Want to Live Longer? Become Wealthier!

Do you want some extra incentive to make and keep more money? Here is some for you: more wealth can mean a longer life.

This was among the findings of a study discussed in a recent article on US News.  Now, of course there is no guarantee that having money will lead to longer life. However, wealth is seen to be a factor playing a role in longer life.  I’ve been a proponent of this line of thought for a while, suggesting that the role of money in each of our lives finds it interconnected with health and relationships.  Thus, I was interested to read in that article that some of this was actually studied.

It makes sense that there is a synergistic effect to money and health.  As you impact one of these areas, you can subsequently impact the other. The better your situation in one, the better off you will be as a whole. This can help to provide some financial motivation!

Taking a look at one side of this symbiotic relationship – how wealth can impact health – here are some reasons that immediately come to mind to me:

Medical Care – let’s face it, money can buy a lot of things. While it can’t necessarily buy health of course, it allows access to better medical care. With significant funds, you have less worry about expensive procedures, rehabilitation, medicine, etc. Somebody with a net worth of $5 million can do more in this way than someone with a net worth of $5,000.

Access to Quality Food – this might seem silly to some, admittedly. However, there are many people who don’t live in areas that have easily accessible supermarkets or fresh produce. Or, they may have transportation issues in terms of accessing markets.  There are even some big city neighborhoods that are supermarket deserts, where people have to go a long distance to reach places to buy good food.

Safety of the Neighborhood – generally speaking, the wealthier one is, the more options he or she has in terms of where to live. If someone is low on funds, these options can be quite limited, and the safety of a neighborhood might be compromised. Plus, some areas offer less opportunities for walking, fewer parks and gyms, and reduced opportunity for exercise and interaction.

Stress – To me, this might be a bigger factor than meets the eye. Back to the example above comparing someone with a net worth of $5 million versus someone with a much lower net worth. Who has more stress of earning money and bringing home a paycheck? Who can live a more relaxed life, with more financial freedom?

Of course, paradoxically, if we push ourselves beyond our limits in order to make money, we might encounter some impact on our health. Balance is important!

My Questions for You:

What do you think of the notion that having more money can lead to a longer life?

In terms of what motivates you to earn and save, is health something that drives you in some way?

Can you think of examples in your life where you’ve seen people have their health impacted in some way by financial issues? This can include either a negative or positive impact.

Comments

    • Squirrelers says

      MC – oh I agree that there are plenty of other ways. Money isn’t everything, nor is it the most important thing. It’s a factor that can only help.

  1. cashflowmantra says

    Is there a direct cause and effect? Or do people who are more responsible in all aspects of their lives better able to manage money and health? My guess is the latter because look at how many lottery winners and athletes get sudden wealth but find themselves in dire straights later on.

    • Squirrelers says

      cashflowmantra – maybe there’s not a direct 100% linear relationship, but one would think that it provides a better chance!

  2. Daisy says

    I believe it! Having more money brings down stress levels, and having not enough is one of the biggest stressors in life. Stress causes 99% of diseases and illnesses, so I have no doubt that it causes a longer life.

    • Squirrelers says

      Daisy – I agree that excess stress can lead to other problems. If one can lower financial stress, but everything else remains the same, it seems logical that there would be some benefits!

  3. Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple says

    I think people who have achieved a lot of financial success in life are probably also very successful in other ways, leading to a higher sense of fulfillment and well-being. In addition to the other points, I think this factor contributes a LOT to our longevity.

    • Squirrelers says

      Dollar D – sort of a halo effect, to what you’re alluding. Those who succeed in one area may be more likely to succeed in another? Is it the inherent success traits, or is it that having a good situation in one aspect of life put the person in better position to be successful in other areas?

  4. krantcents says

    Money gives you the choice of going to the doctor. Money generally means you are more educated and aware of your health as well. When you have money you are less likely to ignore a medical issue too.

    • Squirrelers says

      SB – money has benefits, no doubt. It’s not the most important thing by a long shot, but it can help one lead a better quality of life if the right choices are made. No guarantees of course!

  5. Jackie says

    I do think that having more money can lead to a longer life, because of exactly the reasons you outlined. Paradoxically though, I think having a LOT of money could lead to a shorter life, because you’d have the means to participate in pricey but unsafe or unhealthy behavior. Maybe being in the middle, or on the high end with plenty of self-control would be best :)

    • Squirrelers says

      Jackie – that’s probably the case sometimes, opportunity to make mistakes means that some people will “take advantage” of such chances. However, I think that having money and discipline is a great combo.

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