Self Employed Actuaries

Whenever I feel discontent with my job I dream of starting my own company. Probably unrealistic for multiple reasons, but the thing I get hung up on currently is what would I actually do? I’m a credentialed health actuary with almost 10 years of carrier experience (no consulting experience). I’m not in love with health insurance, it’s just the first job I could find.

I can think of two self employed actuaries where I thought “I could do that!” The first was a guy who just checked company’s year end reserves. He contracted with one of the big 4 firms. I would just send him my data and what I set reserves at, and he would put it in his own models and say “yep, seems reasonable.” He was older though, and semi-retired. The second is a guy who just valuated pensions for divorced people. He worked strictly with the lawyers, never had to talk to the people getting divorced.

So, how do you get started with self employment as an actuary? In my dream world, I find someone close to retirement who has a nice little business built up, start working for/with them, then buy them out when they retire. Then I become independently wealthy of course.

Pretty sure I started a similar thread on the AO, but all of that wisdom is gone now.

I’ve been thinking about making and selling software but it would require more than just me and a willingness to not be paid for a few years…

I mean, most of the actuarial software just plain sucks. The actual mechanics of making things better isn’t so hard but running the business in a cost effective manner may be.

Would people be interested in a private group where maybe more personal details could be shared?

1 Like

I love to work at nothing all day…

“Entrepreneurs” group is set up

I wouldn’t because I don’t think I’d like it. The main reason I got out of consulting was because I didn’t like the sales aspect of it.

Getting those sales largely comes down to networking. Going to lots of conferences, schmoozing, a lot of people who do it mid career hit up old contacts from jobs they had.


Can I get an invitation? I have thoughts.

If I start my own business it would not be actuarial at all…

1 Like


Feel free to start a thread in there, or I’ll do it tomorrow.

I will say though, when I was in a semi sales role, I had severe imposter syndrome, and felt completely overpaid and guilty for not doing much, and I didn’t really know what I was doing either, but I kept getting praised and I just couldn’t stand it anymore and had to get out of there.

There’s some level of comfort knowing what I’m supposed to do/being told what to do.

You need a very specific person for your scheme. Same type of insurance you are expert in, close to retirement (5 years or so?), also don’t assume he is close based on age, have the conversation, and he has a “sellable” book of business and name and you have the capital to buy his out

This can happen with smaller shop consulting firms as well. Multiple actuaries looking to buy out the company. The biggest problem I have seen is at the moment of retirement the parties agreeing on a cost for the business., which could be a problem for the singular shop.

Are you going to bring in your own business, or is the owner going to now have to pay you a living wage, lowering his income?

Oh, I totally agree! At this point it is a pipedream. But a guy can dream, right?

We’ve started a private group to talk about this kind of stuff. If anyone wants to join, let me know!

I’m interested

I did it for just over a year. Jacobson Solutuons got me a few gigs, a couple of AOers gave me some work as well and a broker that needed some reserve work for a few big clients hired me. Was just enough work to be comfortable (mortgage, child support, health insurance, car payment). You can also go to govt procurement sites to bid on jobs. That was a waste of time. It was scary as I didn’t have work for weeks sometimes.

I tried to partner with a LTC actuary to afford office space/equipment a little better. But I decided to go FT with an employer.

Jacobson was really cool. They’ll send you to an office, pay your room and board, give you a rental car, a per diem, and flights home and back periodically. I’d recommend doing this for sure.

The AOers weren’t health care actuaries, so when their client asked “can you also do stuff with our healthcare” they’d say Yes and send it to me. They’d take 10% off the top just for getting me the work.

My avatar is my consulting symbol btw. Southport Actuarial Solutions. I still have a few end of year reserve projects that take me about 4 hours to do each. Gives me enough to keep my FCA letters after my name, $ for crypto and Uber rides.


A long time ago we hired a consultant and it was through Jacobsen. I’d forgot about that, thank you!

1 Like