Living to 100: Part 1

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By WGXA Staff

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Updated: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:23:49 EST

Thousands of americans reach the 100 mark, despite the long odds against them.

"Odds are so small anyway of reaching 100, that anything you do is just increasing a very small chance of reaching 100 to somewhat larger chance of reaching 100." -- Georgia State University Actuary Professor, Eric Ulm

So what can you do?

Georgia State University Actuary Professor, Eric Ulm says there are certain factors at play to determine if you will actually live that long.

"Some of the obvious ones are exercising being in general good health."

Ulm adds there are other factors that may affect your longevity...including marriage, not smoking and avoiding obesity.

Ulm also says research reveals woman have better chances than men in attaining the century mark. 

"In the United States women over 100 out number men over 100 by 4/5 to one or something like that."  And that factor all comes down to who takes better care of themselves. 

"The general thing is that men have typically have more stressful occupations, men tend to take worse care of themselves in general than women do.  In fact that sometimes they say thats part of whats there for the marriage premium for men."

Something beyond our control: genetics.

"Something like 15 percent effect is genetics. If someone lives to be 100 that is where 40 years of life expectancy for a brother or sister or something like that."

Overall living to 100 is really just a 50/50 chance..."Its all a coin flip and all you can do is bias the coin in your favor."

Johanna Torres, WGXA

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