I am looking into getting a life insurance policy. Many people recommend that I consult with a CFP, others that I just get into the meat grinder and apply online at a big financial firm such as AIG, METLIFE etc.

What do CFP's do? Are they strictly life insurance "advisors/sales people"

Is it a reputable career or all part of the multi-level marketing scaffolding that I believe gets many of the life policies for these companies.

  • @If the CFP you are considering is also selling life insurance, find a new CFP. There are too many kinds of terrible life insurance, and they all make such incredible fees for the agent that an insurance agent can't help but recommend them to everyone. The only kind of life insurance you need is term. Find a CFP that agrees with that statement. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Jan 12 '15 at 12:59

A Certified Financial Planner has passed a licensing exam and will advise you and help you reach your financial goals. A good CFP can help you a lot, especially if you are unsure how to set up your insurance, investment, savings, and financial plans on your own.

You do not need a CFP to get a life insurance policy. If you do get a CFP, he or she should help you above and beyond life insurance -- i.e. retirement planning, investment advice, education planning, etc. It's advantageous to you to pay a fixed price for services instead of a percentage or commission. Negotiate fees up front.

For life insurance, in most cases a term policy will fit your needs. Whole life, universal life, etc., combine investments and life insurance into a single product and are big commission makers for the salesman. They make it sound like the best thing ever, so be aware. One of my rules of thumb is that, generally speaking, the larger the commission is for the salesperson, the worse the product is for the consumer. Welcome to life insurance pitches.

Term life is far less expensive and provides a death benefit and nothing else. If you just had a baby and need to protect your family, for example, term life is often a good solution, easy to buy, and inexpensive. As you stated, any of the major providers will do just fine.

  • This is extremely insightful and informative answer. Awesome thank you. If I may ask What is your reference here? Either source or is it from personal or professional experience? Are you a CFP? – rhill45 Jan 12 '15 at 1:54
  • Some of my best friends are CFPs! I know a few life insurance agents, too. On a more serious note, this is based on a lot of personal and professional research when I had the same questions. Also, if you know you need life insurance, you need a will, too. If you have a lot of assets, consider a living trust, but you can set that up later. – Rocky Jan 12 '15 at 5:43

CFP stands for "Certified Financial Planner", and is a certification administered by the CFP board (a non-government non-profit entity).

This has nothing to do with insurance, and CFP are not insurance agents. Many States require insurance agents to be explicitly licensed by the State as such, and only licensed insurance agents can advise on insurance products.

When you're looking for an insurance policy as an investment vehicle, a financial adviser (CFP, or whatever else acronym on the business card - doesn't matter) may be helpful. But in any case, when dealing with insurance - talk to a licensed insurance agent.

If your financial adviser is not a licensed tax adviser (EA/CPA licensed in your State) - talk to a licensed tax adviser about your options before making any decisions.

  • 3
    Insurance was part of the CFP curriculum when I went through it. A CFP should offer objective advice regarding insurance and not have quite the same interest as the agent pushing say, whole life. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jan 12 '15 at 4:20

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