Planning to Live to 100?

When I reached the portentous age of 80 I decided it was time to get serious about the likelihood of reaching 100 years. Why 100? With my work days departed and not mourned, I am thoroughly enjoying the magically increased available time. And there is a comforting ring to writing or speaking this revered figure: 100!  In effect it becomes like a friend who tells me that there remains sufficient time to accomplish my long delayed and fervently anticipated plans.

Exercise helps!

However, I hasten to admit that 100 is no longer such a big deal. Insurance actuarial tables indicate that if a person is generally healthy at age 65, there is a strong likelihood of living to the mid 80’s. Further, many investment advisers are now suggesting that clients should make estate plans calling for living into the 90’s.

So the trip from the mid 80’s to 100 is no longer such a formidable journey. How does one work to make the leap? Most seniors have read numerous articles about various age expanding programs to follow, so that the “magic bullet” of extra years also can include healthy years. These life enhancing challenges include regular exercise, a balanced diet, a positive attitude, plus maintaining an active social and family life along with on-going mental gymnastics. There are more recommendations, but this list is already formidable. Of course the genes you inherit are a major factor, but I have been reading that even if you are dealt a poor hand genetically you can overcome this potential adversity with a positive and active life style.

But with all these recommendations for increasing longevity, I only recently came across a reasonably accurate test of how long an individual is likely to live. For an estimate you can take a free 10 to 15 minute online quiz, answering 40 questions about your health, habits and family, including:

  • Do you take an iron or calcium supplement?
  • Floss?
  • Sleep fairly well?
  • How many new friendships have you developed in the past year?
  • How many times weekly do you exercise?
  • How many weekly do you eat red meat?

The test is called: “Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator” and is based on longevity research conducted by the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University. In addition to an estimated life expectancy, the program suggests ways you can extend your life. To take the calculator test go to: www.livingto100.com.

I have taken the test, and it covers just about every human sin of commission or omission with the notable exceptions of lust levels and financial folly. Overall the test and recommendations does force one to think seriously about how to improve physical and mental well-being.

One final caveat: There is a great temptation to cheat because I did not want to own up to highly enjoyable weaknesses. So after reviewing my first time test I noted where my stalwart nature faltered, and then tried it a second time. Yes, I lost a few years on my score, but now I had a final, truthful result which told me that I was within an achievable range of my 100 years goal.  Why not join me and take the test?

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