The conversations of life

Want to live to 100? Don’t retire, said this Japanese longevity expert who lived to 105


And if you must, do it well after the age of 65.

The late Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara. Credit: Japan Society

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, chairman of St. Luke’s International University and president of St. Luke’s International Hospital, followed his own advice too – until a few months before he passed away on July 18, he continued to treat patients, according to Business Insider.

His reasoning? In Japan, the retirement age was set at 65 at a time when people had an average life expectancy of 68.

Now Japan’s life expectancy has hit 84 years – so people should retire much later too.

So what else did he suggest we do for a longer life?

Living longer – and better

Worry less about eating well and sleeping more and have fun: “Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.”

Use those scales: “All people who live long – regardless of nationality, race or gender – share one thing in common: None are overweight.”

Always plan ahead: Dr. Hinohara kept an appointment book with space for the next five years where he would set out lectures and goals.

Get moving: “To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.”

And finally give back to others: “It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.”

Sounds like smart advice to us.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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