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I don't have much to add as far as financial advice, but only a little story.

My girlfriend's sister was in a similar predicament about 10 years ago. She received a large cash settlement (~100K) from being in a car accident and spent every single penny with nothing to show for it. She is currently a 30 year old single mom with no college education living at home with her parents, having recently declared bankruptcy.

So the moral of my story is DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. I think it is a terrible shame that this had to happen to anyone.

I highly doubt this will happen to you since you've recognized your unique situation and made it to this site to seek advice. Even though my story is probably of no use to you, it makes me feel better to share this story with someone who hasn't turned into what my girlfriend's sister has.

Being only 23, thinking of the compounding interest on $200K adding up for 30+ years before I retire makes me want to jump in front of a bus or something for a big cash settlement.....well, not really, but my point is you're in an admirable position so be careful :)

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