Life After 100

"I have traveled to Europe six or seven times. And Hawaii several times. You name it, [and] I have been there. I didn't dream I would live to be 80, much less 100 years old, so I just spent my money and had a good time."

Cox prides herself on not having a maid and caring for her four bedroom house on her own — she even does her own gardening.

"Bending down is OK, getting up is a problem," Cox jokingly admits. Redefining society's perception of centenarians is a mission for Lynn Peters Adler, the founder of the National Centenarian Awareness project which she runs from her home in Phoenix, Ariz.

Adler, author of "Centenarians: The Bonus Years," accompanied the centenarians on their trip to New York for Walters' special. In her 22 years of experience, Adler had developed what she calls "the centenarian spirit," which are the characteristics that she has found in people who live to be 100 and older.

These qualities include a love of life, a strong spiritual belief, and the ability to be adaptable. When asked what advice they would give about living a long and happy life, several offered comments.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you treat others the way you would like to be treated ... it has a lot to do with living," advises Hoffman. "Because happiness and good health, I think, almost go hand in hand."

"If I'm having a bad day, I'll call a centenarian friend and they will just put it in perspective," says Adler. "All my best friends are 100 and over. They're wonderful ... I think that younger people think there's an age limit on fun. And that's just not true."

The group of centenarians is not indicative of centenarians everywhere, yet, as Adler points out, they can serve as role models to people at any age.

"Centenarians have the most marvelous spirit and it's something that we can all learn from, because centenarians show us that they've raised the bar for all of us who follow."

All of the centenarians interviewed by Walters were proud of their age, claiming they were all at a very good point in their lives. Perhaps Ross summed up the group's feelings best when he proudly stated, "Life begins at 80 and gets better when you reach 90. And when you reach 100, oh boy!"

For more information about living to 100 and beyond, visit the National Centenarian Awareness Project.

Purchase a copy of the Barbara Walters special, 'Live to Be 150' on DVD.

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