Oct 17

Query regarding Southern Cryonics investor membership

I recently received a good question about Southern Cryonics investor membership and thought I would post it here.  I have edited a little for readability.  It may be something others are asking.


I note that you are looking for further “investors”. I am in a position to contribute $50K but would need to feel pretty secure before committing the funds. Does the $50K also include transport and standby?

If you are able, please provide as much information as possible and any legal documents that I may need to complete. As you advised earlier the cost of building the facility was underestimated. What guarantees can you give that the facility will be built this time round? If it isn’t is the money returned? Can you also discuss how Southern Cryonics will ensure its longevity. Many businesses falter after years or decades so this is another concern.

I replied:

Thanks for your note.  Yes, we are still looking for investors.  We are tackling the project very prudently and want to be as sure as we can of its success.  I may have written previously that my background is in long term planning, strategic planning, financial planning and major project “hands on” implementation.

Let me try to answer your questions and , as I hope I always am, be very straightforward.

Firstly, let me say there are no guarantees.    As I have informed all our investors this is similar to a business venture.  There is always some risk.  You will need to measure the risk versus the benefits.  I have my own money involved and feel very responsible to the investors so I am trying to minimise the risk, but it cannot be eliminated.

The $50,000 does not include standby and transport.  If you are in NSW this will be about $10,000 (in today’s dollars).  Add shipping by plane (and possible travel for those doing the standby) as you go further afield in Australia.

There are not really any legal documents except for simple application for membership.  I will include a copy of our constitution because the application says that you will adhere to that.  You would be a member of a non profit organisation.  Legally it is a public company limited by guarantee.  Basically this means that there is no monetary return on your investment.   Also any invested funds cannot be returned.  Of the commitment of $50,000 all investors have put in $13,000 so far.  As you can see we are calling up the funds as we need them.  The reason is what I mentioned before.  That once in, funds cannot be returned.  All this is in the constitution.

I can’t give any guarantees about when the facility will be built.  Because of many other factors (government requirements, timing in trying to find suitable land, priorities etc) we have been delayed and costs are higher, but I am not going to now “knee jerk” and proceed unless I am reasonably confident of viability.  I have a lot of experience in much larger projects than this and you can rush things now only to have major problems 5 to 10 years down the road.  I have some detailed modelling of our long term chances of success and will be only going forward when I feel convinced we are really ready.  No one call tell what will happen in the future, but I am trying to minimise our downside risk over the longer term.

In investing in Southern Cryonics (SC), you will need to balance the risk versus the benefit.  The same as others have done.  Let me give you some information which may help.

I am not sure of your age.  Say you are 40 and that you do not need to be suspended for another 50 years.  The following examples are simplified broad numbers, but they will give you an idea of options.

If you go with the investment in SC of $50,000, in 50 years you pay nothing more            $50,000

plus say $15,000 for standby/transportation with inflation                                   i.e. about $65,000

TOTAL COST  IN 50 YEARS                                                                                             $115,000

If you go with life insurance you will need to be insured for about:

$100,000 proposed current Southern Cryonics fee plus inflation                                    $438,000

Standby and transportation in 50 years                                                                              $65,000

TOTAL AMOUNT OF LIFE INSURANCE NEEDED                                               about $500,000

To get this level of life insurance will cost you an average of about $5000 to $6000 per year.  I know it appears high, but it will be something like $600 a year now (if you are about 40), but wait until you are above 65 years old.  It will escalate very quickly.  The $5,000 to $6,000 is if you want to lock in “whole of life” insurance at a fixed rate.  These are only my estimates.  A proper insurance broker will need to give you the real quotes.

If you cannot get life insurance, you will need to raise the $500,000 in 50 years time.  If you currently have $50,000 and can get about 5% return after tax over the 50 years, that will give you the $500,000 you need.  In a sense the $50,000 now is equivalent to the $500,000 in the future.

Of course if you needed to be suspended about 5 to 10  years after the facility is built, and were not an investor,  you would need about $120,000 to $140,000.   If you only have $50,000 now and no life insurance you will not have the funds.

The $50,000 is like a prepaid insurance policy.  It covers you at any time after the facility is operational.

Hope that helps.

Jul 18

Visit to UK Cryonics

On May 10, 2016,  I visited with Tim Gibson of UK Cryonics in Sheffield UK.  It was a very wet day and Tim very kindly invited me to his home to see the workhorse of their operation, their ambulance.  The elegance of UK Cryonics’s set up is that it is simple and it works very well.  UK Cryonics does not have a facility.  While the large storage units of a cryonics facility always generate a “wow!”, the really critical step of any cryonics operation is the standby and transportation.  I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but it can be a case of garbage in, garbage out.   Don’t get me wrong!  The storage facilities and the people operating them are vitally important, but you need to get the first parts of the whole process (i.e. the standby and transportation) right otherwise your chances of a good suspension drop off rapidly.   My strong impression is that UK Cryonics has got it right.  Their focus is on the standby and transportation.  There is relatively little investment and costs because there is no facility to be built, manned, and maintained.  Because there is no facility you do not have anywhere near the same level of  problems running the facility itself, cumbersome governmental authorization and permitting requirements, or face complex legislative issues.  Obviously a few prerequisites need to be met, but these are not anywhere near as onerous as building and operating a facility.

Of course, UK Cryonics has some significant logistical advantages versus what we have in Australia.  Tim is situated in Sheffield, which is almost in the very center of the UK.  Because of the relatively small size of the UK (about the size and vaguely the shape of the state of Victoria in Australia) they can reach most locations within 3 hours with their vehicle.  A little longer and they can be in the western part of Europe.   Additionally, they can get to the two main cryonics facilities in the US 10 to 12 hours after they vitrify and bring the patient to dry ice temperature.

UK Cryonics members are typically also members of Alcor or the Cryonics Institute.  Remember that UK cryonics has no facility of its own. The cost of UK Cryonics membership is about $500 a year.  For a member standby, preparation and transportation to the US currently costs about $30,000 for the UK and $50,000 for the reachable parts of Europe.  Non members pay about $10,000 more.

So what does UK cryonics have?

Firstly, an extremely well fitted out ambulance. Unfortunately it was raining very heavily and I did not get a chance to take a photo of the outside of the ambulance.  If you are interested it is on their web site.  I did take some video of the inside.  The video I took shows how well fitted out it is, but my non-professional camera work may not do it full justice.  Take my word for it, it is impressive.  Additionally,  working with a strong network of local funeral directors, UK Cryonics have the expertise, equipment and chemicals to do a full vitrification perfusion to dry ice temperatures.   As I mentioned, the trip to the US is then about 10 to 12 hours. Using their special transportation container, combined with these relatively short travel times, the patient remains very close to dry ice temperature throughout the journey so the latest techniques in vitrification can be used.  They also have excellent links with Alcor and the Cryonics Institute allowing a very smooth transfer of the patient to the US facilities.  It is speedy, efficient and very effective.  Above all UK Cryonics has dedicated people like Tim who go out of their way to make sure you get a good suspension.

I would like to thank Tim for the time he spent with me. Tim has in-depth knowledge of what he is doing and approaches his cryonics activities in a very professional manner.  UK cryonics is in excellent hands.

Peter T

Mar 04

Australian Life Insurance Issues

A lot of people are asking me about life insurance as it relates to cryonics lately, so I have decided to summarize the key issues here.  I have also received some queries regarding life insurance locked in superannuation and I believe that what I am saying below still applies, but I have not double checked it.

A few things I want to say.  Firstly,  I am not giving life insurance advice.  I am just sharing what I have learnt, particularly as it applies to cryonics.  Secondly, when I show dollars below they are very approximate from my findings and forecasting.  They are not meant to be quotes.  The final quotes would come from insurance companies and qualified insurance agents.  And thirdly, there are exceptions to what I say below, but they are usually costly.  I am trying to provide general information for simplicity.

Okay the simple reply is that life insurance in Australia is complex and is not very cryonics friendly.

The reasons:

The biggest is the type of life insurance offered in Australia.

I will have to do this by example with numbers to show you.

Suppose you are now about 30 years old.   The cost of a suspension with SSA will be very approximately $80,000.  Let’s say that you need the suspension when you are about 85 years old.   The cost for a suspension at that time, with inflation, will be about $400,000.

So you say okay, I’ll insure for the whole $400,000 now.  You may actually do it by staged topping up later, but for what I am going to show you it does not matter so let’s say the whole $400,000.

There are 2 ways to insure .

  1. Annual Stepped where the cost of the life insurance increases each year as you get older.  In our example the premium cost will be about $300 a year when 30 years old and then about $6,000 a year when you are 65.  It goes up quite quickly when you are older.
  2. The other way is Annual Level.  You pay about $500 premium a year from age 30 to age 65.  The amount is fixed through this time period.

Great! you say.  I will just get annual level. 

Here is the problem in Australia.  You cannot get annual level passed age 65.  From about age 65 it switches to annual stepped whether you started annual stepped or annual level.

Okay, you say, so it is annual stepped passed 65 years old.  I am still insured isn’t that right?.

But you hit the next problem.  At this advanced age the premium costs go up very quickly.     Past 70, life insurance of any type is difficult in Australia.  If you can get it, at age 70 you are paying about $13,500 a year.  At age 80 nearly $45,000 a year.  At age 85, nearly $80,000 a year.  In better words you cannot afford to continue your life insurance when you need it the most even if you can get it.

In the USA you can get annual level life insurance up to about 120 years old, which is more than adequate.   The premiums at an advanced age are much more affordable because it is annual level continued from when you started life insurance; closer to about a fixed $4,000 a year even when you are 90 years old and took the policy out when 45 years old.

A good way is to start being insured with Australian life insurance and then at the appropriate time switch to the US life insurance.  Getting US life insurance is not so easy for an Australian, but you can do it especially if the plan is to do it in the next 15 years or so.
As if that was not enough there are a few other problems with Australian life insurance.
  1. Not all companies will handle cryonics.
  2. Usually a policy needs to name the cryonics company as a beneficiary.  Not all companies will do that.
  3. Sometimes you need a split beneficiary.  Again not all companies like to do that.
  4. Sometimes the cryonics company may insist that they own the policy.  That is what Alcor requires.  Again very few companies in Australia will do that.

As I said, it is complex, but CSA can help you through all this.  Even if you cannot get US life insurance there may be other ways to finance your suspension at an advanced age.

Best wishes,

Peter T

Mar 02

Recent Cryonics Queries

With the recent announcement that Stasis Systems Australia (SSA- our sister organization) is in the process of buying land to build a facility, there have been many questions, many of a similar nature. I will try to summarize here and keep the answers very simple. In some areas I am generalizing a bit to keep things short. If you want more details or how things apply to yourself, please let me know.

When will the SSA facility be operational?

SSA have recently exchanged contracts for a land purchase and will proceed with the land purchase subject to being granted Development Approval (DA).  A professionally prepared DA submission was made recently, at about the time of the contract exchange, but not yet approved.  If all does go well the land will be purchased in about April this year.  Purchase of the land is a major milestone as there were very many legal/development issue to sort out prior to this.  If all then goes well the SSA site will be operational in 1 to 2 years.  I know that this still sounds a long way off, but the people working this have put in a lot of hard work and there is a lot more still to do.

How much will it cost?

There are 2 answers to this question.  All the amounts are in Australian dollars.

Firstly, if you come in now as an “investor” the cost is a commitment of $50,000, $13,000 to be paid now and the rest to be called up by SSA as the project progresses, so that all the $50,000 is called before the facility is operational.    As an “investor” you get:

  • a free suspension with SSA for any person of your choosing when SSA is operational
  • coverage for a suspension for yourself with Cryonics Institute (if you meet certain straightforward conditions) in the US in the time period before the facility is operational.  So essentially you are covered from the time you become an “investor”.  With CI until the facility is operational and then SSA after that.
  • Say in the management of SSA
  • Access to CSA’s (Cryonics Services Australia) coordination capability and knowledge base essentially for free

Secondly, you can come in as a client after SSA is operational.  The cost has not been decided yet but it will be in the order of $80,000 which will increase with inflation.   For example, if you need suspension in say 30 years, the cost may be about $200,000.  Usually you take out a life insurance policy to cover this.  Have a look at other areas of this web site to see what that is all about.

On top of these costs you need to add something for standby and transportation, which would be of the order of $5,000 to $20,000 assuming you are in Australia.

I hope this gives you a short summary of things.  Again please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

Best wishes,

Peter T


Jun 04

How does CSA develop and implement your plan?

I would like to outline how Cryonics Services Australia Pty Ltd (CSA) develops a plan for coordinating your cryonics needs.  Please keep in mind that CSA is not providing financial, insurance, legal or any other similar services, advice or products.  All these will be provided by licensed qualified specialists.  CSA is coordinating these services specifically for your cryonics needs.

Here is what happens:

Step 1 (free of charge)
CSA prepares a written plan for your specific situation.  This will include, among other things, selection of a cryonics storage organization, very long term trust arrangements and suggestions of methods of financing these, usually through life insurance.  For this CSA will need only your date of birth and permanent address, primarily so some estimates may be made for the cost of life insurance.  In this plan all the numbers will be estimates based on generic information CSA has. The actual amounts, specifically tailored to you, will be determined when the plan is implemented with the professional service providers (e.g. life insurance brokers) in step 3 below.  I do not think you will get big surprises between the actual and CSA’s numbers and also remember that no commitments on your part are made yet.

Step 2 (free of charge)
CSA discusses the plan with you and it is modified as necessary, based on the discussions.

Step 3 (should you proceed with the plan, costs shown below)
If you are happy with the plan, you and CSA sign an agreement covering what will be done.  This will include CSA’s fees, as well as indications of other 3rd party costs.  CSA then implements the plan for you and coordinates your requirements with all the service providers. e.g. life insurance, long term trust, cryonics organization of your choice etc.  CSA will need more information from you to do this.  CSA will organize all this, where possible, using standard templates and complete all the documentation for you (based on the information you provide).  One of CSA’s services is to handle this coordination so it is as hassle free as possible for you.  You, of course, will be able to read all the documentation, comment, query, adjust, fill out what you want yourself, before you personally sign off with these service providers.  CSA will not be entering into any agreements/commitments on your behalf.  You will be the sole decider of what you do and sign off on.  Also, if there is private information you do not wish CSA to know that can be handled appropriately.

Here is an idea of the estimated up front fees you may have to pay.  They only come into play in step 3.
• CSA’s fee is about $2,500 to $4,500 and depends on the range of services you need coordinated.  The usual fee will be about $3,000.
• If you have special requirements, which are outside the templates CSA offers, then the extra CSA fees/costs will need to be determined.  Usually the extra costs relate to lawyers or accountants fees.  Typically CSA would recommend not deviating from the established templates.  The final decision is however yours.
• “Trust set up fees” paid to the Trust organization: about $3,000
• Initial fee to cryonics organization: $200
• Any banking/other set up fees : probably less than $200.
• If you need your lawyers/accountants to look at something, then, understandably, you will need to pay for that.
• If you need to travel for say US life insurance then you would incur additional travel expenses.

After your plan is implemented, the ongoing fees will be primarily for life insurance premiums and memberships/subscriptions.

I look forward to your questions.

Regards, Peter T

Jan 22

What CSA’s agreement with you is about

I would like to outline what the client agreement would look like without so much of the legal detail that such agreements tend to have and I hope that this post will also provide more information of what we believe we can do for you.

The services that CSA provides are in three stages.  Let me briefly explain what we do in each.

Stage one is what we do for you now.  Basically, this is the setting up of your cryonics suspension and financial arrangements.   I want to stress that we do not give legal, financial planning, insurance or similar advice.  What we do is coordinate with qualified experts in these areas the best arrangements for you to have a cryonics suspension available with a recognized cryonics organization, when you need it.

So what are the financial arrangements in stage one?  One of them is the life insurance policy to pay for your future cryonics suspension and other associated activities.  The other is the initiation of a long term trust.  You do not need to put funds into the trust yet, but we need to set it up early.  Then we work together to decide which organization you want to handle your eventual cryonics suspension.  Suppose you choose Cryonics Institute in the USA.  We arrange and complete all the documentation for you to sign.  We also link your life insurance policy into their agreement, in line with their requirements.  In case life insurance is not applicable to you, we investigate what other financial arrangements you can make.  Basically we see you doing very little for this stage.  We do it all for you while making sure you understand what is happening each step of the way.

If yours is a fairly standard arrangement, and most are, we plan to charge about $2,500 to $5,000 one time fee.  After this is done you will still have ongoing obligations.  For instance, remember that life insurance policy set up for you.  There will be a few others as well.  e.g. membership of the cryonics organizations and subscription fees for CSA, but these others are small.  The big one is life insurance.  We will try to work this so all of these together cost you about the price of a cup of take-away coffee a day.  Okay that’s advertising talk.  Plainly put, it works out to about $1,100 to $1,400 a year.  Yes, that’s what that coffee a day adds up to.

Stage two takes us to the period from after the arrangements are made in stage one, up to the time of your suspension.  You do not have to participate in this stage two.  We will recommend that you do, but it is up to you.  Stage two has a subscription fee of $190 a year.  And yes, it is included in that cost of the one take-away coffee a year.

So what do you get in this stage two?  At this stage we have identified the following but we plan to add more:

  • Access to a protected area of our web site which will provide you with communications with other subscribers, a bulletin board of latest information and activities, special offers and tailored information only available to subscribers
  • Identification material to be used in emergencies which identify your requirements and contacts, personal data storage for your documentation, and coordination of back-to-base arrangements.
  • Details of the arrangements we have made for you, with all the updates as they occur
  • Access to upgrades to the processes and service provided by CSA
  • Ongoing advice about your arrangements, including enhancements or updates.  An example of this may be that in Australia, life insurance becomes almost unaffordable past the age of 65.  CSA will advise you of other more affordable ways to maintain your funds.
  • If you are a subscriber for three straight years, immediately before and up to the time of your suspension, you have access to CSA’s stage three services.  If you are younger, you may decide to not be a subscriber at this stage and take it on later in life to make sure you get the advantages  of the three straight years.

Stage three is around the time of your suspension.  The list of what we will do here is quite substantial.  And please remember all the costs of these are from the financial arrangements (e.g. the life insurance policy) we set up for you in stage one. The following is a brief list and, of course, depends on your wishes as to what you want us to cover.  It includes :

  • Finalize your funds with the trust you had set up in stage one
  • Set up a second type of quasi-trust, which will provide back-up long term funds, for issues that may occur while you are suspended (e.g. being moved), for revival should they prove necessary, plus many other contingencies.
  • Arrange various forms of transportation and preparation, including overseas transportation
  • Include limited standby at your hospital bed to ensure that you are prepared for you suspension
  • Make sure all the legal documentation is in order including health requirements and overseas transport requirements
  • Provide support for your family, including, should they wish, a memorial service and professional counseling.

Remember this is all being paid for by the life insurance policy costing that approximate price of one cup of take-away coffee a day.  You are not paying extra for all this.  Of course this life insurance also pays for your suspension with the suspension organization you chose in stage one.

Okay a lot of words and some can be quite confusing.  Let me summarize it all.  For about $3000, plus any fees the professional organizations will charge, we set all this up for you.  Then you pay about the price of 1 cup of take-away coffee a day, mostly for life insurance, until the time of your suspension and you get a suspension by a recognized cryonics organization, plus everything listed in the above, if you want it.

Regards,  Peter T

Dec 21

Background to Cryonic Services Australia

Now a little more about CSA.  When we started looking at what it takes to secure a future cryonic suspension in Australia, a range of questions quickly came up.  Is it affordable?  How do I do it?  Which cryonics provider is right for me?  How do I organize life insurance?  What happens when I can no longer obtain life insurance? What are the estate planning implications?  What do I actually have to administratively do?  What documentation do I need and how do I complete it?  What are the international implications should I choose an overseas cryonics provider? How do I have funds for the time when I am revived?   And a host of other complicated questions.

We decided that we needed a “one stop” doorway to eliminate these complexities.  For a nominal fee, CSA would do this. The idea is that CSA will standardize all these requirements and, in doing so, spread the cost over all our clients keeping the total cost per client low.  We believe we can achieve it.  For organizing and coordinating a standard package of documentation, agreements with the cryonics suspension organizations, life insurance, trust set up, some estate planning, and some basic legal work we believe we can keep our fee between $1,500 to $4,500 depending on your requirements.  Additionally, although it is not our primary role, we would also have the resourcing and capability to handle a client’s extra requirements, if desired.

You can get an idea from this web site what we are trying to do with CSA.  I should add that CSA will not only be there to supply clients for Stasis Systems Australia, but we also have the capability of organizing your suspension with the overseas US organizations, such as Alcor and Cryonics Institute.  This can be a stop gap measure until Stasis Systems Australia is up and running, or some clients may decide that the overseas facilities may be more suited to their needs because of their proven long history.

Regards,  Peter T

Dec 20

General background

First, let me say that this site, other than the blog, is not yet live.  While this site is still a work in progress, you are welcome to look at it to get an idea of where we are heading.  Also, please feel free to make any comments or seek any information you wish.

I would like to try, in this blog series, to give an idea of our thoughts behind forming Cryonics Services Australia and the journey we are traveling in developing this organization.  Peter Tsolakides, a director of CSA, is also associated with Cryonics Services Australia (CSA) are also associated with Stasis Systems Australia, the organization working to build the first cryonics facility in Australia.

I think it is important to understand at the outset that we are a group that has a vital interest in cryonics and in cryonics’ success.  We also believe that the more people participating in cryonics results in  increased levels of research and scientific/medical advances in fields important to cryonics.  Some of the more obvious advances include longevity due to medical advances and reversal of aging processes; curing major diseases; biological nanotechnology; improved suspension techniques; tissue cloning; and cell rejuvenation.

Before getting into some of the details, let me briefly explain the difference between what Stasis Systems Australia will do and what Cryonics Services Australia will do.

Stasis Systems Australia Ltd. is a non profit organization working towards building the first cryonics facility in Australia.  When built, Stasis Systems Australia will have the professional capability to handle cryonic suspensions and storage.  At the same time when we developed the idea for Stasis Systems Australia, we thought it would be very useful to provide a “one-stop” capability to allow clients to more readily participate in cryonics.  That is what Cryonics Service Australia Pty Ltd (CSA) will do.  It would handle marketing and coordinate all the financial, legal, and administrative requirements associated with cryonics.  CSA is a more commercial activity and has been set up as a for profit organization.  The different structures of Stasis Systems Australia and CSA allow them to each develop their own expertise and best pursue their objectives in the environment they operate.

Regards,  Peter T