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New Year, No Me: How I Plan To Commit Insurance Fraud and Completely Disappear in 2024

Another year, another plan to disappear completely and never be found. It’s not an instinct universally shared, but how else are you going to cash in that sweet life insurance bundle? Here is a beginner’s guide to removing yourself from society and living beyond your own staged death aka your “pseudocide.” That is until the federal government accesses your browsing history and finds this article. Let’s get started on your big mysterious goodbye!

Find a partner in crime
When I say “partner in crime,” I don’t mean a cute euphemism for a spouse in an anniversary photo. I mean that you’ll need to find someone that you trust as a life insurance beneficiary, but who also doesn’t have a single tie to anyone else in your social circle. Ideally, this is the sketchiest, least ethical person you know, without the barest thread of a tangential connection leading back to you. Maybe your old shady roommate knows a guy? Or, even better, make a friend at a bar and make them pinky-swear to the scheme. No crime has ever gone wrong between strangers, right?

Goodbye to everything, but goodbye to no one
Rid yourself of all worldly possessions without giving a single hint to anyone that you are planning your disappearance. Make plans for the future with friends while donating everything to thrift stores a few towns over. Change your appearance, slowly and subtly. Also, most importantly, go offline. Smash your SIM card and sink your burnt laptop to a lake floor. Try to avoid self-aggrandizing “goodbye social media” posts that let everyone know of your intentions for a “mental health break.” Most people who disappear have the most inconsequential, ugly selfie as their last post. The worse the aesthetic, the better.

Stage the scene
Aggressively pursue a new dangerous hobby with reckless abandon. Skydiving works but there are too many drones and cameras around these days. A botched mugging involves other people. Might I suggest whitewater canoeing? Your battered paddles found on a shoreline will communicate volumes. Easier to obscure a hidden cache of clothes, equipment, and money under a bridge, too. Trek through the wilderness to an agreed-upon Appalachian hideout. Avoid Googling yourself in case IP addresses are being traced through a staged search site. Let your hermit instincts guide you, despite only having half-read Walden.

Now you should be holed up in a ramshackle country cabin, awaiting your half of the life insurance from that seedy dockworker you met at a harbor dive bar. Any day now, your half of the loot is coming. Any… day now. Acclimate yourself to cold raw deer meat and celebrate living off the land in winter, while lacking antibiotics. No one knows you’re here. You’re basked in silence. Hear that? It’s the true sound of freedom. And tinnitus from a severe sinus infection.