlements may seem like a dream come true, there are some drawbacks. For instance, there is a reason you decided to purchase life insurance in the first place – to pay for funeral and burial costs and to take care of your family after your passing. This may be the biggest factor that would keep one from cashing in their policy. The good news is that you can make arrangements that continue to keep your final expenses from being a burden to your family.

First, you can look into using a portion of the money you receive to purchase a burial plot for yourself, as well as a casket, funeral home, and other related expenses. Also, you probably purchased your policy in your younger days – when you had minor children to be concerned about if the worst were to happen. Now that your children are grown, you can use the money to take care of your own needs.

How to make the decision that is right for you

When making your decision on whether or not to cash in your life insurance policy, you will want to take all of the above factors into consideration, as well as talk it over with your spouse, children, and doctors.

A viatical or life settlement may be the best choice for a retired person who no longer needs their policy or someone with a terminal illness who has an overwhelming amount of expenses to pay. They may have little income as it is, insufficient health insurance, or not want to burden their family. If this sounds like you or someone you love, find out the details about the policy in question, figure out if it will be enough, and talk it over with those involved. You may end up with a great solution for everyone.

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