Primum Non Nocere
It's a shame only prospective doctors take the Hippocratic Oath since "First, do no harm" is sage advice for all of us regardless of background or circumstances.
Modified to apply to one's financial situation, the Oath could easily read
"First, don't lose money." After all, even money stuffed in a mattress is better than losing 10%, 20%, 30% or more as has occurred in past recessions.
People with limited ability to earn future income are especially vulnerable to detrimental consequences of sharp declines in their net worth. Consider:
- A car accident survivor rendered paraplegic now totally dependent upon cash flow from his injury settlement proceeds to provide medical care and support for life;
- A 55-year-old who successfully wins a court battle for wrongful termination but whose job prospects are grim for the duration of her working life;
- A near-retiree whose days in the workforce are coming to an end and who needs to ensure their 401(k) balance will be sufficient to supplement Social Security;
- A widower with young children whose principal wage-earning spouse was killed and who needs to ensure the insurance settlement proceeds can support his family;
- A wrongfully imprisoned exoneree with limited work history who needs to ensure her wrongful incarceration settlement lasts a lifetime;
- A plaintiff attorney who wants to parley his attorney fee from a career case into a series of secure, guaranteed, tax-deferred cash flows;
- A trustee for a family inheritance who wants to defer capital gains on several investment properties the estate needs to liquidate.
These are but a few of the real-life situations our safety-and-security-seeking clients have turned to us for help with in recent months. They all have one thing in common:
They'd rather earn some money than lose any money.
Safety and security trump speculation when you need those funds to sustain you.
Even though nobody can ever accurately predict the future, with so many signs pointing to some rough times ahead, structured settlements and guaranteed income annuities offer security for those who can't afford to live without it.
"Rule No. 1: Never lose money.
Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1."