The average homeowner in the United States knows that owning a home can be quite expensive in itself. If you’re a homeowner who is also facing the financial toll of medical bills, lost wages, and everything else that comes with the diagnosis and treatment of a loved one’s terminal illness, then you could end up feeling quite overwhelmed. Coping with the financial stresses of life is something every adult has to handle, but if you or a loved one does have a terminal illness, then you may have a way to alleviate some of that stress by taking out an American Life Fund viatical settlement.

This settlement comes from your life insurance policy and can offer financial relief for you and your family in the event of a serious illness or disease. Learn more about a viatical settlement and how you could potentially use it for important costs such as home repair.

What is a viatical settlement?

A viatical settlement is a lump sum of cash that is paid out to you after a deal is brokered between your life insurance company and a viatical settlement provider. Essentially, you are agreeing to give that provides you or your loved one’s death benefits in exchange for cash in hand now. You do usually end up with less than what your life insurance policy would payout to you, but in some cases, you can get up to 70 percent of the original death benefit amount from the viatical settlement company. If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself that it does sound like a good deal, just remember that only those diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and others are eligible to receive a viatical settlement.

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All viatical settlement providers are licensed through their individual state insurance commissioners, so make sure to do your homework before choosing one. Check with the state, read reviews, and exercise caution. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the amount you receive is affected by the patient’s life expectancy. For example, if your family member passes away earlier than expected, you may get more in a viatical settlement. It can be a gamble, but it is an option if you need the money now to help with financial obligations.

Use the money any way you want.

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While you may not want less, the good news is that you can then take the money and spend it in any way you like. You can put it toward medical costs, funeral expenses, a vacation, a child’s college fund, or home repairs. When people opt to use it for home repair, they often choose common types of repair that could otherwise cost a pretty penny. For example, installing a new roof can cost thousands of dollars, or renovating your pool could be a costly expense, but roof repair or pool renovation may, nevertheless, be worthwhile expenses. Some of the types of home repair that people complete afterlife settlement transactions will likely improve the value of their house and overall property, which could be a good investment for you, especially if you plan to sell the home after losing your loved one.

A new roof can increase your home’s value.

If your home needs roofing repair or a new roof entirely, then you may want to consider putting some of your viatical fund toward that. According to HomeAdvisor, a brand new roof increased home values across the country by a national average of $12,000. On top of that, you can expect to recoup costs in decreased energy bills as the new roofing materials, like asphalt shingles or a metal roof, will help cool your home much more efficiently than your old shingles did.

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You may only need to repair your roof from a roof leak or damage from a storm. These types of repairs should be addressed quickly, as missing shingles mean that your roof is not shielding your home properly from potential water damage. That water can seep into your ceiling and walls, causing damage inside and creating the perfect environment for mold to form. If your loved one is already fighting their illness, then mold can exacerbate their symptoms and make it more difficult for them to continue.

No matter what, always make sure you work with a licensed contractor for roofing repairs. If you try to go a cheaper route, you may end up facing a liability lawsuit. Unlicensed workers can sue you if they fall or injure themselves while working on your property, which could end up devastating you again financially. Keep yourself and your family protected by only working with roofing companies that are licensed and insured.

Renovate your pool or install a new one.

If your swimming pool is outdated and needs a facelift, then think about looking up pool renovations in Pennsylvania or other states. You may also want to renovate the pool to make it handicap accessible in case your loved one’s illness has made it difficult for them to be mobile. Giving them a chance to enjoy the water could help boost their spirits, which in turn could help them fight symptoms for longer, giving you and your family more time to spend with them. According to PsychCentral, a positive attitude may help improve health. That happiness from spending time in the swimming pool with you and the rest of the family could end up being worth so much more than the money you spend renovating the area.

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Whether you are renovating your pool or installing a brand new one, know that this can get expensive and that viatical settlement funding can help alleviate that cost. Consult with pool companies around you to learn more about the right pools for your yard. They may already have extensive experience in installing pools for seniors or others who need a modified design. Another option to add to your existing swimming pool area is a spa or hot tub. The warm water may help ease your loved one’s pain and give them a soothing space to enjoy.

Consider window replacement for older windows.

Another way to add to your home is window replacement. Putting in new windows that are easy to open and see out of may help your ailing family member feel a bit better, especially if it is hard for them to get outside. Late-stage cancer patients, for example, maybe too weak to make a trip outdoors but would love to be near an open window where they can catch the sights, sounds, and smells of being outside. Some older windows are difficult to open or are not well-insulated, and replacing them with newer windows makes it much easier for them to use the window.

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Another option could be to install a skylight window in their room so that the sunlight can beam in and give them a bit of a sunny reminder. Sitting in a room all day while fighting off a life-threatening illness is physically draining, but it also takes an emotional toll and it could be a good way to increase their happiness even just a little bit. Enjoy the time you have left with your loved ones by making home repairs that will help them feel a bit better.