"in good shape"

"in good shape"

Joined: September 24th, 2005, 6:53 pm

November 20th, 2010, 5:18 pm #1

In Alcor News dated November 12 I ran across the following astonishing statement:

"Recommendation #1: Provide Alcor with funding well in excess of current cryopreservation minimums at all times.
If you already have a life insurance policy with a death benefit that exceeds the existing cryopreservation minimum, you are in good shape."

Not long ago, on CryoNet, I posted text that I had written for Cryonics magazine (rejected by the magazine's supervisory board) which discussed the problem of excessive optimism and its financial consequences. In a previous article, which did make it into Cryonics magazine (before the supervisory board had been formed to block such material), I estimated that an inflation rate averaging around 4 percent per year could mean that someone who signs up around age 30, making provision for minimum funding, and lives another 40 or 50 years, could find that by his time of death, his funding will cover as little as 20 percent of the minimum for cryopreservation that will apply at that time.

Let us assume that the staff and directors of Alcor read their own magazine. In that case, how is it possible that a statement such as the one above can be circulated to members? "You are in good shape" if your funding arrangement exceeds the existing minimum--by any unspecified amount? This is nonsense. How much should the excess be? How would such a figure be calculated? What are the assumptions underlying such a calculation? Would the desirable excess be age-related? Such questions are fundamental, but they remain unanswered.

I had been under the impression that Alcor was getting ready to rationalize its membership dues and cryopreservation minimums, and its grandfathering policy. But Alcor News of November 12 is an embarrassing exercise in semantic contortions, as the organization sort-of tries to warn its members that there may be some problems, without actually admitting how serious they are--even though these same problems have already been communicated to the membership in Alcor's own magazine!
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

November 20th, 2010, 11:43 pm #2

ever heard of deflation? Ever heard of inflation less than 4 percent? Over the long term, things even out. Also, where do dues play into this?
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

November 21st, 2010, 4:37 am #3

In Alcor News dated November 12 I ran across the following astonishing statement:

"Recommendation #1: Provide Alcor with funding well in excess of current cryopreservation minimums at all times.
If you already have a life insurance policy with a death benefit that exceeds the existing cryopreservation minimum, you are in good shape."

Not long ago, on CryoNet, I posted text that I had written for Cryonics magazine (rejected by the magazine's supervisory board) which discussed the problem of excessive optimism and its financial consequences. In a previous article, which did make it into Cryonics magazine (before the supervisory board had been formed to block such material), I estimated that an inflation rate averaging around 4 percent per year could mean that someone who signs up around age 30, making provision for minimum funding, and lives another 40 or 50 years, could find that by his time of death, his funding will cover as little as 20 percent of the minimum for cryopreservation that will apply at that time.

Let us assume that the staff and directors of Alcor read their own magazine. In that case, how is it possible that a statement such as the one above can be circulated to members? "You are in good shape" if your funding arrangement exceeds the existing minimum--by any unspecified amount? This is nonsense. How much should the excess be? How would such a figure be calculated? What are the assumptions underlying such a calculation? Would the desirable excess be age-related? Such questions are fundamental, but they remain unanswered.

I had been under the impression that Alcor was getting ready to rationalize its membership dues and cryopreservation minimums, and its grandfathering policy. But Alcor News of November 12 is an embarrassing exercise in semantic contortions, as the organization sort-of tries to warn its members that there may be some problems, without actually admitting how serious they are--even though these same problems have already been communicated to the membership in Alcor's own magazine!
This, of course, is an ethical dilemma for the individualist purist who went all his life thinking in the abstract, until confronted with a real problem - his own Grandpa. Thought he had it made, well covered. Unusual medical expenses robbed his fortune and made him destitute. Now Grandson ponders "Should I Grandfather this person?"

That, tongue in cheek, touches on what Alcor just did: Disowned its own grandfathers, now and into the future. These persons have/had no better idea how much money was/would be needed to secure their "optimal suspension" than the Grandpa mentioned above did before soon needing some support and care from a descendant. If there was a magic amount for that, BTW, Alcor never told him what it was!

4%? Nah. You can't know. It could be much worse than that, or OTOH no problem at all. So what is Alcor's advice on how many $$$ to have funded? Here it is, which Executor Director Jennifer gleefully quotes from the "contract": "It is the responsibility of the Member to exercise his/her best judgment as to what constitutes adequate provision of resources to achieve successful cryopreservation and storage."

In the blog article, she further punctuates it with this statement of unhelpful criteria: "To help ensure optimal procedures will be available at time of cryopreservation, Alcor members are encouraged to plan for future increases in cryopreservation funding requirements in accordance with their life expectancy. In short, if you are not funded at or above current cryopreservation minimums at the time of death, you may not receive an optimum cryopreservation."

That was indeed a bit short in content. And it is, um, how many billion $$?

Just wondering,

Finance Department
(who also wonders which board member wrote the article for Jennifer)
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

November 21st, 2010, 12:11 pm #4

In Alcor News dated November 12 I ran across the following astonishing statement:

"Recommendation #1: Provide Alcor with funding well in excess of current cryopreservation minimums at all times.
If you already have a life insurance policy with a death benefit that exceeds the existing cryopreservation minimum, you are in good shape."

Not long ago, on CryoNet, I posted text that I had written for Cryonics magazine (rejected by the magazine's supervisory board) which discussed the problem of excessive optimism and its financial consequences. In a previous article, which did make it into Cryonics magazine (before the supervisory board had been formed to block such material), I estimated that an inflation rate averaging around 4 percent per year could mean that someone who signs up around age 30, making provision for minimum funding, and lives another 40 or 50 years, could find that by his time of death, his funding will cover as little as 20 percent of the minimum for cryopreservation that will apply at that time.

Let us assume that the staff and directors of Alcor read their own magazine. In that case, how is it possible that a statement such as the one above can be circulated to members? "You are in good shape" if your funding arrangement exceeds the existing minimum--by any unspecified amount? This is nonsense. How much should the excess be? How would such a figure be calculated? What are the assumptions underlying such a calculation? Would the desirable excess be age-related? Such questions are fundamental, but they remain unanswered.

I had been under the impression that Alcor was getting ready to rationalize its membership dues and cryopreservation minimums, and its grandfathering policy. But Alcor News of November 12 is an embarrassing exercise in semantic contortions, as the organization sort-of tries to warn its members that there may be some problems, without actually admitting how serious they are--even though these same problems have already been communicated to the membership in Alcor's own magazine!
Rich cryonicists will just have to cover alcor on any funding shortfalls. THat is just the reality of it.

that is the only way the rich people can have a chance of ever being cryopreserved. Even the rich need us poor folks to help them make it to the future. They need us. And so they will have to help alcor and other cryo orgs make it, too, or else they will have no chance at the future.

I think the rich cryo recognize this. And they accept this.

I think however that the uber-libertarian cryos do not accept this fact. It must really gripe their guts to think that their hard-earned/inherited money will have to go to help others.

Libertarians, what a laugh.
I think that Libertarianism in a person of advanced age could well be a sign of some sort of severe personality disorder. I mean, it is one thing to be a libertarian at age 30. Hey, I gotta confess I was one at that age, too. But to be one at age 50? Time to put away childish things, dude....
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Joined: September 24th, 2005, 6:53 pm

November 21st, 2010, 3:20 pm #5


Unperson: Inflation may turn out to be less than 4 percent but historically the Alcor cryopreservation minimum, and almost certainly the costs for cryopreservation, have increased between 3 and 4 percent per year. What better way is there to guess at future increases? Do you have a suggestion? I am old enough to have lived through a period in the US when inflation was closer to 20 percent.

The point is, by naming a minimum now for a procedure that may not occur for at least another 50 years, Alcor is gambling on the future in a way which would be inconceivable in any other business. The recent Alcor News statement tries to shift the gamble to the client, basically saying, "You figure it out, and if you're wrong, you won't necessarily be well preserved." This is not what I call a solution to the problem. It is a retreat from the responsibility which the organization accepted when it first created this payment method. This is compounded by suggesting that if a member has more funding than the current minimum, he or she is "in good shape." This is a meaningless and misleading statement.

As for those rich cryonicsts, I guess you didn't read my article. Donations don't necessarily increase in ratio with membership. By far the most generous support in the past decade has come from Life Extension Foundation. I have good reasons to believe that LEF will not increase its support in proportion with membership increases. Your suggestion that "Rich cryonicists will just have to cover alcor on any funding shortfalls" is one that I classify under the general heading, "Cryonics is too important to fail." But nothing is too important to fail.

An organization offering a chance at future life has an obligation to do careful financial planning. Counting on rich people to make donations when the organization runs out of money is not financial planning. Stating a "minimum" funding level now for a procedure that may be performed half a century from now is not financial planning.

The fundamental basis on which Alcor (and CI) have established their businesses, using life insurance as the primary method for covering future unknown and unknowable costs, would not be acceptable in any other business. It has been acceptable in cryonics because there was no other way for early enthusiasts to make payment arrangements, and cryonicists tend to be extremely optimistic about the future.

Optimism is important, to sustain a small organization.

Blind optimism based on wishful thinking is a liability.
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Joined: October 6th, 2004, 6:46 pm

November 21st, 2010, 3:53 pm #6

This, of course, is an ethical dilemma for the individualist purist who went all his life thinking in the abstract, until confronted with a real problem - his own Grandpa. Thought he had it made, well covered. Unusual medical expenses robbed his fortune and made him destitute. Now Grandson ponders "Should I Grandfather this person?"

That, tongue in cheek, touches on what Alcor just did: Disowned its own grandfathers, now and into the future. These persons have/had no better idea how much money was/would be needed to secure their "optimal suspension" than the Grandpa mentioned above did before soon needing some support and care from a descendant. If there was a magic amount for that, BTW, Alcor never told him what it was!

4%? Nah. You can't know. It could be much worse than that, or OTOH no problem at all. So what is Alcor's advice on how many $$$ to have funded? Here it is, which Executor Director Jennifer gleefully quotes from the "contract": "It is the responsibility of the Member to exercise his/her best judgment as to what constitutes adequate provision of resources to achieve successful cryopreservation and storage."

In the blog article, she further punctuates it with this statement of unhelpful criteria: "To help ensure optimal procedures will be available at time of cryopreservation, Alcor members are encouraged to plan for future increases in cryopreservation funding requirements in accordance with their life expectancy. In short, if you are not funded at or above current cryopreservation minimums at the time of death, you may not receive an optimum cryopreservation."

That was indeed a bit short in content. And it is, um, how many billion $$?

Just wondering,

Finance Department
(who also wonders which board member wrote the article for Jennifer)
Good comment (nm)
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

November 21st, 2010, 9:20 pm #7

In Alcor News dated November 12 I ran across the following astonishing statement:

"Recommendation #1: Provide Alcor with funding well in excess of current cryopreservation minimums at all times.
If you already have a life insurance policy with a death benefit that exceeds the existing cryopreservation minimum, you are in good shape."

Not long ago, on CryoNet, I posted text that I had written for Cryonics magazine (rejected by the magazine's supervisory board) which discussed the problem of excessive optimism and its financial consequences. In a previous article, which did make it into Cryonics magazine (before the supervisory board had been formed to block such material), I estimated that an inflation rate averaging around 4 percent per year could mean that someone who signs up around age 30, making provision for minimum funding, and lives another 40 or 50 years, could find that by his time of death, his funding will cover as little as 20 percent of the minimum for cryopreservation that will apply at that time.

Let us assume that the staff and directors of Alcor read their own magazine. In that case, how is it possible that a statement such as the one above can be circulated to members? "You are in good shape" if your funding arrangement exceeds the existing minimum--by any unspecified amount? This is nonsense. How much should the excess be? How would such a figure be calculated? What are the assumptions underlying such a calculation? Would the desirable excess be age-related? Such questions are fundamental, but they remain unanswered.

I had been under the impression that Alcor was getting ready to rationalize its membership dues and cryopreservation minimums, and its grandfathering policy. But Alcor News of November 12 is an embarrassing exercise in semantic contortions, as the organization sort-of tries to warn its members that there may be some problems, without actually admitting how serious they are--even though these same problems have already been communicated to the membership in Alcor's own magazine!
Starting with Alcor's recently raised fee of $200,000, at the end of

Year 1 = $208,000
Year 5 = $243,331
Year 10 = $296,049
Year 15 = $360,189
Year 20 = $438,225
Year 30 = $648,680
Year 40 = $960,204
Year 50 = $1,421,337
Year 60 = $2,103,925
Year 70 = $3,114,324
Year 80 = $4,609,960
Year 90 = $6,823,867

If 90 years seems a stretch, consider a 20 year old person who first joins Alcor and expects to become a super-centenarian.

Now, what does the prudent Alcor "member" do with the above information? Simple. Follow Jennifer's (or somebody's) advice: "Alcor members are encouraged to plan for future increases in cryopreservation funding requirements in accordance with their life expectancy."

So, suppose you are 70, and conservatively expect to live 20 more years to age 90. With the ever-willing assistance of Rudi, some years back you took out a $200,000 life insurance policy. Alas, you are $238,225 short of Alcor's mininum funding requirement 20 years from now. Due to age and some limiting but non-life threatening health conditions, you are uninsurable for a higher amount. Your remaining life savings are about 10% of that amount. Working to make up the shortfall is not a solution as you already have a job to supplement the $800/month you get from Social Security. For purposes of this example, you see no way at all to get the "optimal cryopreservation".

Quitting Alcor seems to be a solution.

Cheers,

FD
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

November 21st, 2010, 9:21 pm #8

In Alcor News dated November 12 I ran across the following astonishing statement:

"Recommendation #1: Provide Alcor with funding well in excess of current cryopreservation minimums at all times.
If you already have a life insurance policy with a death benefit that exceeds the existing cryopreservation minimum, you are in good shape."

Not long ago, on CryoNet, I posted text that I had written for Cryonics magazine (rejected by the magazine's supervisory board) which discussed the problem of excessive optimism and its financial consequences. In a previous article, which did make it into Cryonics magazine (before the supervisory board had been formed to block such material), I estimated that an inflation rate averaging around 4 percent per year could mean that someone who signs up around age 30, making provision for minimum funding, and lives another 40 or 50 years, could find that by his time of death, his funding will cover as little as 20 percent of the minimum for cryopreservation that will apply at that time.

Let us assume that the staff and directors of Alcor read their own magazine. In that case, how is it possible that a statement such as the one above can be circulated to members? "You are in good shape" if your funding arrangement exceeds the existing minimum--by any unspecified amount? This is nonsense. How much should the excess be? How would such a figure be calculated? What are the assumptions underlying such a calculation? Would the desirable excess be age-related? Such questions are fundamental, but they remain unanswered.

I had been under the impression that Alcor was getting ready to rationalize its membership dues and cryopreservation minimums, and its grandfathering policy. But Alcor News of November 12 is an embarrassing exercise in semantic contortions, as the organization sort-of tries to warn its members that there may be some problems, without actually admitting how serious they are--even though these same problems have already been communicated to the membership in Alcor's own magazine!
Also relating to this thread about the cost of cryonics at Alcor, is the matter of so-called cryonic advancements. In recent decades, cryonics has spawned numerous side-ventures, most funded by vitamin entrepreneurs Bill Faloon and Saul Kent. One of those in particular some years back produced a chemical called "M-22" which Alcor (with 2 of said company's principals on its board!) adopted early as its cryopres chemical of choice.

Said M-22, alas, carried and carries a "big buck" price. Obviously the lesser-endowed "members" needing cryopres service will be "out in the cold" when it comes time to get frozen. Brrrr.... Do you suppose they will be able to opt instead for the less-pricey chem CI uses? Would be great if they could be asked: "Lift one finger if you say yes." Slowness to respond of such already very cold folks, would obviously spell their doom, unless they made necessary changes of their arrangements in advance.

Cheers,

FD
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Joined: October 6th, 2004, 6:46 pm

November 21st, 2010, 10:29 pm #9

Starting with Alcor's recently raised fee of $200,000, at the end of

Year 1 = $208,000
Year 5 = $243,331
Year 10 = $296,049
Year 15 = $360,189
Year 20 = $438,225
Year 30 = $648,680
Year 40 = $960,204
Year 50 = $1,421,337
Year 60 = $2,103,925
Year 70 = $3,114,324
Year 80 = $4,609,960
Year 90 = $6,823,867

If 90 years seems a stretch, consider a 20 year old person who first joins Alcor and expects to become a super-centenarian.

Now, what does the prudent Alcor "member" do with the above information? Simple. Follow Jennifer's (or somebody's) advice: "Alcor members are encouraged to plan for future increases in cryopreservation funding requirements in accordance with their life expectancy."

So, suppose you are 70, and conservatively expect to live 20 more years to age 90. With the ever-willing assistance of Rudi, some years back you took out a $200,000 life insurance policy. Alas, you are $238,225 short of Alcor's mininum funding requirement 20 years from now. Due to age and some limiting but non-life threatening health conditions, you are uninsurable for a higher amount. Your remaining life savings are about 10% of that amount. Working to make up the shortfall is not a solution as you already have a job to supplement the $800/month you get from Social Security. For purposes of this example, you see no way at all to get the "optimal cryopreservation".

Quitting Alcor seems to be a solution.

Cheers,

FD
today's preservation rate for a preservation sometime in the future. Would that fly? Seems like a good savings...
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

November 21st, 2010, 11:28 pm #10

<img src="http://imgur.com/lpMs8.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" />
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