6: Life Insurance and Minimums
I now come to the specific example of underfunding, by which I mean
members whose funding was sufficient for the cryopreservation minimum
when they signed up orginally, but is no longer sufficient for the
minimum that is required today. Such people remain eligible for
cryopreservation at Alcor because they have been "grandfathered in."
Grandfathering has never been an official Alcor policy, but has always
been allowed as an unofficial policy.
Of course, people realized that since the cost of cryopreservation
would tend to increase with time, the insurance would lose value
relative to the service it was supposed to buy. But to a 25-year-old
activist grappling with everyday challenges associated with running a
small undercapitalized company, death must have seemed a remote
prospect, decades away. Before then, no doubt, some key event would
change the public perception of cryonics. The concept was so obvious,
it was--well, too important to fail! Members would come flooding in,
and no one would be worrying about money anymore.
As Alcor started accepting more members, there was a conscience-driven
move to encourage the newcomers to buy more than the minimum life
insurance. "Twice the minimum" was sometimes suggested as a safe hedge
against inflation. Was this multiple based on a calculation of the
likely cost increase of procedures during the member's likely
lifetime? I don't think so. In fact, so far as I can tell, that
calculation was never performed until the 1990s, when an Alcor member
named Eric Klien did the math and started posting messages about it on
CryoNet. Klien showed beyond any doubt that doubling the minimum would
not be sufficient if (a) a member was likely to live for another 40 or
50 years and (b) the cost of cryopreservation was likely to grow by a
modest annual inflation rate.
No one could prove Klien wrong, but his message was not welcome, and
Alcor did not revise its policies. No one wanted to increase minimums
unduly, because this would discourage people from joining.
This is outrageous and might be construed as fraud⁄... since I personally was never led to think this through thoroughly... I SHOULD have been told to buy at least a half million in insurance as early in life as possible...as SHOULD new comers today!!!-- end of comment
wanted to discard the unofficial policy of "grandfathering" members
because this might cause people to leave Alcor and go elsewhere.
Either of these eventualities would conflict with the sacrosanct
desire for growth. But the costs associated with cryopreservation went
up by around 3 to 4 percent per year, on average, and funding minimums
Financial planner Rudi Hoffman,
who arranged insurance funding for many prospective Alcor members
during that period, believes that most of those who opted for
neuropreservation obtained insurance policies for $100,000--that is,
double the minimum
This is why I conclude that at least 250 of Alcor's current members
are now probably underfunded.
The members who are overfunded will help to compensate for those who
MY COMMENT... NOT TRUE!!!!... the members CPlatt sees as overfunded are STILL underfunded with respect to their own insurance 80 years from now if they're currently 20 or whatever timeline they face in terms of lifespan. eoc
were periodically increased to cover these costs. Consequently, more
and more members became underfunded, especially when funding minimums
were increased substantially in 2005.
Second, even if the overfunding cancels out the
underfunding currently, it cannot be sufficient to compensate for it
for the indefinite future, as funding minimums will probably continue
My comment.. TRUE!!!
When I signed up, so far as I remember, the neuropreservation minimum
was $35,000 and the annual membership dues were $199. I obtained whole
life insurance for around $500 per year, and thus for less than $2 per
day I enjoyed the smug illusion that I had solved the annoying little
problem of human mortality. Just like that.
My comment-- It could be construed as INTENTIONAL fraud for Alcor to NOT publish this CPlatt article!!!! --- they had better watch out... because I can attest to everything CPlatt wrote here... and I'm horrified with my discovery of my delusion... and mistake... Now Alcor STOPPED ITS PRINTING OF THE MAGAZINE... and makes it nearly impossible to get it online... by charging for it.. and putting it in a rediculous online page turning analog book format instead of a free PDF file I can print out.
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