What values would centenarians and older baby boomers most like to impart to Millennials?
Baby boomers are not as confident in their life choices as centenarians, according to the latest 100@100 survey conducted by United Healthcare, Whereas half of centenarians said they would not have changed a thing if they knew they would live to be 100, only 19 percent of older baby boomers ages 60-65 replied as confidently.
When asked what they would have done differently, 28 percent of boomers said they would have saved more money, while 18 percent said they would have taken better care of themselves and 12 percent said they would have taken more risks. Just 29 percent said would not change anything. Just 10 percent of centenarians, on the other hand, said they would have taken better care of themselves and focused more on family and friends.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American today lives to be about 80. The 100@100 survey polled centenarians and baby boomers to examine how the attitudes and lifestyles of Americans who have held the title of “senior citizen” for nearly four decades compare to those entering their retirement years.
Centenarians had greater expectations than boomers about reaching the so-called Willard Scott milestone birthday. Twenty-nine percent of the former said they expected to live to 100, vs. 21 percent of boomers.
Centenarians have got the older boomers beat when it comes to eating a healthy diet (89 percent vs. 79 percent), getting plenty of rest (84 percent vs. 73 percent), and exercising regularly (71 percent vs. 63 percent), but in other areas, boomers are taking a more dedicated approach to help them reach 100. They are trying to minimize and manage stress, see their doctor regularly, and cutting out or cutting back on alcohol.
Related story: Baby boomers live longer but In poorer health than elders. Click here to read more.
Nearly all (98 percent) of centenarians said that an engaged and active mind was the secret to healthy aging. Older boomers surveyed agreed unanimously. There is another area in which centenarians and older baby boomers are in complete agreement: When asked which famous person they would most like to invite to a family dinner, the most popular choice for both demographics was Betty White. This is the four consecutive year in the survey’s eight-year history that she has been the top choice among centenarians.
What values would both age groups most want to impart to Millennials? When asked to pick from a list, most centenarians and older boomers chose “respect for elders” and “courtesy.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.