Many people receive annuity payments for different reasons, and eventually, some of them decide that they’d ultimately like to sell their annuity payments for a lump sum of cash. When can you cash out an annuity, exactly? Some people wonder if it’s too soon to sell their annuity payments, particularly if they just started receiving them, and question whether there is a mandatory waiting period before being eligible to sell them. But when it comes to when you can cash out an annuity, there are different factors to consider.
Some people receive annuity payments after settling a personal injury case (or similar type of lawsuit) and they are awarded a structured settlement. Although they are receiving structured settlement payments, technically, these payments arrive in the form of an annuity. If you’re wondering, when can you cash out an annuity that comes from a structured settlement, you can typically do so whenever you prefer.
The right time to cash out an annuity is up to you. Some people may not want to cash out their annuity payments initially, because they just started receiving them and they may not have an immediate need for that lump sum of cash. You may even find that for a while, the long-term annuity payments were ideal, but then eventually became inconvenient. On the other hand, maybe you wanted a lump sum of cash from the beginning, but you were awarded a long-term structured settlement annuity. Either way, the right time to cash out an annuity will be different for everyone.
Most people decide to sell some or all their annuity payments when they have a specific goal and need in mind and they know just how much they need. For example, you may know that you need $15,000 to cover the down payment for a home you need to purchase, and while you do have that money technically, it is tied up in a long-term payment stream. By knowing exactly how much you need and what you need it for, it can be easy to determine just how many payments you should sell and when you should sell them. If you plan on looking to buy a home as soon as possible, you’ll want to get started on the process of selling future annuity payments.
Other people have numerous goals they are hoping to accomplish, such as remodeling a current home to meet your current needs, going to college, paying off debt, and more. They may decide to sell a large portion of their future payments or all of them so that they have the money they need.
Because the process can take approximately 45 days to finalize, it can be a good idea to get the process going as soon as possible so that you’re not waiting to receive a lump sum of cash when you’re pressed for time: for example, when college tuition is due, or when you’re about to close on the purchase of a home.
If you don’t have as many annuity payments remaining by the time you make the decision to sell them for a lump sum of cash, you won’t have as many options remaining; you may need to cash out the remainder of your annuity payment stream to get the lump sum payment you need. The sooner you decide to sell your annuity payments, the more options you’ll have when it comes to how many payments you can sell. You may be able to sell just a small portion of your annuity payments upfront to get the money you need, while keeping the remainder of your annuity payment stream intact. This offers the best of both worlds and enables you to get the money you need to take care of something right now, while still receiving that steady and long-term income stream.
If you do decide to just sell a portion of your annuity payments initially, you always have the option to sell more in the future. In fact, you can initiate multiple transactions throughout the years, so long as you still have payments remaining. You can even eventually decide to cash out your annuity in its entirety if you prefer.