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Do you want to live to be 116?

The world’s oldest person, Misao Okawa will celebrate her 116 birthday on Wednesday, and attributes her long life to eating three large meals a day and sleeping eight hours a night.

It’s no surprise that Mrs Okawa is from Japan according to experts, says The Sydney Morning Herald. The average lifespan for a Japanese woman is now 85.9 years, thanks to the country’s significant healthcare system, community support, encouragement to remain physically active until quite elderly, a sense of family and a healthy diet that mainly consists of fish, rice, vegetables and fruit.

But associate professor Yasuyuki Gondo at Osaka University says there is much more to a long life than a healthy diet and world class medical care. Studies have shown that those people with a strong will, are outgoing and have a sense of curiosity live longer than average.

Living to the ripe old age of 116 in Australia does present some problems.

If people retire at age 65, that means your superannuation needs to last you 50 years, unless you plan on reducing your lifestyle at some stage and falling back onto a government pension.

That’s not something many Australians are likely to have considered.

It also means that a measly $1 million definitely won’t be enough to sustain you for 50 years, and people would need much, much more. That makes planning for your retirement so important and the earlier you start the easier it will be, and the more funds you will have to maintain your required lifestyle for your whole retirement.

So, should you want to life to the ripe old age of 116, apart from the lifestyle and diet choices you make, your investment decisions will likely also play a part.

After all, there’s not much point spending all your retirement funds, being forced to fall back onto the pension and then requiring expensive medical care, which you can’t afford.

If you don’t want to end up in that situation, spend less than you earn, start saving early, invest regularly and make the most of the benefits the superannuation system gives all Australians.

Foolish takeaway

Buying and holding quality stocks listed on the ASX such as Woolworths (ASX: WOW), CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), Telstra Corporation (ASX: TLS) and ASX Limited (ASX: ASX) should go a long way towards meeting that goal.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in CSL, Woolworths and Telstra. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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