The Truth About Permanent Life Insurance

June 14, 2023

In this highlight, we discuss some things you may not know about permanent life insurance.

For more information, check out our free resources here.


Next up, we’ve got a question from “Restore Sanity Fear” (I don’t know, yeah, that’s his username). The question is, “What would you say to someone currently in a permanent life insurance sales position?

Just so you know, Daniel said this was a good question. Alright, let me make sure I have my context right. Is this person a permanent life insurance salesman or are they being sold to? Daniel, you’ve got to tell me which one of these salesmen this is. This leads me to believe that maybe they think they should not be in this one. Well, first of all, let me be clear. Let me be clear, and look, Brian’s not here, he can’t defend himself. I’m gonna say this. We do not suggest that permanent life insurance is evil and that it’s awful and that it’s the worst financial product out there and there is no need for it. That’s not the case. A number of times throughout the planning that Brian and I have done in our careers, we have indeed needed to recommend permanent life insurance for someone. Their situation has been such that permanent insurance was the necessary solution. However, however, that is in my experience the exception, not the rule. Way more term folks out there than permanent folks. So if you are a permanent insurance salesman, what I would encourage you to do is make sure that you are selling it to the right person. Not just so long as someone has a pulse, they need permanent life insurance. You make sure that the people you’re selling it to actually… and look, I’m recovered, right? I’m someone who’s come out of this.

When I was in college, I worked for a large insurance company on the sales side. I worked for a large insurance company and this is what I did. I drank the Kool-Aid and I thought, “Oh, you know what? Somebody had a problem. Whole life insurance is the answer. Oh, you’re a 23-year-old waitress who also waits at the same restaurant as I do, and you have a financial question on building wealth? Oh, permanent life insurance is the answer. Whole life insurance is the answer.” When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. You need to be careful to make sure that if you are selling this kind of product and you’re working in this kind of world, make sure that the people you’re recommending it to actually need it. Well, if you find… man, okay, in the circles that I’m not… I don’t work with a lot of the ultra-high net worth, I don’t work with a lot of people with illiquid assets, I don’t work with a lot of people that have big real estate holdings. I just work with everyday folks who need life insurance. I would argue that maybe, maybe you could think about a career shift. That maybe you start selling term life insurance instead of permanent life insurance. If you find yourself sitting across from the table and you’re selling a product that other people don’t need and maybe you’re effective at selling it, you’ve got to do your own… like your own soul searching. I had to do this on my own soul searching because, look, I’m ashamed to admit this, but I’m gonna… like, this is a safe place. It’s just me and you here, Rebie. I sold some life insurance early on in my career to people that didn’t need it. Right? If I would have told that young lady, “Hey, instead of giving me a hundred dollars a month to buy whole life insurance that you don’t really need because you’re not married, no kids, no issues. Don’t need it. And I would have just told her to go open up a Roth IRA and put a hundred dollars a month into a Roth IRA. Gosh, she’d have been so much better off. I would have done so much better work. Now, I would have made as much money. I made a great commission when I was selling that stuff, right? But it wasn’t what was best for her. I was not operating in a fiduciary capacity, recommending her best interest.

So if you’re going to be on that side of the industry, if you’re going to do that sort of thing, just make sure that you’re doing it appropriately, that you’re doing it for the folks that actually need it. And if you find yourself in a place where you don’t have folks that actually need it, think about, “Okay, maybe I need to sell term insurance or maybe I don’t sell insurance. Maybe I want to do financial planning. Maybe I want to find a great fee-only financial planning firm.” And I want to go to aboundwealth.com/careers and I want to check out job opportunities that might be available. I think that’s a great solution and a great option. Also, there’s nothing wrong with doing it. There’s nothing wrong with being mission. There’s nothing wrong with selling permanent insurance so long you’re selling it to the right people for the right reasons.



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