Book Review: I’ve Decided To Live 120 Years

Ask most people in their 70s or 80s if they would like to live to 120 years and most would reply, “With my health issues — are you kidding”?

What if you asked vital, healthy people in their 70s, 80s and beyond if they would like to live to 120,  and with certain caveats, you probably would get a much different answer.  Let’s be honest. Regardless of age, if one is healthy mentally, physically and financially stable, life is good so why not live as long as possible? I fully understand some would disagree with that assertion but that’s an argument for a different time.

Author Ilchi Lee makes a compelling case for healthy longevity. He believes the older years can be the best years of life when they are lived with a purpose and filled with hope and dreams. That’s certainly contrary to the American way of aging. He writes, “Living a comfortable, easy worry-free life isn’t what’s best for brain health. For the health of your brain, you should raise its workload. It’s important not to leave your brain in its default state, doing what’s it’s always done, but instead constantly give it new tasks and stimulation.”

In our way of life, age 65 is the norm to stop doing what you have done most of your adult years and retire into a culturally approved leisure oriented lifestyle and adopt a culturally approved leisure oriented mindset that is difficult to avoid because human nature prefers leisure over effort. There is little or no preparation or encouragement prior to retirement to live the final phase of life with purpose, hopes or dreams as author Ilchi Lee proposes. Retirement is the holy grail even if it promotes decline.

Our retirement oriented culture suggests,  “You had your chance to make your life better but you blew it – so retire and accept the decline that is your reward.” In a way, traditional retirement makes sense because many people, as early as their 60s,  are already suffering debilitating illnesses and diseases as a result of deficient lifelong eating habits and lack of adequate exercise. Too often we like to blame our less than exceptional health on our genetic heredity which may or may not contribute to our premature decline but given what we now know about the advantages of taking charge of our health, faulty genes are no longer an excuse for much old age deterioration.

I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years  has thirteen inspiring chapters but one of the most exciting is “Give Your Brain Hopes and Dreams” which will be a thought provoking eye opener and motivation to change for healthy, vital individuals  convinced by the culture that “it’s all over” because they reached “useless” “old age”.  This book is a lot of “good news” that should be required reading especially for those nearing, or in early retirement and want a life that can be better than the first half.




  1. I appreciate this thought provoking book review. Give my brain hopes and dreams is a statement I will remember; in awe of the human brain and body. This month is my 77th birthday and still hopeful of achieving my dreams for my body, brain and spirit.

    • Hi Lavinia,

      Happy birthday!! But always remember it’s just a number. It is not a measure of your mental or physical competence. Ignoring it is liberating!

      Good for you for resolving to always have hopes and dreams and a way toward achieving them!


  2. Middle aged at 60 – kind of a poetry to it. 120 is the new 80!

  3. This book has changed the way I look at my life and the action I need to take to be more productive in my later years.

  4. As a young person, I’m encouraged by your mindset. Although I haven’t experienced those years yet, the idea that I can continue to learn, do, and grow after 65, and that it’s vital for having a long, healthy life, is appealing. And, of course, I should start now and do it continuously.

    • Hi Carole!

      Thanks for commenting.

      Good for you for thinking ahead and doing what you have to do to have the most fulfilling later years possible. Traditional, leisure oriented, mind-dulling retirement will eventually destroy a vital quality of life.


    • Hi Michela,

      You are in luck. You have time to help determine the quality of your later years. It will take dedication NOW to having the best health possible and a willingness to CONSTANTLY exercise both your mind and body. Avoid “consensus thinking” and challenge cultural norms as you continue to grow and you will be in great shape when you are my age!


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