Would you like to live to be 100 (or more)?

“Living to 100 will soon become a routine fact of (long) life. Life expectancies have been rising by up to three months a year since 1840 and although gains in the UK began to slow in 2011, it is still estimated that more than half the babies born in wealthier countries since 2000 may reach their 100th birthdays.

It is an impressive increase: in the early 1900s, the probability of a baby reaching 100 was 1%. A newborn in the UK today has a 50% chance of living to 105. There were 3,600 centenarians in 1986. Today there are some 15,000.

You do not have to be a newborn to benefit from this trend of increased longevity, though. A 60-year-old in the west today has an even chance of living to 90 and a 40-year-old can expect to live to 95.

But the longevity boost is not done yet: it is generally agreed that the natural ceiling to human life is somewhere around 115. Others say that even without cutting-edge AI or other technological wizardry, we could live far longer.” 

These are the opening paragraphs in a recent article in the “Guardian” newspaper which provides some advice on how to live to old age.

I am currently 71; my oldest friend is 90; the oldest person I’ve met is 103; and the oldest man in the world – who will be 112 next month – is now a man here in the UK.

My 90 year old friend reacted to the “Guardian” article by telling me: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to support and even extend longevity. Judging by myself, good health physical and mental is really not enough to keep one  happy and what is life without happiness?”

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