Cryonics Magazine, March-April 2012

I'm a little late in pointing out the latest issue of Cryonics, the magazine published by cryonics provider Alcor, is presently available as a PDF.

The March-April issue of Cryonics features an extensive treatment of protecting one's cryonics arrangements against inflation through life insurance. Insurance agent and Alcor member Rudi Hoffman makes the case for "superfunding" your cryonics arrangements to keep pace with the rising costs of advanced medical procedures. The author explains the differences between the major forms of life insurance (term life, whole life, universal life, etc.), gives advice on how to evaluate the various bells and whistles insurances companies offer, and provides guidance how to read those long policy illustrations. This issue continues the recent focus on identity-destroying brain disorders by offering an article by Alcor staff member Mike Perry about the latest developments in Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis. Alcor CEO Max More reports on the upcoming Alcor conference and both book reviews deal with the topic of immortality, albeit from a different perspective.

The main topic of the issue ties into the ongoing discussion on maintaining Alcor's reserve of funds at a sufficient level for the long term - which is essentially a battle against the predatory inflation produced by the self-serving actions of politicians and political appointees. The political class can be expected to create ever more money from nothing, continually reducing the value of money in circulation and savings accounts, because it is the most effective way to tax the masses - all other forms of taxation generate far more unrest, resistance, and non-compliance, and are thus much more self-limiting in the revenue they can generate.The battle against the inflation resulting from depreciation of the currency is fought by all entities that must tie contracts inked today to outlays required years from now:

As evidenced by recent exchanges on the Alcor Member Forums, our members have a wide variety of suggestions for how to close the substantial funding gap that has been produced by Alcor's practice to date of not raising cryopreservation minimums for existing members. If there is one area of strong agreement, however, it is that all members who are underfunded for today's cryopreservation minimums and who can afford to change or upgrade their life insurance, should do so. This will not just reduce Alcor's funding shortfall but it will also allow the member to secure new cryopreservation and storage technologies that cannot be offered without charging an additional amount. Surplus funding can also be allocated to a personal revival trust or to Alcor's hardship fund to help members with poor funding and/or challenges to pay annual dues.

The March-April issue of Cryonics magazine features an extensive review of life insurance options by Alcor member and life insurance agent Rudi Hoffman. Rudi introduces the topic by presenting the disturbing long-term effects of (medical) inflation. Not all of Alcor's services may be subject to the kind of cost increases we see in medicine but it is prudent to plan using conservative assumptions. After this sobering introduction, Rudi runs us through the various forms of life insurance, their pros and cons, and how to read those long, intimidating policy illustrations. We at Alcor hope that many of you will make efforts to update your cryonics funding to make it easier to solve the underfunding problem and to assist with the really hard cases.

Alcor has its cultural roots firmly in the non-profit world and mindset, as you can see from the above material. This is admirable, but would produce challenges in any organization that must have continuity over decades of serving the same customers. Prices must change to suit the times, and business models must take that into account.

It has occurred to me once or twice over the years that, setting aside the cultural history, an organization similar to Alcor might be best suited to growth and stability as a for-profit subsidiary of a large insurance company. Many of these challenges could be met by a strong relationship with a group that manages insurance and accounts with customers that span many years. In any case, this is another of the possible business models that has yet to be explored in cryonics - and is unlikely to be explored until such time as the industry grows larger.


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