Production bonuses, persistency bonuses, pension contributions, 401(k) match, office space, expenses allowance, sometimes health benefits, those can all need to be calculated in as well. If you produce some volume as you go, many of those contracts become very similar to what can be found in the indy market. Either way you go, indy or career agent route, you need two things starting out: training and structure. Here is what I mean: Structure: you are a business owner, you need a business model that works. Also, prospecting sucks. If you don't have someone to hold you accountable, especially if you are newer to sales, most will not do the activity necessary to succeed starting out. If you go indy, you won't have the accountability factor, and you also won't have a set business model to just start plowing forward from Day 1. Training: You can get product training just about anywhere. Sales training can be bought or aquired as well on the indy side (for example, the ILIAA on both accounts). What an organization like the ILIAA can't do for you is pair you up with an experienced mentor to go on joint sales calls with you. I can't over emphasize how important having an experienced, ethical mentor is to teaching you the life insurance business for the first year. Life insurance in general is sold, not bought like health insurance or med supps which is why the success ratio is so much lower (I've sold both). You can't learn the nuances over a webinar. I'm not saying the current outfit is the best fit, I don't know. It's more about the local culture of an agency than anything else. I would at a minimum check out the local Mass Mutual, New York Life, Guardian, and NML offices. Remember, it's your business, you are interviewing them to find the best fit for you. FYI: all of those will have fairly similar payouts. Good luck! Indy in life insurance may look the best from the outset, but it's a tough road and it takes a special kind of person to make it. Maybe you are that person, I don't know.