Date: 26 Apr 95 23:20:31 EDT
From: Jim Davidson <>
Subject: The finances of signing up

Mr. Brook Norton makes an interesting point about his finances and the
opportunity cost of signing up sooner rather than later.  While no one is in a
position to better analyze his finances than he, and while I certainly don't
want my message to be interpreted as financial advice to him, there is a point
he left out.

> I can only marginally afford to sign up now.  By signing up now,
I would not be able to invest that money in an interest bearing account, and so
would, to some degree, lower my odds of having enough money later in life when
I will more likely need cryonics services.<

What he leaves out here is that as time goes on it becomes harder to obtain
insurance to cover the cost of cryonic suspension.  In our thirties, we are
qualified for very good rates since the mortality tables are quite favorable to
the insurance company.  (They still beat the hell out of us on this bet -- any
Vegas casino that tried the same pricing for the same risk/reward would be
violating the gaming laws of Nevada.)  As we get older, though we sometimes come
up with more money through added wisdom or improved nefariousness, we greatly
increase our cost for getting signed up.  That needs to be factored into the
equation as the financial analysis is performed by the qualified person.

It is also important to note Thomas Donaldson's example:  He was in good health
when he signed up and was able to purchase insurance at reasonable rates.
Fifteen years later he may have gotten wealthier, but he definitely got no
healthier.  With his brain tumor, it is doubtful he could buy insurance at any
price.  Did he get wealthier _enough_ to be able to afford the cost as a
straight pay-on-departure proposition?  Mayhap.  But it ain't bettin' odds for
most of us.

So signing up has a measurable financial cost.  The measurable opportunity cost
of not sinking that money into interest-bearing securities needs to be weighed
carefully against the also measurable cost of waiting for higher insurance rates
as you age.  These measurements also have to be considered in light of the
unmeasurable and only mildly predictable possibility that you'll get some
incurable or rarely cured condition and have no chance for insurance at all.

Finally, while I admire Mr. Norton's thoughts on signing up to impress his
family and increase their confidence and chances of signing up, it isn't very
objective.  Living forever is a choice for each individual to make.  It is
inevitable that in making this choice, you accept that some of your loved ones,
friends, and many of your acquaintances will not make this choice.  So you must
make the choice for yourself, not for others.  You are the only person who can
save your life.  Each of them is responsible for his own fate.  So, do for
yourself, while you can.


The e-mail message above was presumably directed at some discussion list or USEnet newsgroup on the date indicated. It is from my very old Compuserve account, well before AOL ate C$. If you aren't interested in cryonics as a potential alternative in the pursuit of longevity, there are one or two interesting points in this message regarding the evolution of some of my thought processes. The "choose for yourself" motif was present in this e-mail fully four years before the Wachowski Brothers epic "The Matrix" was released.

There are certainly thousands of e-mail messages, including any number of posts to various discussions lists from this particular account. It might be enlightening to search the old USEnet archives for some of them. Going back further, there was an MCI-mail account that I used while working for First Chicago National Bank and its subsidiary First Chicago National Processing out of mid-town NYC and Secaucus, NJ 1983-85. I certainly posted a few messages to on USEnet as early as 1983 from that account. Somewhere in the depths of archival media may be some record of my first e-mail back in 1978 or so whilst at LHS.

Galactic I trademark Jim Davidson
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