Will YOU live to be 100? Do you want to find out?


Aunt Dina on her 100th Birthday!

I consider myself extremely privileged to have been present at the one hundredth birthday celebration of Aunt Dina shown here! I was reminded of this event earlier this week as I came across a couple of online widgets that purported to be able to give you a guideline as to how long you might live based on your history and lifestyle.

Of course, I was forced to try them out! Just for the reason of journalistic curiousity, you understand. In reality, I am not sure that I really have a lot of faith in these attempts to fit people into some sort of funnel and try to get something meaningful to come out at the end. As an example of why this may not be too fruitful, take the results that I got from the two different websites.

1. The site that purported to be specifically for Canadians (Canadian Business Life Expectancy Tool), predicted that I would live to the ripe old age of 81. That leaves me with 24 years to go. Even though that would put me above the current life expectancy for a male, I’m still not sure that I wish to settle for so little less time. The way things are going, by that time I may not see my married daughter have children or my 27 year-old son in a steady job 😉

2. The more generic site (Living to 100), which asked way more seemingly pertinent questions first told me that I was going to live to 97, however, it included questions about childbirth and menopause, which seemed a little odd! So I re-took the test and discovered that I had neglected to tick the box indicating my sex. This time, I was given a life expectancy of 94 years. Much better but still a little disconcerting…

We all know that we are going to die. The old adage about death and taxes is bandied about with regularity after all. However, I do not believe that many of us actually give any real thought, on a daily basis, about how our actions and habits are affecting our lifespan. Nor do I necessarily believe that this is a negative thing. Too much time worrying about the potential future merely detracts from a meaningful present.

Most of us are aware of individuals who did almost everything right and yet succumbed to an early death for one often random reason or another. On the other hand, we probably can all think of a friend, relative or acquaintance who smoked, drank or abused their body relentlessly in one of many ways and yet lived to a ripe old age. For most of us, it simply is not in our best interests to be privvy to the future. On the other hand, personally, I am going to do everything that I consider reasonable not to reduce my odds of  reaching Aunt Dina’s  milestone.