Life insurance for Cryonics, how many years?

post by roland · 2014-05-23T17:15:00.242Z · score: 4 (9 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 12 comments

Hello,

 

one question that I don't see answered is what is the duration of your life insurance? Should I buy life insurance for 20,30 years or unlimited?

I could pay more for a longer life insurance or pay less for an insurance that will cover 20 years and invest the difference and then some so that by the end of 20 years I will *hopefully* have enough money to pay for cryonics out of my own pocket.

Has anyone done an analysis on that?

 

12 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by James_Miller · 2014-05-23T17:51:37.493Z · score: 21 (21 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Get whole life insurance. You want to insure against the possibility that, say, next year you will get sick, not die, not be able to work, but face very high prices for extra life insurance because of your illness. Also, dangers of relying on saving enough money so in 20 years you can pay for cryonics out of pocket include having a spouse making claims on the savings, legally needing to spend the money on health care expenditures (if, say, you are in a nursing home), losing the money in a lawsuit, or having the government tax away much of the savings.

I have whole life for cryonics + term life to provide for my young son for whom my death would be much worse financially if it happens before he becomes an adult + disability insurance. I'm an economist.

comment by RomeoStevens · 2014-05-24T07:39:18.325Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, I have the numbers courtesy of Colby Davis and I am supposed to turn the analysis into a LW post but have been busy. I can probably get that up within a few days.

comment by Metus · 2014-05-24T18:17:16.714Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Please do so.

comment by diegocaleiro · 2014-05-24T23:02:22.461Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If your objective is to live forever, you may want to consider the possibility that plastination or some other alternative to cryonics that has a different price will show up in the future, and plan you finances accordingly. You could also donate part of the proceedings for CSER or the new X-risk Tegmark institute so that you still have an incentive for it even while your future mind is shifting aruond regarding cryonics.

comment by JGWeissman · 2014-05-23T17:37:44.901Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I use whole life insurance. If you use term insurance, you should have a solid plan for an alternate funding source to replace your insurance at the end of the term.

I believe the Efficient Market Hypothesis is correct enough that reliably getting good results from buying term insurance and investing the premium difference would be a lot of work if possible at all.

comment by brazil84 · 2014-05-25T22:44:48.146Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There's a pretty good chance that in 10 years, you will have a good deal more information about the efficacy of cryonics; the best options; and/or your personal financial situation. So there's something to be said for buying a 20 year level policy and reevaluating things half-way through.

Yes, you are taking the risk that during the next 10 years you will become uninsurable and unable to earn the necessary money to save for 10 years and pay out of pocket. But I would guess this is a pretty small risk compared to the other risks you face, for example the risk of dying in such a way that cryonics is unable to preserve you.

FWIW I carry a good deal of term insurance; no whole life insurance; and am not signed up with Alcor or anyone else. I am very much taking a "wait and see" approach, which I realize is less conservative than signing up now and doing it with whole life insurance.

comment by khafra · 2014-05-27T17:35:31.201Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Your chances of dying before middle age are relatively small. Your chances of dying in a way that renders your brain preservable, before middle age, are astronomically small. Thus, although whole life costs around 2^3 as much as term, whole life provides something around 2^8 the benefit.

comment by brazil84 · 2014-05-29T08:52:09.832Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well that assumes that you do nothing to fund cryonics but purchase life insurance, right? And it also assumes that the economics of cryonics are basically static, right?

comment by Dagon · 2014-05-27T09:14:24.842Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would guess this is a pretty small risk compared to the other risks

Keep in mind that the risk of dying in an unrecoverable way and the risk of becoming uninsurable and destitute are fairly independent (actually, they're negatively correlated: they can't both happen!). As such, it doesn't matter which is bigger or how they compare to each other. Each should be evaluated and addressed separately.

comment by brazil84 · 2014-05-27T13:30:45.155Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Keep in mind that the risk of dying in an unrecoverable way and the risk of becoming uninsurable and destitute are fairly independent (actually, they're negatively correlated: they can't both happen!). As such, it doesn't matter which is bigger or how they compare to each other. Each should be evaluated and addressed separately.

I am inclined to disagree with this. For example, let's suppose it would cost me $2,000 to sign up for cryonics with a 99% chance of success and $3,000 to sign up for cryonics with a 100% chance of success. I wold probably take the second option. On the other hand, if the $2,000 option gave me a 25% chance of success and the $3000 option gave me a 26% chance of success, I would probably take the first.

Is that irrational? Am I committing some kind of fallacy here? Are my choices logically inconsistent? Which would you choose?

comment by Dagon · 2014-05-27T14:06:08.192Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Maybe the "separately" should be removed from my comment. Each risk should be considered, whether together or separately. It's not an either/or choice, it's a both are real situation.

Yes, that set of choices is irrational. If a 1% chance of irreversible death is worth more than $1000 for you to prevent, that's true regardless of your base chance.

comment by brazil84 · 2014-05-29T08:49:26.016Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, that set of choices is irrational. If a 1% chance of irreversible death is worth more than $1000 for you to prevent, that's true regardless of your base chance

Why does that make it irrational? Why is it irrational that the amount of risk you are already facing can and should affect the amount you are willing to pay to avoid further risk?

Or to put it in more formal terms, why is it irrational to have a non-linear utility function?