Are you prepared to live to be 100?

As a speaker on aging, I often have asked older groups a challenging question: “How many of you want to live to 100?”
The response was always the same. A small number raised their hands immediately with smiles on their faces.
Those people were looking forward to a long, healthy, happy life.
Then around the hall, people would timidly raise their hands part way up–wanting to be counted and yet not sure.
Some never raised their hands while a few said they would be OK living to 100 if they were healthy.
In his book “The 100-Year Lifestyle,” renowned wellness expert Eric Plasker states that “very few of us regard old age as something positive.”
And that’s too bad. Because more and more of us may one day become centenarians.
Defining the 100-year lifestyle, Plasker has lists of “What it is” and “What it is not.”
What it is includes living a healthy, passionate, prosperous life, every day of your life, for 100 years and beyond.
What it is not is insignificant retirement while you become a meaningless person in an outdated system and failing to take care of your body.
Your 100-year lifestyle is yours to customize, says Plasker.
“If you knew you’d live to be 100, how would you change your life?” he questions. And suggests that you list the changes you know deep down in your heart that you need to make.
Is it eating less sugar or walking every day? Is it taking better care of your teeth or lowering your blood pressure? Is it making more friends?
Write down the changes you need to make.
This book is a wonderful workbook. It guides you step-by-step to living your ideal 100-year lifestyle.
Aging can be a good thing. It gives us the opportunity to realize our dreams and enjoy our families and friends–if we prepare for it.
I was especially interested in the chapter on “Creating the Ideal Environment You Can Enjoy for 100 Years.” Because, after all, what’s the point of living to 100 if you aren’t going to enjoy it!
The best way to prepare for the 100-year lifestyle is to appreciate your current environment. Start having more fun enjoying the journey now, says Plasker.
And look for the good in every situation. This will set the stage for you to maximize the rest of your 100 years.
Starting today, make every interaction you have with other people a positive one. Get involved. Choose a cause that matters to you and commit yourself to making a difference.
Lead yourself, says Plasker, because nobody is going to do it for you.
Even if you don’t want to live to 100, you want a healthy, happy life while you’re living–however many years that may be.
So begin today preparing for your 100-year lifestyle. If you have access to this book, read it.
Otherwise, ask yourself the question: “If I knew I’d live to be 100, how would I change?”
Think carefully about health, relationships, finances, and other issues of daily life. Then make the changes that will create your best life–every day of your life.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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