It’s not as hard to make it to 100 as you think. Statistics Canada says there were 5,825 centenarians in 2011, up from 3,795 just a decade earlier. By 2061, the federal agency estimates close to 80,000 people will reach the century mark.

There are five major things that determine how long you live.

  1. Smoking
  2. Being overweight
  3. Exercise
  4. The type of food you eat
  5. Your family history

In some financial plans, there is a one-size-fits-all method to retirement savings, erring on the side of conservatism and plugging in a life expectancy of 90 or even 100.

But is it possible to pinpoint how long you’ll live? And base a financial plan on it?

The British government seems to think so. They announced in April plans to give guidance on individual life expectancy to help citizens plan their savings, concluding how much you have and how long it has to last are pretty crucial to the planning process. In April, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries put out the first-ever mortality tables based solely on the Canadian pensioner experience. Those tables show Canadian life spans have improved much faster than anybody had anticipated.