How to Live to a 100, and Thrive

Anne and I just finished watching Live to 100, Secrets of the Blue Zones on Netflix. If you’re like I was, you’re wondering, what’s a Blue Zone?

A Blue Zone is Dan Buettner’s name for areas of the world with abnormally high populations of centenarians, people over 100 years old. He’s been studying this phenomenon for over 20 years.

The series takes a deep dive into Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece. All have significantly more centenarians than the rest of the world.

These people are not only living long but thriving into their 80s, 90s and beyond. Dan finds that their lifestyles overlap in several ways than help account for their longevity. Here are a few:

  • Diet was mainly of local plant-based foods with a high concentration of beans (Wine and meat, still included)
  • Faith-based communities and clearly defined life purpose
  • Had natural physical activity, like manual labor-based jobs (there was a 100-year-old cattle rancher) or walked throughout the day.
  • Took care of their elder family members in the home. Looked to them for wisdom.
  • They didn’t “retire”

I was struck by his observation on retirement and purpose.

In a past letter, I wrote how I’m not a huge fan of the term “retirement.” I’d like to have a different phrase, like “financial independence” or “when work is optional.” But at this point it seems like were stuck with the term.

One thing I noticed about these communities is that most were in poorer areas of the world and lived life with little excess savings or material wealth. They kept working because they had to.

It could be that you are in high demand corporate jobs or managing the businesses that you started. Obviously at some point, exiting these careers at some point make perfect sense. But do we have something of purpose waiting for us on the other side?

What seems to be evident by witnessing these communities is that longevity is tied to purpose. We find purpose in our work. We’ve been designed this way. The danger in finding our purpose in our work in the United States is that one day, whether it’s our choice or not, we might have to leave it.

During our planning process, we help our clients discover their financial purpose. Then we can make recommendations that align with it. We’ll have something to filter your investment, spending, and retirement decisions through.

In addition, we’ll help you target the lifestyle you’ll want to continue and how to best build up assets to mee these future needs. That way if you want to be a 100-year-old cowboy, you can, but you won’t have to.

Andrew Eppes, CFP®, RICP®

Andrew Eppes is a registered representative of and offers securities and investment advisory services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. Nexus Advisors, LLC is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies. 14241 Dallas Parkway Suite 1200 Dallas, TX 75254 972-348-6300. CRN202609-5075264

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