Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

All topics about cryopreservation costs, membership dues, etc.
criley
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:34 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member
Location: US

Re: Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

Post by criley » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:46 pm

Hey TDK,
I agree. For something this important, I think a lot of people are willing to pay to support the costs involved in keeping Alcor going. I'd love to have it be $100/year and $10,000 in insurance - you'd get a lot of people to sign up, but the costs don't seem to be there yet and it would quickly fail. If the costs were available at that price point, I presume someone would start a competing company to offer it.

Some people can't afford it and go elsewhere because they want to "buy the lottery ticket" and can only afford so much. Personally, if I couldn't afford it, I'd earn the extra money on cashcrate, fiverr, elance, or any number of web sites out there that let you earn a few bucks a day doing something that you are good at or interested in, while taking a minimal amount of time. Or get a job at McDonalds for a few weeks a year. For me, that chance that is possible here is better than the 0% chance of doing nothing. I'm willing to spend some time to give it a shot.

And that is a good point about Alcor being transparent and sometimes that helps, and sometimes it doesn't. As has been said, Alcor has some fixed costs and without something to pay them, it will not survive. The open books lets everyone see the costs involved which leads to lots of second guessing as is natural.

All the best to you all.
TDK wrote:It also comes down to the fact that Alcor is still a business.

So is CI. They might be non-profit, but they are still just businesses offering services.

If you buy a Honda every 5 years, and pay $20,000, and they
raise their prices to $30,000, you can choose to pay the increase, or
you can buy a Kia or a Chevy, or some other brand. In those cases,
you don't even get to know why prices went up. Maybe it was poor
management, union problems, increase in parts prices, etc.

But you still have to evaluate the products that are available,
and make the best choice for you, based on your own finances.
Maybe Alcor wants to the the *premium* service, and charge
$10,000 per year membership fees. You just have to decide
if you are willing to pay that much more for the premium
service, or if you want to go with another provider.

They are aware of the problems with their business structure.
They are aware that members are not happy with the fee increases.
They are aware that they may lose some members due to that.
I actually think that the bigger problem is not losing members,
but people who are interested, not signing up with Alcor because
the yearly dues are too high. I know if I was shopping from scratch,
and didn't have a history with Alcor, and wasn't already signed up,
I would probably go with CI, just because the cost is much more
reasonable.

I really think some of Alcor's transparency, while very honest,
and very helpful, has made people get very angry about things,
that in many other businesses, you would never be privy to.

paulwakfer

Re: Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

Post by paulwakfer » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:42 pm

Here is additional information concerning our cryopreservation funding with
Alcor which has just been communicated to them.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Regarding Antonik & Wakfer Alcor Cryonics Funding
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 17:03:11 -0400
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer <kitty@...>
Organization: MoreLife
To: Max More, Brian Wowk, Ralph Merkle, Michael Riskin
[Email addresses removed to prevent spam]
CC: Paul Wakfer <paul@...>


To the Alcor CEO and above addressed Directors,

The following information is outside that available directly by Alcor
(via Michael Riskin and Mike Perry) to my Vanguard Variable Annuities
accounts # xxxxxxxxx and #xxxxxxxxx

I rolled over my 401K to a Vanguard IRA set of mutual funds last year
and have now indicated Alcor as 50% secondary beneficiary, the primary
beneficiary being "the person to whom I am married at the time of my
death". See attachment. The current balance of that account as of
9/19/2012 is $134,373.30

In addition in case Alcor has not recently made use of its online access
to view my accounts, the two annuity accounts' current balances as of
9/19/2012 covering my and Paul's cryopreservation funding are:
$71,140.27 (#xxxxxxxxx David Paul Wakfer annuitant; Alcor Primary
Beneficiary)
$70,611.64 (#xxxxxxxxx Katherine Antonik annuitant; Alcor Primary
Beneficiary)

Please recall that each of these variable annuities have a *premium
value* of $50,000 for each account, which is the insured and guaranteed
death benefit payout to the beneficiary even if the market value has
dropped below that amount.

**Kitty

--
**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
The Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Self-sovereignty, rational pursuit of optimal lifetime happiness,
individual responsibility, social preferencing& social contracting
------- End of message -----------
Last edited by paulwakfer on Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

criley
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:34 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member
Location: US

Re: Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

Post by criley » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:50 pm

Interesting. I hope that Alcor becomes more interested in alternative and various combinations for funding so that people could do something like you seem to be attempting to do. For example, combining insurance, annuities etc.

I suspect that changes like that will not be instant, but I think that it is useful to have them available.

paulwakfer wrote:Here is additional information concerning our cryopreservation funding with
Alcor which has just been communicated to them.

paulwakfer

Re: Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

Post by paulwakfer » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:26 pm

cr1776 wrote:Interesting. I hope that Alcor becomes more interested in alternative and various combinations for funding so that people could do something like you seem to be attempting to do. For example, combining insurance, annuities etc.]
Thanks for your response.
I just want to make it clear that we do not have any insurance at all as such. We have a kind of annuity the initial principal of which is insured. As far as I know this is only available through Vanguard (at least at anything near their low fees) and, yes, it was quite an effort to get Alcor to accept this funding, taking just short of a full year of back and forth effort starting with a variation of the final agreed result.

The addition of Alcor as a 50% secondary beneficiary of our other major Vanguard account is but the first of such changes (and was done first because it was the easiest) that we will be making (as I stated in my original message to them). Perhaps it is also relevant to state that the other 50% of those funds will go to the currently one person who is our totally trusted Patient Advocate, so that funding will also be used to ensure our cryopreservations and their continuation if necessary.

We have direct primary and secondary beneficiary direction available on some of our other investment accounts with other companies which we plan one by one to direct to Alcor. Neither of us have any relatives or friends to whom we wish to leave any substantial money - merely enough to avoid legal action against our wills (except for the above mentioned person who will become our Patient Advocate).

criley
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:34 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member
Location: US

Re: Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

Post by criley » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:42 am

Have you considered a secondary patient advocate or giving the current PA the ability to appoint a successor? It is helpful to do so in the case of trustees and here too I believe so that if the PA has an accident it is not up to a Judge or someone else to decide.

Perhaps there is a market for a "patient advocate" service whereby you could leave the 50% to an entity - charitable entity, law firm, or something that has a continuing existence as compared to a person. Keeping it low cost like Vanguard is important too. This would ensure continued advocacy for initial suspension, continued suspension, and eventual revival.

paulwakfer wrote:...
The addition of Alcor as a 50% secondary beneficiary of our other major Vanguard account is but the first of such changes (and was done first because it was the easiest) that we will be making (as I stated in my original message to them). Perhaps it is also relevant to state that the other 50% of those funds will go to the currently one person who is our totally trusted Patient Advocate, so that funding will also be used to ensure our cryopreservations and their continuation if necessary.
...

paulwakfer

Re: Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

Post by paulwakfer » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:13 pm

cr1776 wrote:Have you considered a secondary patient advocate or giving the current PA the ability to appoint a successor? It is helpful to do so in the case of trustees and here too I believe so that if the PA has an accident it is not up to a Judge or someone else to decide.

Perhaps there is a market for a "patient advocate" service whereby you could leave the 50% to an entity - charitable entity, law firm, or something that has a continuing existence as compared to a person. Keeping it low cost like Vanguard is important too. This would ensure continued advocacy for initial suspension, continued suspension, and eventual revival.
I have addressed the concept of Patient Advocate before on these forums, but I guess that you missed it. Most importantly right off the Patient Advocate is not one person but rather an elaborate contractual perpetual trust arrangement created about 15 years ago mostly by me with some thoughts from Bob Krueger when we were both with CryoCare (which was much more open to new ideas, having been created by such open-minded people mostly at that time disenchanted with Alcor). Naturally, since one may be in a state of cryopreservation for 100s of years before restoration, the Patient Advocate document has arrangements for ensuring its own continuation as long as necessary to the extent any such assurance is possible. If at some point no individuals can be found to carry it on, then all its assets will revert to the then current organization holding the funds that are maintaining the cryopreservation of the patient. The 50% was currently just a simple decision and may well be adjusted in the future. The general idea is that the individuals who make up the Patient Advocate (our preference was three) are trusted cryonicists who have high regard for the patient involved, know each other well and will seek other such people to continue the Patient Advocate purposes. These people are not expected to do this as charity, but are paid a small yearly stipend from the funds held by the Patient Advocate. The purpose of the Patient Advocate is, very simply, "to help The Member to achieve his/her goal of restoration to life and health at some time in the future by acting on his/her behalf with reference to [current cryonics organization] after The Member's legal death and cryopreservation". The Patient Advocate is essentially the continuation of the patient's wishes after his/her cryopreservation as much as those wishes can be known relative to any future decision affecting him/her. This was to be a three-way contract, between the enrolled cryopreservation Member (and future patient), the cryonics organization holding the cryopreservation maintenance funds and the members of the Patient Advocate, but I think that it could also work without the direct approval and participation of the cryonics organization, which is my plan since I find Alcor current management and board of directors to be so intransigent.

criley
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:34 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member
Location: US

Re: Why we are not quitting, but Alcor refuses our terms

Post by criley » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:02 am

Marco wrote:I would be most grateful if someone could explain to me how we can expect an organization like Alcor to be solvent enough to "be there" for us when we die if there is no steady, predictable dues income.
Hi Marco,
I was re-reading what you said and had another comment on this because you make a good point - there are a number of businesses that charge an annual membership or dues income and then charge extra for the service. A country club is a good example - one pays their annual fees no matter what, whether one uses the facilities or not. This keeps them maintained, updated, and ready for you when you want them. Only when one goes to dinner, plays a round of golf, or plays a game of tennis does one pay for the extra services.

Alcor is like the country club, social club, yacht club, or some fitness clubs (e.g. for classes) - you pay an annual fee to keep the business going as a membership fee and to give you the right to have access to the services. Then when you pay for the services as you use them. (There are other examples that are similar such as the National Trust in the UK, the FOP etc.)

I sympathize with everyone who is having trouble with the fee increases, and also hope they decrease - who wants to pay more now? However, as a personal decision I am willing to pay it to help Alcor for the future. If Alcor was doing 10 stabilizations a month, I think things would be completely different financially, but it is not yet there.

Chris

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