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.